The PlayStation 5's development goes way back and Sony starting working on the next-gen console shortly after the PS4 shipped in 2013.
The PS5 may have been in development for about 7 years (from 2013 - 2020). That's according ex-Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Shawn Layden, who gave new insight into Sony's always-evolving console generation strategy. According to Layden, work on the PS5 began almost immediately after the PS4 released. This aligns with earlier reports from Microsoft, who said the Xbox Series X/S's NVMe SSD technology and architecture was 13 years in the making. It's likely Sony was making similar plans behind closed doors.
In a recent podcast with What's Up PlayStation, Layden revealed Sony's internal mantra for product development.
"You begin working on the next-generation platform almost a day after you ship whatever the current generation is," Layden said. "PlayStation 5 development goes way back."
"You've got to stay in front of it all the time. Years ago I worked as the personal assistant for (Sony Corp. founder) Akio Morita, and one thing that Morita-san would always say is 'you've got to obsolete your own product.' If you don't obsolete your own product someone's going to do it for you.
"So that's why the minute you ship a product you already have a team way, way in the back--not getting any attention--who's already working on the next version. You can't stop and smell the roses with what your latest product is, you're always building against that."
If that's true, then Sony is already working on the next-gen PlayStation 5 (maybe the PS5 Pro or the PlayStation 6 running AMD's new Zen 3 chips). Just don't expect this hardware any time soon as the chip and component shortage is taking a big bite out of R&D, assembly, and production lines.
That being said, Sony is investing strongly into its games division. The company plans to spend $18 billion on investments, buyouts and acquisitions, and stock repurchases over the next 3 years.
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