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 what will presumably be called the PlayStation 5.
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 on a drip-drip basis, here’s everything we know so far about the Sony PlayStation 5.
A release date for the PS5 has not yet been announced. However, Sony has confirmed that its next-generation console won’t be out in 2019. The Wall Street Journal speculates that it’ll be ready for the 2020 holiday season.
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 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.
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 still have no release date. Sony opting to skip E3 2019 suggests the company isn’t looking to add major upcoming titles to the PS4 and is prepping next-gen announcements.
Check out the trailers for each potential PS5-exclusive game below.
The Last of Us Part II
Ghost of Tsushima
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.