Sony is gearing up to reveal the PlayStation 5 (not the official name yet) but it looks like the company wants to make the transition to the platform to be a slow and deliberate one. PlayStation CEO and 25-year Sony vet Jim Ryan spoke with CNET and expressed that the plan is for cross-generational gameplay between the PS5 and PS4.
Sony has a massive PS4 user base and it makes sense for the company to do anything it can to transition those players over to PS5. Home consoles, unlike PC, have to start at zero with each generation of hardware. All of the success of the previous generation can help encourage new purchases but it’s not an automatic ticket to cash in.
It was already revealed that the PS5 will be backward compatible with PS4 games but Sony is planning to take things a bit further than that. The plan is to have an experience where gamers can jump from PS4 to the new console and go back. Ideally, players on both will be able to continue online experiences together.
“Whether it’s backward compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” Ryan told the publication. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”
The transition from PS3 to PS4 wasn’t handled as gracefully as a cross-generational experience could be. Exclusives released late in the PS3 lifecycle like The Last of Us appeared on the next console in visually upgraded collections but the multiplayer community was still kept separate. The PS3 servers for that game and the Uncharted titles are being shut down in September but what if their servers were the same as PS4? Non-exclusives like Destiny, at the time, did the same between the PS3 and PS4 or Xbox 360 and Xbox One but the next PlayStation console could usher in a reality more accommodating to consumers of all kinds.
We know that the next PlayStation won’t be releasing this year, a reveal could come later this year. Sony skipped E3 2019 and the PlayStation Experience for 2018 but a PSX at the end of 2019 could be the perfect platform to kick open the door for a next-gen launch at the end of 2020.
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