A document released by the United Kingdom’s Competition & Market Authority (CMA) outlines Sony’s response to Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Interestingly, a line in the document suggests that Sony may be eyeing sometime before 2027 for the PlayStation 6 release.
Section 16 of the document deals with Microsoft’s commitment to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation, a matter that Microsoft Gaming chief executive officer Phil Spencer has repeatedly addressed publicly. Under this section, a paragraph entitled “duration” has a relevant tidbit.
“Microsoft has offered to continue making Activision’s games available on PlayStation only until 2027. Likewise, in public comments just on October 26, Microsoft said that it plans to offer Call of Duty on PlayStation only ‘as long as that makes sense.’” the statement reads.
It continues “A period until 2027 - or some other (possibly shorter) time that Microsoft unilaterally determines “makes sense” to Microsoft - is badly inadequate. By the time Sony Interactive Entertainment (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.”
The exact release period has been censored on the document but we can glean from the surrounding information that Sony expects to have the PlayStation 6 released before 2027. The PlayStation 5 was released in late 2020 and it would appear that it’s expected to have at least a seven-year lifespan.
Spencer has stated multiple times that Microsoft is willing to create a long-term contract with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. He was most recently quoted as saying Xbox is willing to “make a longer-term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with and that regulators would be comfortable with.”