The PlayStation 5 just turned 2 years old, and the next-generation PlayStation 6 could release in just a couple years' time.
The United Kingdom's Competition Markets Authority regulatory body, who is currently investigating the Microsoft-Activision merger, just published two new sets of documents today that reveal some very interesting information. One of the documents outlines Sony's response and statements to the CMA's concerns about the merger. Included in Sony's comments is a snippet about the next-generation PlayStation console.
According to the document, Sony could expect the PlayStation 6 to release as early as 2027. This would give the PS5 a shorter 7-year life cycle when compared to the PlayStation 4. No details on the new PS6 were confirmed or discussed, just a brief timetable on when consumers could expect the new higher-end PlayStation hardware.
Sony mentioned the PS6 in reference to how the absence of Call of Duty could significantly harm their PlayStation platform as more consumers pick Xbox hardware over PlayStation. This, of course, is based on the predication that Call of Duty would be exclusive to Xbox platforms--which Microsoft has publicly promised in four separate clear-cut statements will not happen--and Sony makes the case that it could lessen competition in the hardware space.
Likewise, in public comments just on October 26, Microsoft said that it plans to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation only "as long as that makes sense." A period until 2027 - or some other (possibly shorter) time that Microsoft unilaterally determines "makes sense" to Microsoft - is badly inadequate. By the time SIE launched the next generation of its PlayStation console (which is likely to occur around ), it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles, making it extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness.
Even assuming that SIE had the ability and resources to develop a similarly successful franchise to Call of Duty, it would take many, many years and billions of dollars to create a challenger to Call of Duty - and the example of EA's Battlefield shows that any such efforts would more than likely be unsuccessful.