What does the latest PS6 design rumour mean for the PS5?

PS6; a PS5 console with question marks
(Image credit: SCEE)

Speculation around PS6 (PlayStation 6) is already rife even though PlayStation 5 has yet to meet its full potential. The latest rumour is that Mark Cerny, the PS4 and PS5 designer, is in charge of developing the PlayStation brand and, in particular, creating the PS6. And it could be just five years away.

It's been just over two years since PS5 released (read my PS5 review for a recap of how the game's console is performing) but rumours continue to emerge that Sony has plans for both a PS5 Pro and a PS5 Slim, and now PS6 is looking more realistic.

It should be noted that news of Mark Cerny designing PS6 is not confirmed by Sony, but given Cerny has designed both PS4 and PS5 (as well as PS Vita) and has been heading up patents for new PlayStation tech as lead system architect, it seems a given he's remaining in charge of PlayStation hardware development. The Tweet from @PS6Countdown seems confident (below).

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A document released to the public during the probe by UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the pending Microsoft Activision deal, reveals plans for Sony to release PS6 in 2027, that gives us five years of peak PS5 until Sony starts a cross-gen launch.

This matches with an interview for Game Informer with Sony's Executive VP of Hardware Engineering Masayasu Ito, who confirmed PS5 has a six to seven year life cycle. I'd suggest Covid has added a couple of years to this, making 2027/28 a likely launch window.

"Indeed, in the past, the cycle for a new platform was seven to 10 years, but in view of the very rapid development and evolution of technology, it's really a six to seven-year platform cycle," Masayasu told Game Informer.

If Sony follows its successful PS4 rollout, then a PS5 Pro is very likely to happen this year, with a lower cost PS5 Slim launching closer to the arrival of PS6. So what do we know that fits into this timeline? And is PS5 really following PS4's schedule? Leading PlayStation Tweeter Tom Henderson has some ideas (below).

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First up, recent rumours that suggest Sony has patented a new way to deliver accelerated ray tracing on PS5 via a bespoke 'ray tracing unit'. But digging deeper and neither Nvidia or Sony's traditional tech partner, AMD, has such a unit in development. This would suggest this improved tech is not actually for PS5 Pro but instead it's for PS6.

This plays into speculation from well-placed leaker Tom Henderson, who prefers to interpret Cerny's role as leading the creation of PS6 rather than PS5 Pro. He took to Twitter to suggest a PS5 Pro could actually be a '2nd Gen' PS5, due to expensive and hard to source components.

PS5; venom from Spider-Man 2

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will release only on PS5 in this Autumn / Fall. Does this mean a PS5 console update is coming too? (Image credit: SCEE / Marvel)

I'd suggest the truth is somewhere in the middle of all this rumour mill muddle; I'd wager a PS5 'upgrade' made from easier to source components and possibly a boost in performance will happen early this year, perhaps as soon as summer to fit with the launch of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (now PS5-only) a little later, with a new PS5 Pro launching next year (likely with an updated UI, improved SSD and an upgraded AMD processor).

Any time Mark Cerny pops onto Twitter is going to grab headlines and speculation around the future of PlayStation, even if it's from other people talking about him. It does look like Cerny is heading up PS6 development, and that's a good thing. It means a consistency of thought across three generations of hardware (though PS Vita fans are still feeling left out) ensuring everything from UI and UX to design will feel like iterations on a theme.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.