It’s always smart to start from where the technology comes from if you want to sketch a rough estimate on when next-generation consoles might arrive. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One use custom silicon provided by AMD, and it’s almost certainly going to be vendor for the successors.
AMD just had its highest profitable year since 2011. The company announced its financial earnings report this week, revealing a 23% increase in revenue from last year.
There’s much excitement around AMD’s upcoming lineup of products that includes the 7nm Ryzen processors. But there’s one segment that’s set to give AMD a significant revenue boost in the future and that is its semi-custom business. Thanks to PS4 and Xbox One, AMD has enjoyed strong growth in semi-custom business since 2013.
But as the consoles have entered sixth year in the market, sales are likely to decline. And as such, AMD expects its semi-custom business to see lower revenue, as reported in its outlook for the current fiscal year.
In addition, semi-custom revenue is expected to be lower year-over-year while Ryzen, EPYC and Radeon datacenter GPU product sales are expected to increase.– AMD
Although this projection is for the first quarter beginning in January, a previous statement from CEO Dr. Lisa Su validates the assumption that the situation is going to follow through the entire fiscal year.
As we reported last year, CEO Dr. Lisa Su expects the semi-custom business to be down for 2019.
In 2019, we will be in the seventh year of the game consoles lifecycle and so we do expect it to be down.
When we look forward, what happens beyond 2019, I like our semi-custom business, I think it’s a good business for us, I think it continues to be a place where we differentiate ourselves because of our ability to customize for various customers. I do see it growing again beyond 2019 and it will continue to be an important part of our business.– CEO Dr. Lisa Su
This, of course, is based on the assumption that next-generation consoles utilize AMD tech. But there’s no reason to believe it’s not AMD.
It has been an excellent partner to both, and it lets Sony and Microsoft keep architectural similarity with current-generation consoles should they feature backwards-compatibility. Based on Microsoft’s ambitions to bridge generations, it’s a high possibility. And above all, only AMD has the tech available suitable for a console form-factor.