The PlayStation 4 console generation is officially reaching its end and Sony is preparing its next-generation gaming hardware. Despite accidental leaks and coronavirus related disruptions to the supply chain, the tech company has been dishing out details about the PlayStation 5 including an official release window, specifications, UI, Dualshock 5 controller innovations, and looks on track to deliver on time.
To prepare you for the imminent release of the next-gen Sony console, we’ve gathered everything we know about the PlayStation 5, including rumors, hardware announcements, leaks, and plenty of hypotheses.
Here’s everything we know so far about PlayStation 5.
PlayStation 5 Release Date
A release date for the PS5 has not yet been announced, and until recently Sony’s “Holiday 2020” window was as specific as it got, but it might actually arrive months earlier than expected. Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan accidentally listed a job that references an “October 2020” release for the new console. Though Sony has since stated that the incorrect date was a clerical error.
Historically, Sony has rolled out its flagship consoles in November. This year, however, the coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruptions to the supply chain. For this reason, it was believed that the release date would actually be pushed back.
When the console does arrive, however, supply is expected to be considerably high, in large part due to the utilization of robots during the manufacturing process. An article in the Nikkei Asian Review has revealed that a complete PlayStation 4 is built every 30 seconds in Sony factories, with robots handling the majority of production, from twisting cables to attaching connections. Only four human employees work on the consoles in the manufacturing line, two feeding bare motherboards at the beginning and two more packaging at the end.
Reports suggest it will cost $450 to manufacture each PlayStation 5 console, compared to speculative retail prices of $499 and $399.
PlayStation 5 Price
The price of Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 5 is being driven up by the cost of scarce components. According to a Bloomberg report, the manufacturing costs for Sony’s next-generation console has increased to around $450 per unit.
For context, the PS4 cost around $381 to manufacture and retailed for $399 when it released in 2013. With a similar cost margin, this could mean that the PS5 might retail for at least $470.
PlayStation 5 Logo
At the CES 2020 press conference on January 6, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 5 logo. Fans, however, don’t seem to be so impressed. Offering little in terms of new design direction insight, the logo looks remarkably close to that of its predecessors, and Twitter roasted Sony accordingly. Check out the reactions here.
PlayStation 5 Specifications
During the CES 2020 press conference, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s President and CEO, Jim Ryan, revealed six previously unconfirmed “key” specs that we can expect on the new console.
We now know that the PS5 will comprise the following “future-proof technology”-enhanced elements: Ultra-high-speed SSD, 3D audio sound, advanced haptic feedback, and adaptive Triggers, hardware-based ray tracing, and Ultra HD-Bluray.
Replacing the hard drive with an SSD is the real game-changer, 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.
The new controller’s haptic feedback will 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.
Adaptive triggers mean 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 new console will also 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.
In an 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.
Sony has reportedly 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 gameplay,” describes a technology that loads data in advance to prevent load screens.
According to reports, Sony is also working on creating a “Remastering Engine” that will allow the PS5 to access titles from the PlayStation archive. “Cross-generational play” will also be possible, 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.
In support of its “Playing For the Plant” initiative, Sony is also adding an optional power saving setting. The console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4
PlayStation 5 AI Assistance
Sony is planning to develop an artificial intelligence assistant for the console, according to a newly published patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization obtained by Comicbook.com. Similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, the AI will jump in and help gamers, offering various resources such as tips, upgrades, or even downloadable content.
PlayStation Dev Kit
After images of what appeared to be the PS5 surfaced in August last year, Verge reporter Tom Warren confirmed today that the console is actually a PS5 dev kit. He explains its V-shape and generous size are designed to make the device easy to stack for developers to run multiple stress tests.
Also, in the image, it appears to be a Dualshock 5 controller, which will launch alongside the PS5.
PlayStation 5 UI
Although Sony hasn’t released any official imagery of the PlayStation 5’s user interface (UI), an image posted on 4chan may give us a first glimpse at the new design.
Posted by an anonymous source, the image shows a very similar interface to the PS4’s OrbisOS layout, as well as icons with vertical drop-down sub-menus, 1 TB of storage space, and 0.100.020 system software.
The image was accompanied by the following message: “I am working at some game studio that already has ps5 devkits, guess it’s the first picture of ps5 UI (at least as it looks like now) on the internet.” Check it out below.
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.”
PlayStation 5 Games
Sony has announced plenty of IPs currently in production, in addition to revealing the first game for PlayStation 5, titled Godfall. The company will be showcasing a selection of games during a virtual event confirmed for June 11 (originally scheduled for June 4, but was delayed out of respect for George Floyd and the mass protests following his death).
“The games coming to PS5 represent the best in the industry from innovative studios that span the globe. Studios, both larger and smaller, those newer and those more established, all have been hard at work developing games that will showcase the potential of the hardware,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “This digital showcase will run for a bit more than an hour and, for the first time, we will all be together virtually experiencing the excitement together.”
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 could see a next-gen release date on. Check out the trailers for each potential PS5-exclusive game below.
The Last of Us Part II
Ghost of Tsushima
We will update this story as more details about Sony’s PlayStation 5 are announced, so stay tuned for updates.