Sony PlayStation
The logo of Sony Corp's PlayStation is seen next to a woman at its booth during the Tokyo Game Show 2014 in Makuhari.REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Sony PlayStation 4 is still in its prime, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mills from spinning some potential news about the next-gen successor – the widely dubbed the PlayStation 5. The latest word is that the PS5 might be launched sooner rather than later, but the bigger question is when exactly or at least what year will the PS4's successor arrive.

While the anticipation for the PS5 grows, there are a few well-educated guesses as to when fans can expect the new gaming console that tops the current model.

SemiAccurate, which has a history with accurate predictions on topics around PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, obtained information that the PlayStation 5 is going to be released as early as 2018 with a custom AMD chipset under the hood. The choice of processor puts AMD's upcoming Navi architecture in the baseline and be built around a custom Zen microprocessor.

That said, the AMD configuration is going to throw in some VR goodies, which will make it easier for developers to build VR content for the platform. But as exciting as PS5's 2018 release sounds, there might be some disappointment in tow.

PS4 Pro
Sony's upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, the PS4 Pro, was released in

When Sony had launched the PS4 back in 2013, the lack of visual upgrades in comparison to the PS3 did not please fans. And that was with a generous seven-year period gap between the release of each console. In the case of PS5, it will only be two years in 2018 since Sony launched the PS4 Pro, which will likely attract similar criticism.

But that won't be the case if Sony can pull out some tricks. For instance, Sony could retain full backwards compatibility to make its new console worthwhile. Even if it means the PS5 release gets pushed to a later date, it's going to be worth the wait.

According to USGamer, the possibility of seeing the PS5 this year is a bit of a stretch. The PlayStation 5 is likely to be launched in 2020 considering PS4's strong position in the market at the moment and analysis by industry expert Michael Pachter. But launching the PS5 in 2019 also holds a higher possibility.

The lack of official evidence to corroborate these rumors says a lot about Sony's habit of maintaining discretion. After all, the PS series is the company's strongest and lucrative product categories.

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Sony PS

When and if Sony PS5 arrives, fans can expect series of games to be released alongside the console. For instance, USGamer suggests that The Last of Us: Part 2 and Death Stranding to be launched for the new console, but don't lose hope of seeing many more titles for the PS4 in the coming months.

Finally, will Sony PS5 be priced right for anyone to upgrade without burning a deep hole in the pocket? That's a complete mystery for now. But going by the history of Sony's PlayStation pricing structure, the PS5 could hit the $399 range.