It's only been two years and counting since the release of the PlayStation 4 but there are already talks of the PlayStation 5. According to a report from Crossmap, it is even possible that Sony and AMD might already be hard at work in the console's development. Despite this, it is still rumored that the PlayStation 5 will not yet release until 2020.
Development on a video game console can take five years on average. This has been the average development cycle for all of the PlayStation devices ever since the first one was conceived as a joint project between Sony and Nintendo over 20 years ago.
All of the previous PlayStation consoles have also enjoyed a lengthy lifespan before they were succeeded by the next iteration. The original PlayStation was released as far back as 1994 and enjoyed a fairly dominant portion of the video game market until the PlayStation 2 came out in 2000.
The PlayStation 3 didn't come out until 2006 and enjoyed one of the lengthiest times on store shelves compared to other consoles. After receiving numerous updates, fixes and upgrades, it was finally replaced by the PlayStation 4 in 2013.
However, when the PlayStation 5 does release it is rumored to go disc-free. According to a report from Tech Radar, there is a possibility that the new console would no longer feature a disc drive based on the current success of disc-less systems like Steam on PC. This would mean all the games of the PlayStation 5 would be purchased digitally.
The PlayStation 4 already offers a cloud-based store, which is where players can purchase not only current PlayStation 4 games but only digital re-releases of classic titles for the PlayStation 1 and 2. There are also many indie games and small-release titles on the digital store.
With the changing landscape, it appears that utilizing physical discs may no longer be necessary by the time the PlaySation 5 releases. However, Sony has not yet issued an official statement on the aforementioned features and release date and all are still considered as speculations.