For all its improvements over the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 4 Pro hasn't exactly set the gaming world on fire. Things are looking even more troubling for Sony, after recent specs and early previews revealed Microsoft's own mid-gen refresh, the Scorpio, could be closer to an entirely new console generation, and certainly quite a jump over the PS4 Pro. So, could Sony fight back with an early release of the PlayStation 5? That's what one analyst thinks.

Even though it's only been less than 5 years since the launch of the PlayStation 4, Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong believes the PlayStation 5 will be here sometime during the second half of next year. It may sound like an outlandish claim, but this is the same person who correctly predicted both the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.

Thong never offered any predictions about the console other than its release date. A lot can change in 18 months, but a machine with a focus on 4K graphics and high framerates, and one that's more powerful than Scorpio seems like a given. And with the PlayStation 4 Pro having just been released in November, backward compatibility would likely be a feature of the PS5.

All of this is, of course, speculation, but there seems to be an excitement around Scorpio that was never present during the run up to the PlayStation 4 Pro's launch. Sony is reported to have sold almost twice as many PS4s compared to the Xbox One since the consoles were released, but fear that Scorpio will give Microsoft the upper hand in the console wars could encourage Sony to expedite the PS5's arrival.

Image credit: David Hansson