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Sony all but confirms next-gen PlayStation hardware

Those concerned about the future of video game consoles need not worry. Months after Microsoft's Phil Spencer confirmed his company was working on next-gen Xbox hardware, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has all but done the same for the PlayStation brand.

Yes: the console wars will rage on.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Yoshida addressed the need Sony has to combat the growing smartphone game market. As part of his larger answer, Yoshida stated, "At this point, what I can say is it's necessary to have a next-generation hardware." Yoshida reportedly would not say whether that hardware would take the name "PlayStation 5" or something else entirely.

It's perhaps the earliest that both Sony and Microsoft have spoken openly about their future hardware plans.

Microsoft made waves at E3 2018 when, as part of his final address to the audience, Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed that teams inside Microsoft were "deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles." With Sony seemingly joining the march toward the next generation of dedicated game hardware, the streaming future pushed by both companies — through Sony's PlayStation Now and Microsoft's upcoming xCloud — seems further from becoming the end-all, be-all way to play video games.

Both Sony and Microsoft seem to be treating this next hardware step as a more substantial leap, as well. The two companies have each released a sort of mid-generation upgrade console in the past few years, with Sony introducing the PlayStation 4 Pro in late 2016 and Microsoft following suit with the Xbox One X in late 2017. Neither Sony nor Microsoft opted to call those upgrades "next-generation," even though both consoles offered considerable graphical improvements over the previous Xbox One and PlayStation 4 models.

It's unclear when exactly Sony plans to unveil its next PlayStation, but the brand certainly isn't hurting for sales. This past summer, the PlayStation 4 family of consoles eclipsed sales of the PlayStation 3, moving 82.2 million units worldwide.