Documents associated with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard may reveal a tentative release window for the PlayStation 6.
Documents related to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the future of Call of Duty may have revealed Sony’s release window for its PlayStation 6 console. The ongoing effort for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard has led to some interesting details being leaked regarding PlayStation‘s ties to Call of Duty. While most information has been redacted in these documents, some PlayStation fans have been able to connect the dots and reach an interesting conclusion regarding PlayStation’s next console.
There are, obviously, no current publicly announced plans for a new PlayStation console at this time. The PlayStation 5 has been available for less than three years and is thriving. Yet in an industry of intense competition, where video game development and mass-scale hardware production can take many years, plans for the next PlayStation are likely already well underway. Those kinds of plans historically aren’t shared publicly, however.
An analysis of documents provided to the United Kingdom’s CMA regulatory body in 2022 led to an interesting report this past year. A combination of statements, the first mentioning Sony has special access to Call of Duty until 2027, and the second saying Sony would have special access to Call of Duty until its next console release, led to speculation of a 2027 launch date for the PlayStation 6. But that’s not necessarily the full story.
With rumors surrounding a 2027 release window for the PlayStation 6 going around again, Reddit user Cyshox called attention to an important detail. Specifically, they note that the documents say that Sony would be launching its next console after the Call of Duty deal expired in 2027. If the Call of Duty deal lasted through a game release in 2027, with Call of Duty typically releasing annually in November, then a 2027 PlayStation 6 launch would not be realistic.
Here’s where further context is necessary. It was 6 years after the PS1 launched that the PS2 arrived, 6 again for the PS3, 7 for the PS4, and 7 again for the PS5. 7 years from the PS5’s launch would be 2027, but if 2027 isn’t Sony’s chosen year then PlayStation is entering new territory. Based on the language in these documents and the historical turnaround for new consoles, 2028 might then make sense for the PS6. But it’s entirely possible the PS5’s popularity, modern hardware costs, and other reasons could push the PS6 into 2029, 2030, or beyond.
Given that Sony referenced a specific year in the documents taken from the Microsoft acquisition filings, and that it’s being used in arguments regarding the future of Call of Duty, 2028 makes the most sense. If it was beyond that, the conversation surrounding Sony’s access to Call of Duty and Microsoft’s ownership of Activision would become more complicated. Still, if there’s one takeaway, it’s that the PlayStation 6 is far off and the PlayStation 5 is looking like it will be Sony’s longest console generation yet.