Here we are again, then: Microsoft has raised the curtain on Xbox Series X, and PlayStation fans are pondering just what exactly Sony plans to do in response. In this industry of one-upmanship, the Japanese giant’s silence is not just being painted as problematic – it’s outright reckless. But why is the company keeping PlayStation 5 so close to its collective chest – and when can we expect to learn more?
The current global climate is clearly not doing the company any favours. While it’s true that the Team in Green has managed to find a way to share information on its upcoming system in spite of the spreading coronavirus, its latest intel was presumably planned for the Game Developers Conference, which was supposed to take place this week but was postponed due to health concerns. We’ll never know whether Sony had something similar in mind.
The problem is that any kind of PlayStation Meeting seems impossible right now. Depending on where you live, you’re probably being encouraged to stay indoors – and in some of the worst hit areas, isolation may be enforced. If the manufacturer plans to showcase its new console in front of a live audience like the PlayStation 4, it’s simply impossible to organise anything like that right now. We simply don’t know when that will change.
The organisation could, of course, pivot and broadcast a special State of Play – but it still faces profound issues. If it hadn’t planned for it, then this will increase the workload of its staff worldwide, at a time when many are being told to stay at home. It’s simply unfeasible for the manufacturer to adapt its entire approach, especially when there’s so much uncertainty around the world.
This all assumes, however, that the PlayStation maker has had to change its plans. With behemoth PS4 titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us: Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima yet to release, it’s possible that the firm may have a different timeline in mind for its next-gen console. Indeed, the manufacturer may be waiting until its heavy hitters are out, before turning the attention to its shiny new piece of technology.
It could also be attempting to align its announcements with development teams and publishers. As forum goers are all-too eager to point out, we’ve barely heard a peep from PlayStation in a few years – the expectation is for it to go big next time it speaks. But while first-party titles are important, it’ll also want to bring some big third-party brands under its umbrella, and if they’re not ready for the primetime, then it’ll need to wait.
There is, of course, also the possibility that it’s been caught with its pants down, and it’s not ready. We’d never rule something like that out, but it seems unlikely. The dynamics of the generation are, quite simply, different: there’s so much life left in the PS4 that Sony’s in no rush to pull the plug on it yet. For the Xbox One, and current sales data, the opposite is true. The wait is frustrating, but it’ll be forgotten once the Japanese giant’s ready to go.
Assuming things are on track behind-the-scenes, then expectations must be raised for the PS5’s eventual reveal event. Microsoft has, without revealing too much, blinked first in the game of chicken that it’s been playing with Sony. The Japanese giant’s working on its own timeline, but it will eventually respond. With talk of a Demon’s Souls remake and sequels to some of the best games of the generation, we’re convinced it’ll be worth the wait.
Are you concerned by Sony’s silence on the PS5? Do you think this is a circumstance of current global events, or do you believe everything is going to plan? Do you believe the Japanese giant may have been caught with its pants down? Speculate in the comments section below.