Originally Posted by chessmyantidrug
Both the PS4 and Xbox One already have 8-core CPUs. I don't expect the PS5 and Xbox Series X having 8-core CPUs to mean anything for gaming that it hasn't already meant for almost the last decade.
Hm, I personally have a bit of a different view on that, but it's beyond my area of expertise, so my view is little more than speculation.
You're right that consoles have had that many cores for some time (just under 7 years if we're going by the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4). Despite that, those CPUs didn't otherwise match PC CPUs of the time (more so for Intel, like Sandy Bridge for example). The IPC might be hard to directly compare, but consensus was they were weaker, and they were definitely clocked much lower. I think this is partly what helped PCs with less cores manage during the time. The gap isn't going to be anywhere as big this time though, and I think that's actually going to be a big factor.
The other considerations are that PC hardware beyond four cores really didn't exist back then, at least en masse, and what did was basically expensive HEDT parts on Intel's side, or weaker pre-Ryzen AMD offerings. Considering the mid range parts from the last few years to mostly be 6 core parts minimum, I wouldn't be surprised to see many games a few years from now not playing so well with quad core CPUs, nor to see some of them showing benefits on 12+ threads (even if they still play well enough on 6 core CPUs, and sometimes even quad cores which have SMT).
And even with all that being the case, there were already some infamous examples years and years back (like Battlefield) that I recall being talked about as benefiting a lot from the extra threads of the Core i7 over the same core count Core i5 of the time, even if other games didn't miss much of a beat. So, there could always be a couple of big name outliers. Isn't Death Stranding scaling pretty well too?
I'm not predicting 6 core CPUs will soon be obsolete, or that 8 core CPUs are going to be mandatory half a year or something beyond the new console launches. I do, however, expect the consoles to do more than nothing in moving things forward, and I personally see something like a 6 core/12 thread CPU as an "ideal minimum" to aim for, with more not being excessive to consider. If you're already on a 6 core CPU, it's fine to sit with it, but you'll probably want to be off quad cores (especially non SMT ones like older Core i5s, but maybe even ones with Hyper-threading) by then in my opinion.
Of course this is all how I'm choosing to see it, by erring on the side of caution, so perhaps my speculation does end up being a bit of an overshot. Only time will tell though.