PlayStation 5 development kits have reportedly already been sent to some third-party studios.
Marcus Sellars, an industry insider who leaked several bits of big news over the past couple of weeks, such as Black Ops 4 being this year's Call of Duty, the Nintendo Switch port of Diablo 3, and others has returned with a big one.
Most recently, Sellars also correctly called out the date of this week's Nintendo Direct before it was announced.
Now, it's important to note that most of his findings have yet to be officially confirmed, but the information seems accurate so far in that they were later corroborated by separate reports.
This week, Sellars revealed that development kits for the upcoming PlayStation 5 were sent to third-party studios earlier this year.
PS5 dev kits went out early this year to third party developers.
— Marcus Sellars (@Marcus_Sellars) March 6, 2018
Dev kits are typically PCs or specialised hardware running a specific set of specs that platform holders believe mirror the specs of their upcoming consoles. They don't always match up, and the specs can and do change, but they're a close approximation designed to help developers get an idea of what to shoot for with their in-development games.
A 2018 rollout is a bit earlier than expected, but seeing as Sellars specifically mentions third-party teams, it's safe to assume first-party studios have had them for a while. This could just be an early hardware prototype, or the real deal, depending on when Sony is planning to start the next generation.
A 2019 or 2020 launch for PS5 now seems likely, but this has not been verified so take it with a grain of salt.