PS5 – Every Official News, Leak & Rumor on Sony’s Next-Gen Console
PlayStation 5 is the official name of Sony’s next-generation console. Not that there were many doubts considering how Sony has never deviated from the original naming format so far, unlike Microsoft with its Xbox consoles.
Sony decided to jump the gun on its main competitor and began revealing the first specifications of the upcoming gaming machine well ahead of E3 2019, in April 2019. Speaking to Wired, Lead System Architect Mark Cerny (who performed the same role for PlayStation 4 with great success) revealed a few key points of the new console: powered by the latest AMD technologies, it’s going to feature hardware support for ray tracing and aims to practically eliminate loading times with the custom designed SSD. The audio has been an area of focus for the engineers, too, as Cerny admitted how audio didn’t improve that much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. This time the goal is to make players more immersed in the games’ experiences thanks to a dedicated and custom 3D audio chip.
In October 2019, Cerny was once again interviewed by Wired and went on to reveal additional info on the system, such as the improved controller, revamped UI, and finer-grained control on the game installation process. However, the full system specifications reveal only happened in March 2020, when Mark Cerny himself delivered a hour-long presentation.
PS5 Release date
Official – Sony has confirmed that the console will be available in stores starting Holiday 2020.
Wccftech’s guess – Mid-to-late November, just ahead of Thanksgiving, is a solid guess based on historical data of PlayStation console launches.
Official – Lead System Architect Mark Cerny believes Sony will be able to provide a retail price that is ‘appealing to gamers in light of the advanced feature set of the PS5’.
Wccftech’s guess – After getting heavily burned with the PlayStation 3’s $599 launch price, Sony has succeeded with the much lower $399 starting price of the PlayStation 4. It stands to reason they won’t want to stray too far from that, so $399 to $449 is our current guess.
PS5 Hardware specifications
|PlayStation 5 Specs|
|CPU (Zen 2)||8 Cores @ 3.5GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU (custom RDNA 2)||10.28 TFLOPs, 36 Compute Units @ 2.23GHz (variable frequency) with hardware raytracing support|
|System Memory/Interface||16GB GDDR6/256-bit|
|Internal Storage||Custom 825GB SSD|
|I/O Throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw), 8-9GB/s (Compressed with Kraken)|
|Expandable Storage||NVMe SSD Slot supporting M.1 or M.2|
|External Storage||USB HDD Support (for PS4 games)|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive (up to 100GB disc)|
|Audio||Custom ‘Tempest’ 3D Audio Engine, supporting hundreds of simultaneous sources|
Lead system architect Mark Cerny unveiled the console’s specifications in a detailed video presentation streamed in late March 2020. The biggest surprise was that both the CPU and GPU of the PS5 will run at a variable frequency, using AMD’s SmartShift technology to deliver more power where it matters the most based on the current system activity. Instead of using the die temperature to manage frequency, Sony devised an algorithm that monitors CPU and GPU activity information and subsequently changes clocks as needed.
Cerny admitted this would sometimes result in downclocking, but he reckons the effect should be pretty minor since to achieve a 10% power reduction it only takes around 2% frequency downclock.
Official – Sony has not provided any information whatsoever on the console’s look as of yet.
Leak/rumor – A patent design was discovered via LetsGoDigital in late August. More recently, the image of an actual PlayStation 5 devkit got leaked confirming the patent design to be correct. Obviously, the final design could differ as is often the case, though the V-shape could remain in place for two reasons: first, it might be optimal for cooling purposes; second, V is the Roman numeral for five.
Official – The PlayStation 5 controller, named ‘DualSense’ in a change from the trademark ‘DualShock’ of the previous generations, is going to feature significant advancements over the PS4’s controller. As you can see in the picture above, there are some rather obvious design changes, including a two-tone aesthetics that is also a departure from any previous PlayStation controllers. The lightbar has been moved to the sides of the touchpad, while the ‘Share’ button has been renamed to ‘Create’ button.
In terms of features, adaptive triggers will provide varying levels of resistance so that, for example, each weapon in a shooter feels properly different and nocking an arrow with a bow feels as tense as it should when pulling back just before the shot. Additionally, highly programmable voice coil actuators will enable far more refined haptic feedback so that gamers can sense the difference in the surfaces roamed by the game’s characters; ice will feel slippery, wood hardy, mud soggy et cetera.
The controller also sports an improved speaker compared to the DualShock 4 and even comes with a built-in microphone array, allowing players to use voice chat even without a dedicated headset. Charging will be handled via USB-C and the battery capacity is said to be larger than that of the DS4, which is good news, though the controller will be a bit heavier because of this change.
The PlayStation VR headset will be compatible with the PlayStation 5. There is no information on a next-gen VR headset in production at this time, though Sony reiterated the importance of pushing VR going forward.
Official – Backward compatibility was confirmed for PlayStation 4 games, in a change from previous Sony consoles. Sony expects the ‘overwhelming majority’ of PS4’s over four thousand games to be playable on the PS5, having already tested hundreds of them. It was also confirmed that PS4 will run on a ‘boosted frequency’ on the new console, enabling ‘higher or more stable’ frame rates as well as ‘potentially higher’ resolutions.
The User Interface (UI) has been entirely overhauled, according to PlayStation 5 Lead System Architect Mark Cerny. It’s now capable of displaying much more detailed information on what your friends are doing during their game sessions.
The installation process for PlayStation 5 games will allow gamers to control which parts of a game they want to install. For example, they might want to select only the single player campaign or only the multiplayer mode, leaving the rest of the game uninstalled to save space.
Right now there are very few confirmed games for the PlayStation 5. The first one to be properly unveiled was Godfall, a third-person action roleplaying game playable in solo but designed for up to three players in cooperative mode. Described as a ‘looter slasher’ focused on melee combat, Godfall will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive on console and a launch title for Sony’s next-generation system. The developers at CounterPlay Games have praised the PS5’s SSD as ‘exceptionally powerful’ and the controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback as useful in making the combat feel ‘exhilarating and visceral’.
Ubisoft has revealed that all of their recently delayed games (Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six: Quarantine, and Watch_Dogs Legion) are going to appear on both current and next-generation consoles.
Needless to say, any games dropping in the vicinity of the console’s launch will support PlayStation 5, such as the next Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, FIFA, etc.
As to Sony’s own Worldwide Studios, Bluepoint, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus remake, stated they are working on a ‘big’ PlayStation 5 game.
Enhancement patches and updates for PlayStation 5 will likely happen for all of the major releases due in 2020, such as The Last of Us Part II, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Avengers, Ghost of Tsushima to name a few. Some titles that came out in 2019, such as Death Stranding, could also receive the same treatment.
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