It sounds like we won’t see a wholly new generation of PlayStation or Xbox consoles any sooner than 2028.
That’s according to newly-released documents pertaining to the ongoing review in the UK into Microsoft’s proposed $68bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard. A particular section in the documents describes Sony’s dissatisfaction with Microsoft’s terms for how far into the future it plans to offer new Call of Duty releases to PlayStation customers.
Calling the terms “badly inadequate”, Sony argues that the offer of a 2027 cut-off for PlayStation support from the Call of Duty franchise would mean that the series would not debut at all on the next generation of PlayStation consoles and thus encourage customers to switch platforms. Sony seemingly names a year for when it expects next generation hardware to launch, which is redacted in the public version of the documents, but it’s fairly easy to infer from the rest of the statement that said year would be 2028 at the earliest:
Sony referred to a next generation of PlayStation console in its CMA response, with the suggested year of release being redacted
This was in a passage where it was referring to losing access to CoD after 2027, with higher potential for platform switching
“The Parties [Microsoft and Activision] do not dispute that some portion of gamers are likely to re-assess their console ownership at the start of a new generation. But they also note that this is an event that only occurs approximately every eight years. I[n]need the next new generation of consoles are not expected to be released before the fall of 2028 at the very earliest.”
A seven-to-eight-year console cycle certainly isn’t anything new, the PS4 and Xbox One both launched in 2013 with the PS5 and Xbox Series X releasing just two years ago in November 2020. The discussion also seemingly relates to a complete generational leap and not a mid-gen refresh that could see slimmed-down and/or more powerful versions of the machines released.