The PlayStation 5 is still a year away, but game developers already have their hands on an early prototype

A new picture of an early version of Sony’s PlayStation 5 has surfaced online, sending gamers into a frenzy of speculation about what the upcoming video game console will look like.

Twitter user Alcoholikaust shared a photo of two PlayStation 5 development kits, attributing to an anonymous video game developer. The development kit designs match patent images filed by Sony earlier this year.

Multiple people in the video game industry have reported that Sony’s prototype is already in the hands of developers, but this is the first direct image of the hardware to appear online. Development kits for new consoles rarely look the same as the finished product, but it’s still interesting to know that Sony’s new hardware is already in the hands of developers.

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will launch during the 2020 holiday season, but hasn’t shared any pictures of the new console. So far Sony has used a side-by-side demonstration of “Marvel’s Spider-Man” to showcase the difference in power between the PlayStation 4 and the PS5.

In an October interview with Sony, Wired Magazine noted that the PlayStation 5 development kit Sony showed them looked similar to the patent images, but Sony declined to talk about how the dev kit could influence the final design of the PlayStation 5. In November, the first patent images for the PlayStation 5 controller appeared online, showing off a few key updates to Sony’s controller.

Sony has teased some of the features coming to the PlayStation 5, including a solid-state hard drive for faster loading times, ray tracing graphics with 8K resolution, and backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games. Microsoft promised similar features for its Xbox successor, Project Scarlett, at E3 in June.

Both consoles are expected to launch during the 2020 holiday season.

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