It’s hard to believe we are approaching the middle of the current console generation’s lifecycle. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X turn three in November. It feels like it was just yesterday we were trying to track down a console that wouldn’t cost us $1,000+ on eBay.
This period is also historically when Sony and Microsoft refresh the design of their systems. Although neither company has indicated PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series mid-generation upgrades are in the works, one game studio exec says a hardware refresh is likely coming soon.
In a pre-briefing earnings call with Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, GamesIndustry.biz asked if “we should expect to see iterative hardware” soon and what effect that will have on the studio. Zelnick said, “We probably will,” but that these mid-cycle iterations typically do not affect Take-Two.
Whether that means we’ll see something this year depends on how you define “soon.” If forced to speculate, we would have to say console refreshes are still over a year away. The pandemic and the supply constraints that lasted almost two years seem to have set everybody back. That said, we might start hearing more solid rumors about a refresh in the coming months and maybe even some official news before the end of the year.
Another interesting tidbit from the interview is that we might have a vague release window for Grand Theft Auto 6. In February 2022, Rockstar indicated that work on GTA 6 was “well underway.” In fact, development could have started as early as 2018 if anonymous sources were to be believed. However, Rockstar and Take-Two have been tight-lipped since then.
While Take-Two’s financials showed good growth, the company doubled its losses for the fiscal year 2023, which ended on March 31. Furthermore, it projects net losses to continue in FY2024. However, the company estimates bookings to spike to $8 billion in FY2025, meaning something big is on the horizon.
When asked if the $8 billion mark was attainable without releasing a GTA title, Zelnick said:
“[Without] talking about specific titles … We believe it’s highly achievable. As you know, it’s exceedingly rare that we talk about out years. And when we do, it’s because we have a high degree of confidence. It’s a reflection of a pipeline we’ve been investing in for years. We’re beginning to see that come to fruition in fiscal 24, and then in fiscal 25, we expect to see some great successes.”
The CEO said there are currently 36 games scheduled to launch in the 2025 and 2026 fiscal years. One of these is most assuredly Grand Theft Auto 6. Take-Two’s books run about a year ahead, meaning we could see the GTA 6 as early as 2024. However, rumors from 2021 indicated that the game is not expected to arrive until 2025, which falls right in the middle of the 2025-2026 timeframe.