PlayStation 5 rumours: PS5 cartridges, backwards compatibility and release date

The Week - Dec 06, 12:29 GMT

Description  Sony is taking the unusual step of skipping E3 next year


Sony is taking the unusual step of skipping E3 next year. Will it hold its own event instead?


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Sony’s next console, the PS5, may arrive sooner than fans think


Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 1:01pm

All eyes will be on technology giants Sony and Microsoft in 2019 as both firms are rumoured to be announcing all-new games consoles.

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, Xbox chief Phil Spencer stoked rumours of a new games system by revealing the firm was “deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles”.

Sony, on the other hand, has been far more secretive about its plans to launch a successor to PS4. However, a series of leaked patents and reports have led some to believe that PlayStation 5 is on the horizon.

With 2019 fast approaching, here are all the latest rumours and reports around Sony’s next flagship console: 

When will it come out?

Fans may not have to wait much longer to get a glimpse of Sony’s next games console, as rumours suggest PS5 will be revealed next year. 

In November, the games giant confirmed that it would be missing E3 in 2019, the first time it would do so in the event’s 24-year history. 

This has led some to believe that the company may “do something different” next year, says tech news site Screen Rant.

Sony is expected to give fans a sneak peak at the system at an event in the middle of 2019, the website says, before unveiling the console in full at the PlayStation Experience (PSX) at the end of the year. 

After its PSX appearance, Sony will “probably” open sales for PS5 by 2020 “at the earliest” , says gaming site VG247.

Will it be backwards compatible?

Possibly. Unlike rival console maker Microsoft, which has invested heavily in making older games work on its Xbox One and One X systems, Sony has skipped the feature - known as backwards compatibility - on its PS4 range. 

Last year, Sony’s head of global game development, Shawn Layden, told Time: “When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much.

“I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?” he said. 

But it appears that Sony’s attitude towards older games may have changed. According to rumour site, Sony patents and business reports point towards hardware upgrades that are not significantly different to what can be found in the PS4.

Therefore, the website claims, Sony may let players move their games library from their PS4 to their new console.

Could it see the end of discs?

In a word, no. Last month, Dutch gaming site Techtastic found that Sony had filed a patent for cartridge-based media similar to the compact games that are used on the Nintendo Switch. 

It was widely reported that the patent may point towards the Japanese tech giant swapping the PS4’s disc-based games for cartridge alternatives on the PS5. 

The Daily Express, for example, suggested the patent pointed towards either a new game format for PS5 or that a successor to Sony’s handheld console - the PS Vita - could be on the horizon. 

The patent, however, isn’t linked to Sony’s gaming division at all. After posting the designs, Techtastic updated its article to say that the patent was for the tech company’s Toio products, which are small robots that can be controlled using a smartphone.

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