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5 PS5 rumors that are probably true and 5 that are definitely not

In June 2017, Sony Interactive Entertainment America's President and CEO Shawn Layden told German website Golem.de that Sony will indeed launch a PlayStation 5 at some yet-to-be-determined time in the future. Since then, the internet rumor mill has been churning out speculation about the company's next-generation console. But not all speculation is created equal — and for every reasonable rumor, there's a flood of misleading garbage competing for your precious attention. So, let's separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are five PlayStation 5 rumors that are probably true, and five that definitely are not.

The PlayStation 5 will be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4 - Probably true

Everyone knows the PlayStation 4 isn't backwards compatible with the PlayStation 3 — but with the Xbox One family of consoles largely backwards compatible with the Xbox 360's library of hits (and even some from the original Xbox), Sony may be feeling some pressure to take a more consumer-friendly approach to consolidating their generational library. So will the PlayStation 5 play PlayStation 4 games?

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks so. "The PlayStation 4 Pro is better [from a technical perspective] than the PS4, so I think that's a half step towards the PlayStation 5. I think the PS5 will be another half step," Pachter explained to GamingBolt. "Will it play games that were made for the PlayStation 4 Pro? That's the question. I think it will. So I think they will build a console that will [be] backwards compatible with the PS4 Pro."

Of course, Pachter isn't always right — but he's probably on the right track here. Unless, of course, Sony really goes all in on their cloud streaming service PlayStation Now

The PlayStation 5 will release in 2018 - Definitely not

In April 2017, The Wall Street Journal published an article in which Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong predicted the PlayStation 5 will launch in 2018. Partly due to WSJ's reputation and partly due to the fact that Thong was largely correct in his past predictions regarding the PlayStation 4 "Neo," the rumor has since gained significant traction. But don't get too excited — there's basically no chance the PS5 will release in 2018.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter expects the PS5 to release in 2019, at the earliest — due mostly to Sony's monitoring of 4K TV adoption rates. "My expectation that is that it's not coming out in 2018," Pachter told GamingBolt. "Sony is probably timing it better because they are going to bring out a 4K capable device when the 4K TV market reaches 50% in the USA and 35% in the rest of the world. I think Sony has probably got the next console cycle nailed down already. I think, they already know what they got to do."

Once again, Pachter is probably right on the money here, as Sony undoubtedly has a well-structured plan in place for their highly-profitable PlayStation division. Furthermore, they're in the lead in terms of hardware sales and platform adoption — so they have no reason to rush a new console to market while PS4 sales continue to soar.

The PlayStation 5 will see an updated PlayStation VR - Probably true

Since it launched in October 2016, Sony's PlayStation VR has sold like gangbusters, easily surpassing the company's target sales figure of one million units in six months — making Sony's foray into virtual reality a success. So, will we see another one with the PlayStation 5?

Sony's first attempt at affordable virtual reality has been a success, but it's far from perfect. A low-resolution screen and some other relatively minor design flaws certainly leave room for improvement, and the PSVR is ultimately constrained by the PlayStation 4's power. With a more powerful PlayStation comes the opportunity for a more powerful PSVR experience, so there's every chance Sony will launch the two pieces of upgraded technology in the same window — if not side by side.

The PlayStation 5 will run games in native 8K - Definitely not

When Chris Stead sat down with Polyphony Digital to discuss their gorgeous car-racing sim Gran Turismo Sport, company CEO Kazunori Yamauchi described the pains they took to perfect the game's visuals. "It takes six months to create a single car," he explained. "It's over-specced for PS4 Pro. So we are building for future versions of the console rather than the one we see today…I think it would be no problem to run it at 8K even." That last detail caught everyone's attention, and the rumor mill has been churning out claims that the PlayStation 5 will run games in 8K resolution. But let's not get crazy.

First, some stats: 8K resolution has four times as many overall pixels as 4K resolution and sixteen times more than that of 1080p. To achieve this level of graphical fidelity in video games currently requires hardware comparable to that of a pair of Asus Strix GTX 1080 Tis, and even then the results are far from smooth. There are barely any 8K screens on the market, with Dell's UltraSharp 32-inch 8K Monitor retailing for thousands of dollars. Furthermore, it's worth noting that Gran Turismo Sport doesn't even run at native-4K on the PlayStation 4 Pro — so achieving 8K resolution at the series' required 60-frames-per-second in only a matter of years simply isn't going to happen.

The PlayStation 5 will feature a full discrete GPU - Probably true

While it's almost certain the PlayStation 5 won't run games in native-8K resolution, it's safe to say that it will run the vast majority of titles in full, fat 4K, at 60 frames per second — something the Xbox One X is currently struggling to do. But how exactly will it get there?

Anthony Garreffa over at TweakTown claims to have "had an interesting conversation" with an anonymous individual "deep in the industry" at the Taiwan computer expo Computex Taipei — who definitively stated that the PS5 would not feature an Xbox One X-like APU [Accelerated Processing Unit], but smiled at the possibility of Sony's next home console utilizing a proper GPU. In laymen's terms, that means the PlayStation 5 would be significantly more powerful than its home console competition. But is it true?

The legitimacy of TweakTown's anonymous source aside, there's a good chance Sony is looking to utilize a GPU comparable to that of GTX 1070 graphics card. It may even be Vega-based. By taking this road, The PS5 would help Sony once again take back the crown for having the most-powerful home-console ever built — which has become the Xbox One X's tagline since the console was first announced — while also allowing the PS5 to comfortably hit native-4K resolution at 60 frames per second.

The PlayStation 5 won't play physical media - Definitely not

One of the more egregious rumors about the PlayStation 5 claims Sony's next-generation machine won't play physical media. But don't worry — it definitely will. While sites like ValueWalk have tried to claim the rumor has some substance, there's more than enough proof in reality itself that it's bunk. Simply put, there's still a large enough part of Sony's install base that doesn't have the internet infrastructure to handle the huge downloads necessary to play the market's biggest releases. And let's not forget the backlash Microsoft saw when it announced the Xbox One's always-online requirement. There's little chance Sony would follow the same route by junking its optical disc drives. The day may come eventually, but it's not nearly as close as people think.

The PlayStation 5 won't be a Switch competitor - Probably true

Since its release on March 3, 2017, Nintendo's Switch has been an unbridled success — but that doesn't mean Sony's interested in challenging their Japanese competition's hybrid gaming device. Rather, they've got their eyes firmly set on Microsoft.

"The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that's a different approach and strategy," Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Andrew House said at 2017's Tokyo Game Show. "We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity…The folks at Nintendo have their strategy and that's great. We remain focused around a highly connected gaming experience and also coupled with having a great range of other entertainment experiences so you can reach multiple people on the big screen in the household."

Despite the denial, Sony filed a patent for a Switch-like device in 2015. Of course, patents don't always turn into products, and Sony might just be trying to cover all bases. Nevertheless, Sony could come out with their own hybrid device — but it probably won't be the PlayStation 5.

Grand Theft Auto VI will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive - Definitely not

Have you heard the one about how Grand Theft Auto VI is coming exclusively to PlayStation 5? Seriously — who comes up with this stuff?

"Game fans believe that the game company will produce the upcoming Grand Theft Auto VI specifically for Sony's #PlayStation 5," claimed Blasting News. "Nonetheless, there are also reports contradicting this theory. But, there is a high chance that Grand Theft Auto 6 will follow in the footsteps of the fifth installment, which rolled out on purpose for the current-gen of gaming systems."

The problem with this rumor — which websites like The Christian Post have since taken and run with — is the fact that it's, quite literally, based on nothing. Which game fans believe GTA VI will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive? Which reports contradict this supposed theory? Didn't GTA V launch on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 first? Apparently, those facts are irrelevant.

The Last of Us Part 2 will be a PlayStation 5 launch title - Probably true

While Grand Theft Auto VI won't launch as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, it is likely that Sony's next-generation console will launch alongside major first-party title The Last of Us Part 2. After all, what better way to move new PlayStation hardware than one of Sony's most massive system sellers?

In an interview with Argentinian radio station Vorterix, the game's music composer Gustavo Santaolalla mentioned that The Last of Us Part 2 may release in 2019 — though he also noted that he doesn't actually know the planned release date of the game. Still, his guess seems more than reasonable. The game was officially announced at PlayStation Experience in 2016 and has since seen multiple story trailers. Barring some unforeseen setbacks, like when lead writer Amy Hennig left fellow Naughty Dog title Uncharted 4 mid-development, The Last of Us Part 2 should be ready to go around the same time the PS5 is ready to hit shelves.

Of course, The Last of Us Part 2 will probably also be released for the PS4 — but if both the game and system end up slated for release in the same year, Sony would be foolish not to leverage their next-generation console as 'the best place to play' their biggest exclusive.

The PlayStation 5 will be Sony's last numbered console - Definitely not

MStarsNews claims that Sony's PlayStation 5 might be not only the company's last numbered-console but their last home console, period. The website bases said claim on the assumption that "not too many gamers are interested in the PlayStation 5…because more people are now inclined to reality." Hmm…hard to argue with that logic — especially when considering the fact that sales of the PlayStation 4 are as healthy as ever, not to mention sales of its competition, for that matter.

The site continues to make unsubstantiated claims throughout the article, such as when they state that "manufacturers are now more careful about producing a console," "[the] PlayStation 5 may then be in the middle of a crisis," and "there are also some who believe that the PlayStation 5 may not even be in the works yet."

Let's take these bogus claims one at a time. First, manufacturers obviously aren't too scared about launching new consoles, given this generation's unprecedented number of iterations — with two distinct PlayStation 4s and three distinct Xbox Ones. Secondly, the PS5 might be in the middle of what crisis? A sales crisis? Given PlayStation's track record, Sony's probably not preparing their panic room. Finally, if you think an industry-leading corporation like Sony hasn't been developing their next PlayStation for years already…there's not much that can be done for you.