"At this point, what I can say is it's necessary to have a next-generation hardware", said Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida in an interview with the Financial Times. Sony didn't even confirm that the next PlayStation will be called the PlayStation 5, but considering the naming convention the company has stuck to for the past 20 years, that's probably a safe assumption.
The PS4 launched back in November 2013 alongside the Xbox One, meaning both consoles are nearly five-years-old.
The biggest shifts in the gaming world are those from consoles to mobile devices, the rise of online streaming-cloud gaming, as it were-and the emergence of so-called "esports". The prospect of using a quick and easy means of upscaling old games and getting them to work could effectively provide that, hence the excitement around the discovery of Sony's patent.
The commitment to a next-generation console comes as discussion begins to heat up over the next round of the so-called "console wars" and the future of dedicated gaming hardware. It also costs $100 more.
Given that the PlayStation 4 continues to sell tremendously well, it's no surprise that Sony would want to hold off for as long as possible.
Less than two years ago, Sony launched the PlayStation 4 Pro: A more powerful update to the PlayStation 4. It plays the same games, but makes them look prettier and load more quickly.