It's Not The Time For PS5 And Xbox Scarlett Yet
An interesting rumor about the next project from Rocksteady Studios has surfaced, hinting that it will be a Justice League open world, game-as-a-service, next-generation action adventure for PC, PS5 and Xbox Scarlett.
While we can't say whether this piece of information is legit, we can comment on what it could mean for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett. The supposed insider claims the latter is being introduced with the very first details later this year, with a full reveal coming early 2019, and Sony's platform is set to be unveiled early next year as well.
Any chances this could be right? Well we don't think it's likely to happen soon, but there's still something interesting to look at here. Let's start with Xbox Scarlett. I don't believe any console will be announced this year, especially in a window where all the platform holders are striving to see big sales for the upcoming holiday season. Revealing a console now would mean PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would have a disastrous couple of months on the market.
With that said, Microsoft would have a good occasion to give us at least a teaser of the platform since it is hosting X018 in November. We could get a taste there of what to expect from a brand new console launch, perhaps preparing for a 2019 release—say, a teaser now and a presentation early next year as hinted in the rumor.
Again, a move like that would be a total disaster for Xbox One. Right now, it needs to capitalize on all of the moves Microsoft is making right now as part of its renewed interest in the gaming ecosystem. After the release of Xbox One X, the brand has managed find its feet again, and it would be a huge mistake waste it at this stage.
On top of that, while the lineup is a bit sparse, as you'd expect at the end of a generation and a lifecycle of a platform, there are still a few things to drop. Among them, you can find Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Gears of War 5, which should be enough to cover the year at least until an Xbox Scarlett's teaser launches at E3 in June 2019.
When it comes to PlayStation, things are a bit different. Recently dropping PSX, Sony is giving the impression that PS4 could be replaced soon enough. But it doesn't have much to share now in terms of its lineup, while it's instead just a matter of not having the right profit from an event to be held in December.
In our opinion, the Japanese platform holder doesn't want to announce PS5 in 2019, so it can let its entire lineup have the time required to be successful and have an impact. You can read Dreams and Days Gone's delays under that perspective: they've been ready for a while now, it's just a marketing decision to have them releasing slightly later.
Regardless, Sony is being very careful about what Microsoft and the other competitors out there are thinking about now, and its plans are probably fluid and ready to change as soon as Xbox decides to speed up the process of going next-gen. That's probably the reason why we don't have release dates or release windows for The Last of Us Part II and Death Stranding yet.
Both of them could be cross-gen since their day one if the producer hears whispers of a next generation console to be launched by Microsoft quicker than anticipated. And that's not something to be ruled out if you consider that the Redmond console maker is willing to replicate Xbox 360's modus operandi and avoid direct competition that has proved to be unwinnable against the PlayStation brand.
So, while I don't believe PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will be dropped as soon as 2019, I don't even see which innovation those brand new consoles could be bringing to the lot. Launching a console requires you to have something different from the currently existing ones, and what could those two bring? More power?
Nah. We're not in that moment of the generation where you feel like consoles have given all they could give, just look at The Last of Us: Part II and Death Stranding to name two (and Gears of War 5 doesn't look that bad, either). RTX doesn't look like it could be enough to justify the arrival of more hardware alone, and a streaming-based second device/model would need a boots on the ground platform that should be more powerful than Xbox One and PlayStation 4 anyway.
It'll be interesting to see where Sony and Microsoft are heading with their latest efforts, rather than the timeframe they're thinking about, and whether they can come with something meaningful to players that already own expensive current-gen boxes.