Representative image only, not actual picture of PlayStation 5. Image: youtube
Sony might be planning to launch the PlayStation 5 in the second half of 2018, for capitalizing on its growing software sales and strong line-up of first party games.
Macquarie Research Analyst Damian Thong made these comments during a recent financial prediction. He is the same guy who accurately predicted both the launch of the PS4 Slim as well as the recently launched PS4 Pro.
Sony’s having an incredible year so far with three blockbuster releases in the form of Nioh, Nier: Automata and Horizon: Zero Dawn already.
Thong predicts that Sony’s profits will increase by 13% in 2018, reaching an all-time high of JPY 565.6 billion, for the March 2019 ending fiscal year.
He laid down the main factors that will contribute to the record-breaking profits of the company –
- Image Sensors
- Gaming and Network Services
- Fewer Write Downs (The company wrote down $1 billion off Sony Pictures in January).
Thong claimed that the Gaming and Network Services would contribute the most amount to the profits for Sony in 2018, and made the shocking prediction that it’ll be releasing PlayStation 5 in the second half of 2018.
We see sustained profit growth in Game & Network Services. We forecast OP growth from ¥140bn in FY3/17 to ¥180bn in FY3/18, driven by expanding software sales and profits. A rising digital ratio and a higher mix of first-party titles will help margins – Horizon Zero Dawn, which launched on 28 Feb, looks to have had a good start with a Metacritic score of 88.
While we have tempered expectations to account for rivalry with Microsoft/Xbox and PC gaming, we note that the success of PS VR (which has reached 915K units sold) highlights the health of the ecosystem. We expect Sony to launch a >10 TFLOPS ‘PS5’ in 2H18 to secure the installed base.
It is to be noted that many first-party exclusives such as Days Gone (Sony Bend), God of War 4 (Sony Santa Monica), and The Last of Us 2 (Naughty Dog) are currently in development. It would make sense for Sony to release its next console near about these big releases, and a mid-2018 release date fits right into its scheme of things.
A brand new console launch alongside blockbuster AAA exclusives and PSVR can ensure Sony remains at the top of the chart when it comes to home consoles for years to come.