The PS5 Could Be Here Sooner Than You Think
"The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience."
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
AMD Presentation Hints at Shorter Console Cycles
Some people look at others who anticipate the PlayStation 5 and what wonder why they must dream of the next console when the current one is out and in our hands. How closed minded to think such things, for the PS4 is not the destination. It is a step on a journey to constantly grow and evolve the world of gaming. A journey that Sony has set us upon and while we enjoy the steps, no one watches their feet as they walk. No, typically we look ahead to see what’s coming, and to make sure we don’t run into anything.
The PS5 is that next step. A freeform abstract concept that will have life, but no one, save for those deep in the trusted circles of Sony, knows when. Still, even the most illusive of secrets leaves a trail. Sometimes its a slip of the tongue, a misplaced document, or in this case, a trail of sweet, sweet bread crumbs. Hope you don’t mind getting your hands a little sticky because we’re going to follow this trail all the way to the motherlode.
You're Beautiful, All the Way Through
The PS4 marked an exciting change in consoles. As much as I hate to admit it, PC has always been on top of the world of gaming because of the ease of structure and simplicity (from some perspectives) of development. In short, it was hard to develop console games that met the quality of the PC counterparts. Then came a new console build like a PC and while Sony was tight lipped about the specifics of the parts therein, as soon as people got a hold of it, they were able to find out who helped build the masterpiece.
The PS4’s processor was a custom built machine of absolute beauty. The manufacturer? None other than AMD, a world renowned creator of PC hardware. These specialized piece of hardware combined a CPU, GPU, as well as a memory controller and video decoder. In other words, it was like that scientific graphing calculator your friend had loaded with games when he should have been doing his work. Oh, that was just me? Okay, well, something had to get me through math classes, alright?
Interesting, Very Interesting
Now that we know who made the PS4’s processor, it only makes sense to sit outside their window and watch them sleep. Maybe they talk while their sleeping and they’ll reveal a secret about the new processors they have to be working on for Sony. I’m talking metaphorically of course, I tried finding the CFO Devinder Kumar’s number in the phonebook, a task that should be relatively easy with a name like that, and no dice.
Lucky for me, and my arrest record, the nice man recently spoke at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference. And oh boy did have some ‘splainin to do afterward. Check out this juicy quote from his presentation:
"We are today and especially with the impact that we did from a revenue standpoint of the game console ramp in the second half of 2013, a very different company...the growth opportunities ahead of us are all real. We have either not focused on that or not really had the products to focus on that and across the board we made progress in 2013 and hope to make even more significant progress in 2014 and beyond and I can tell you that from my standpoint from where we said, we are headed to becoming very different company if you wake up two years from now in the 2016 timeframe and look at AMD as a company."
So what this tells us is a few things. One, they want to transform and diversify the company. Great, but two is where it really counts: they also made an “impact” with the release of the PS4 in 2013. He speaks a lot during his presentation about this so called “transformation” happening now and into the year 2016 within the company. Clearly part of that transformation is becoming more involved in wider product selections.
This is great news for us console gamers because Devinder here just let loose a time frame for the next generation of consoles. In a more personal setting, he had this to say when asked about product life cycles:
"The life cycle of the products are probably going to be shorter,"Kumar said. "Our customers are already thinking about what comes next. These are long life cycle products and as you know in the semi-custom space, you start with — three years before you introduce a product, a decision is made to use a particular company.
In this case it was AMD. And then you go ahead and co-develop the product with the funding dollars frankly, mostly coming from our customers. And then when you introduce the product, there is really no expenses from R&D standpoint, no sales and marketing dollars and whatever dollars you generate from a gross margin dollar standpoint, falls to the bottom-line and that’s what excites us."
There's your answer! This new transformation of the company has resulted in a much faster and more cost effective method of manufacturing and putting out next generation technology. Sony, partnering with AMD is allowing the technology to achieve a snowball effect unlike anything we’ve seen in the industry. Progress is moving a million miles an hour when it used to take baby steps.
In the past, console life cycles have been a lot longer. The PS4 launched seven years after the PS3 so while most people assume that the PS5 won’t be out until 2020 or so, this new information has given us a unique perspective on the industry and how it is changing, evolving, and speeding up to meet the needs and desires of the customers. Like I said, it's just step, not a destination.
It's all about efficiency and with this new restructuring of AMD combined with the fast paced development of new technologies, we may see the PS5 a whole lot sooner than we ever expected. But what do you think? Is this all just smoke and mirrors to keep us on our toes? Or maybe Sony is farther along with the PS5 than we thought? Tell us your theories and thoughts in the comments!