Sony does not expect its next-generation PlayStation to arrive until at least 2027, a confidential document has suggested.
The partially-redacted document was released publicly today as part of the UK's ongoing in-depth Competition and Markets Authority review into Microsoft's proposed $68bn Activision Blizzard buyout - a deal Sony has strongly objected to.
In an intriguing passage discussing the length of time Call of Duty may remain on PlayStation, Sony claims that (at the time of writing) it expected to lose access to the franchise in 2027. Sony then goes on to state that by the time it "launched the next generation of its PlayStation console... it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles".
Putting aside the possibility of whether Sony would actually lose access to Call of Duty (something Xbox boss Phil Spencer has recently repeatedly denied) the suggestion here from Sony is that the PlayStation 6 will not launch until after its feared 2027 COD cut-off date.
That puts PS5, which originally launched in November 2020, on at least a seven-year lifecycle - and potentially longer.
In the document, Sony states its concern that the loss of COD in 2027 would leave PlayStation "extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness" - presumably for when the subsequent console generation arrived.
"PlayStation 6 in 2028?" industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls wrote on Twitter.
A redacted section of this passage does note the actual year Sony expects PS6 to materialise - although the public version of this has it blanked out.
Sony referred to a next generation of PlayStation console in its CMA response, with the suggested year of release being redacted— Piers Harding-Rolls (@PiersHR) November 23, 2022
This was in a passage where it was referring to losing access to CoD after 2027, with higher potential for platform switching
PlayStation 6 in 2028? pic.twitter.com/f7govC8R7A
To compare, PS4 launched in November 2013, exactly seven years before PS5 - though the console remains well-supported today.
For its part, Microsoft has claimed it is keen to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation longer than 2027. Last month, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he was keen to keep releasing COD on Sony platforms "as long as there's a PlayStation out there to ship to".
And as for PlayStation 6? Well, just last week Spencer promised he would not "pull the rug [from] underneath PlayStation 7's legs" with Call of Duty access.
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