With the PlayStation 4 debuting in 2013 and the PS4 Pro arriving 2016, could Sony release a PlayStation 5 before the end of 2018?
An industry analyst who predicted the PlayStation 4 Pro and a slimline PlayStation 4 foresees a PlayStation 5 by the time 2018 draws to a close.
If correct, it would be earlier than customary for Sony Interactive Entertainment, which has typically allowed 6 years to pass in between console releases.
The original PlayStation marked Sony's debut into the console market, and remained in place until 2000 when it was succeeded by the PlayStation 2.
A PlayStation 3 arrived in 2006 and it was not until 2013 that the PlayStation 4 was released.
Microsoft's first Xbox joined the fray in 2001, the Xbox 360 was released in 2005, and the Xbox One in 2013.
The two companies have become traditional rivals, tussling for enthusiast gamers while making overtures to a broader mainstream audience.
While the PlayStation 4 was more popular than the Xbox One from the moment both machines were presented at a mid-2013 industry event, Xbox is preparing to make a comeback with its late 2017 revision dubbed "Project Scorpio."
The new Xbox is expected to outdo its own predecessor and PlayStation's late 2016 PlayStation 4 Pro edition by an order of magnitude, even moving in on territory usually inhabited by gaming PCs.
Damian Thong of Macquarie Capital Securities had correctly predicted the PlayStation 4 Pro as well as the standard PS4's accompanying slimline revision, and is now quoted in the Wall Street Journal, expecting a PlayStation 5 to arrive before the end of 2018.
Given that the PlayStation 4 Pro is not even a year old, how Sony would achieve this is up for speculation.
Microsoft has already telegraphed a full Scorpio reveal for its Xbox presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on Sunday, June 11, 2017.
Representatives had detailed hardware specifications to specialist site Eurogamer in April and, as a result, the Scorpio is expected to retail for upwards of $499, in contrast to the PlayStation 4 Pro and the original PS4's introductory price of $399.
Sony may then choose to balance public support for the comparatavely weaker PlayStation 4 Pro with non-specific indications that a more powerful machine is not too far off.