The PlayStation 4 console generation is officially reaching its end. Confirmed back in 2018, Sony is hard at work on its next generation gaming hardware and it isn’t afraid to spill the beans. Over the past couple months, the tech company has been dishing out details about the PlayStation 5 including an official release window, specifications, UI, Dualshock 5 controller innovations, and more.
Talk of 8K graphics, SSDs, and ray tracing puts a warm feeling in every gamer’s belly and excites us about what Sony has in store. To dive more into the next-gen Sony console hype, we’ve gathered everything we know so far about the PlayStation 5, including rumors, hardware announcements, leaks, and plenty of hypotheses.
With plenty of questions still looming and information about the console coming out frequently, here’s everything we know so far about the Sony PlayStation 5.
A release date for the PS5 has not yet been announced, but we do have a release window. Sony has confirmed that the next-generation console will be out during holiday 2020.
Looking back at the launches of the PS3 and PS4, both of which took place in November, it’s more than likely that Sony will aim to keep that same holiday launch window with its next-gen console. So fingers crossed for a November 2020 release.
According to BGR, an anonymous source revealed that Sony will be hosting an event dubbed PlayStation Meeting 2020 on February 12 to announce the PS5. Alongside the hardware reveal, Sony and other third party developers will be showing off their next-gen titles. Hopefully it all comes to fruition.
As of now, there is no confirmed price for the PS5, but with many hardware specifications rumors already out there, experts have calculated that the console might come with an eye-watering price tag of $800.
In an interview with Wired in April 2019, Sony’s Mark Cerny promised that the PS5 will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, super fast SSDs, and backward compatibility with existing PlayStation 4 games.
Cerny stated that the new console will include an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line, built on the chip company’s latest 7nm Zen 2 process, and a custom GPU based on AMD’s Radeon Navi hardware, which will bring ray tracing graphics to a video game console for the first time.
According to Cerny, the PS5’s big game-changer is the replacement of the hard drive with an SSD, expediting load time and gameplay. During a Sony investor relations meeting on May 21, 2019, the company demonstrated the speed of the SSD by comparing the load times between Spider-Man on a PS4 and PS5, with the PS5 drastically faster.
In a new Wired interview on October 8, there will be two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller including haptic feedback to replace “rumble” technology. With haptics, players will feel a broader range of feedback will playing games. So, crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field.
The other innovation is adaptive triggers. Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. Getting stuck in sand will provide a heavier and slower response, while moving on ice will be more fast, slippery, and less controlled. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.
The controller will also include USB-C, a larger battery, improved speakers, and more.
The UI on PS5 will be getting a complete revamp allowing players more freedom and fluidness about playing certain games and specific modes within those games before booting up a title.
Cerny tells Wired, “Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games, we don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up,” Cerny says. “Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”
Sony hasn’t confirmed any titles for its next-gen system yet, but the company has announced plenty of IPs currently in production. It has also been reported that Sony is planning to acquire way more exclusive titles.
Kojima’s Death Stranding, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima by Sucker Punch Productions are three major first-party exclusives that will have 2020 release date on the PS4. It will come to know surprise if they all get a next-gen update or rerelease when PS5 comes out.
Check out the trailers for each potential PS5-exclusive game below.
The Last of Us Part II
Ghost of Tsushima
[9.23] Power Saving Feature
Sony is working with the United Nations as part of its “Playing For the Plant” initiative, which aims to mobilize gamers to take an active role in combating climate change. In support of this, Sony is adding an optional power saving setting in the upcoming PlayStation 5.
“The next generation PlayStation console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4 (which we estimate can be achieved at around 0.5 W),” writes Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment in a blog post. “If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes.”
Death to Loading Screens
Sony has patented a new technology that will aim to remove loading screens from games. The patent, titled “System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play,” describes a technology that loads data in advance to prevent load screens.
This is no surprise as the PS5 will feature SSDs that will already reduce loading time drastically compared with current consoles. Now, loading times may be gone for good.
The patent describes “a load boundary associated with a game environment is identified. A position of a character in the game environment is then monitored. Instructions corresponding to another game environment are loaded into a memory when the character crosses the load boundary, such that game play is not interrupted.”
Will the PS5 bring with it the death of the loading screen? Only time will tell.
[6.4] Refresh Rate and Cross-Generational Play
In a June 2019 interview with CNET, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the PS5 will support 4K graphics at a 120Hz refresh rate. The spec will provide a much smoother, responsive look on displays handling faster speeds. This will hopefully attract PC gamers looking for a high frame rate.
Alongside backward compatibility, Ryan also stated that the PS5 will have “cross-generational play,” meaning game saves will be transferable between PS4 and the new device. Gamers can switch between consoles and continue their progress in the same game.
[5.20] Enhanced Cloud Streaming
A big debate when it comes to next-gen consoles is about the inclusion of disc drives. With both Sony and Microsoft having their own digital stores, disc-based gaming is becoming obsolete. The PS5 is rumored to have one, but Sony intends to make PS5 owners consider streaming as their main option.
It plans to improve the quality and quantity of its PlayStation Now catalog as well as its streaming technology. Additionally, according to The Verge, Sony and Microsoft have announced a partnership to build technologies for gaming and content streaming. Fingers crossed for next-gen crossplay at launch.
[4.6] Backward Compatibility
Cerny said in his Wired interview that the PS5 will be backward compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles will have similar internal architectures. PS4 games will also likely run faster on the new console due to the inclusion of an SSD. This is great news for PlayStation fans who were disappointed by the PS4’s lack of backward compatibility with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games.
[4.6] PSVR Support
PS5 will support PSVR, according to Cerny: “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.” There is no information about whether a new PSVR device will debut with the new console or not.
We will update this story as more details about Sony’s PlayStation 5 are announced, so stay tuned for updates.