Console life cycles are anyone's guess these days, but PlayStations usually run about six or seven years before they're replaced by the next one. Since Sony launched the PS5 in November 2020, that general, admittedly unreliable rule would indicate a new PlayStation launching somewhere around 2027. However, in new arguments made to the UK government in objection to Microsoft's Activision Blizzard purchase, Sony suggests the PS6 probably won't launch until after 2027.
In its latest filing, Sony says that Microsoft offered to keep Activision games on PlayStation until 2027 should its acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher go through. Sony's argument is that, if that timing holds true, the PS6 would have to launch without Call of Duty and other popular Activision games, which could influence people to switch over to Xbox and thereby make the market less competitive. Sony mentions what it thinks might be the PS6 launch window, and although that portion of the filing is redacted, we can assume it's after 2027.
"By the time SIE launched the next generation of its PlayStation console (which is likely to occur around [redacted], it would have lost access to Call of Duty and other Activision titles, making it extremely vulnerable to consumer switching and subsequent degradation in its competitiveness."
In its own report, Microsoft agreed with Sony's time frame. "Indeed the next new generation of consoles are not expected to be released before the fall of 2028 at the very earliest," the company wrote.
Slightly off topic, but it's worth noting that a recent report from The New York Times says Microsoft made a commitment to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan called a previous offer for three years "inadequate on many levels." It's possible that these latest court documents are referring to a separate offer that was made in-between the three-year and 10-year offers. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he would be open to a "longer-term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with" with regards to Call of Duty on PlayStation.
For what it's worth, Spencer said just last month that he'd like to "treat Call of Duty like Minecraft" and bring it to as many platforms as possible, including the Nintendo Switch. That would seem to rule out making Call of Duty an Xbox-exclusive franchise any time in the near future, but anything's possible at this point, especially since the merger is still facing increasing regulatory scrutiny around the globe.
While the PS6 is surely years and years away, here are the best PS5 games you can play right now.