PS5 — What We Know So Far About Sony’s Next-Gen Console
With the system set to arrive later this year, here are all of the details that we know (so far) about the upcoming PS5 from Sony.
With the sun setting on the PS4 and Xbox One, the next-generation line of systems is finally almost upon us. Alongside the Xbox Series X, this holiday season will also see the release of the PS5 as the newest member of Sony’s PlayStation family of consoles. While information on the long-awaited system was quiet for most of this year, last month finally saw Sony lift back the curtain on what to expect from the PlayStation 5, including several of its upcoming games and exclusives, its features, and the final design of the system itself.
In the lead-up to the PS5’s debut this holiday season, we’re taking a look at everything that we know about the PS5 so far, from the console’s specs, to what games are coming to the system in terms of exclusives and third-party releases, and more. Obviously there are some major details we don’t fully know just yet about the system like its price and release date, but as holiday 2020 draws near, we’ll likely see the full picture of Sony’s next-gen console sooner rather than later.
PS5 Console Specs
Even before we saw the system itself last month, Sony had released some information earlier this year on the technical specs that are going into its next-generation system. Led by Sony’s lead system architect and ASMR master Mark Cerny, the PS5 already looks to be a major leap in terms of technical achievements from the previous generation of consoles, with a breakdown of its most notable specs from Digital Foundry:
- CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU Architecture: Custom RDNA 2
- Memory/Interface: 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
- Memory Bandwith: 448GB/s
- Internal Storage: Custom 825GB SSD
- IO Throughput: 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
- Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot
- External Storage: USB HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
The key technical feature that Sony has highlighted for the PS5 is its custom solid state drive, which is aiming to give developers a significant leg up in terms of loading assets in-game and a more seamless gameplay experience for players with drastically reduced or no in-game loading times. Likewise, the system’s GPU also features over 10 teraflops of power behind it, with the system also confirmed to support more intensive technical features such as ray tracing.
The system’s CPU features a custom chipset to support 3D audio, allowing for a more immersive aural experience while playing, such as giving the player a clearer indication of where enemies are in an environment, and more. Sony has also confirmed that the PS5 will support the PlayStation VR headset, though it seems likely as well that the system will get a new iteration of PSVR for this generation.
The DualSense Controller
Alongside the console itself, one of the biggest changes from past PlayStation consoles for the PS5 is its new controller called the DualSense, which was officially revealed back in April. Shifting away from the DualShock branding that has defined Sony’s last 4 iterations of controllers, the DualSense controller is aiming to be something a little different from past PlayStation controllers.
From a quick glance, the most obvious change with the DualSense controller is that it’s a bit bigger than its predecessor, the DualShock 4, with the controller’s design a little closer to the style of the Xbox One controller. Likewise, the lightbar that was present on the top of the DualShock 4 controller has instead been shifted to the center underneath the touchpad, giving it a more stylized glow around it.
Some of the biggest new features of the controller that have been highlighted by Sony aim to give the player a more immersive experience while playing. In an official video released by Sony for the DualSense controller, the video gives a look at its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, along with its built-in motion sensor.
However, the overall layout of the controller is still largely the same as the DualShock 4, with its analog sticks close together and the traditional d-pad and button placements of the DualShock controllers. The center of the controller once again features a touchpad, and to the left and right of it are the buttons for taking in-game screenshots and videos and the options button. The DualSense controller also has a built-in speaker between the analog sticks and the PlayStation button, presumably used to return players to the system’s main menu screen. Like the DualShock 4, the DualSense controller also has a plug at the bottom for players to use a headset or headphones while playing to listen to in-game audio or chat with friends.
What is the price?
The price is still a major unknown right now for the PS5, as Sony has not officially confirmed a price point for the next-gen system. However, some speculation (and general predictions by games media/the industry as a whole) have generally put the system within the ballpark of $399-$599. Sony themselves have seemed unsure of what the exact price of the system will be, as reports have signaled that the system has come in higher than expected to produce and manufacture. However, assuming that the system is launching within the next 5-6 months, Sony will have to share the price point at some point in the near future, with rumors indicating that pre-orders for the system will likely go live in the near future.
As shown in the company’s PS5: The Future of Gaming event in June, Sony has revealed that there will be two SKUs for the PS5 when it arrives later this year: one version with a physical disc drive, and a Digital Edition that will forego physical media entirely. While Sony has been pushing more towards digital game sales in the past few years with the PS4, the company seems more intent on trying to lean more on an all-digital future, but still providing the option to play physical games for those that want it.
The introduction of two SKUs for the PS5 will likely have an influence on what the price of the PS5 will wind up being between the Digital Edition and the iteration of the system with a disc drive. Presumably, the PS5 Digital Edition will likely be cheaper than the version with a disc drive as a way to incentivize consumers to go all-digital with the next-gen system. At the moment, my best guess is that the Digital Edition of the PS5 will run for $499, while the version with a disc drive will be either be $549 or $599.
How big is the console?
This is yet another unknown at the moment, but based on speculation and some rough mockups on social media, the PS5 might be a little larger than we might expect, especially compared to the PS4. Using the system’s disc drive as a rough basis to estimate the size, many mockups have surfaced online that give us a rough idea of what to expect from the PS5 in terms of its size. A listing from Amazon Germany for the system also may have revealed the PS5’s weight at 4.78 kg (about 10.5 lbs), but this hasn’t been officially confirmed just yet.
oooh he a big big boi pic.twitter.com/gwI1yBT093
— Callum Uwunderwood (@DevRelCallum) June 12, 2020
Compared to this generation’s systems and its next-gen competitor, the Xbox Series X, the PS5 seems to be a much heftier system than we’ve seen in the past, with its unique design emphasizing its height. We know for sure that the system can be placed both upright and horizontally, but based on these early projections, you might want to start thinking about how you’re going to house Sony’s new console in your home entertainment center.
Does the PS5 feature backward compatibility?
For the PS5, backwards compatibility with PS4 games has been confirmed, but not yet elaborated on what it entails and if that will extend to earlier PlayStation consoles. Earlier this year, Sony detailed that the PS5 at launch would support backwards compatibility with around 100 of the most popular titles on PS4 (in terms of playtime), and that the system would eventually support the “overwhelming majority” of the system’s current library.
For now, it seems like backwards compatibility will be limited to just PS4 titles (leaving out the PS3, PS2, PS1, PS Vita, and PSP), and that new titles will seemingly be rolled out like Microsoft did for Xbox 360 and Xbox titles with the Xbox One. Likewise, Sony also announced that new PS4 titles that are submitted for certification after July 13, 2020 will be required to support compatibility with the PS5, indicating we’ll likely see some cross-gen titles later this year (and beyond) between the PS4 and PS5.
Exclusives and third-party games coming to the PS5
Sony’s PS5 reveal event in June gave us a much clearer idea of what games we can expect to arrive for the PS5 when it launches later this year. The biggest titles that were formally revealed for the PS5 include two new games by Insomniac Games (Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart), the long-awaited remake of Demon’s Souls by Bluepoint Games, Horizon Forbidden West, and many more. In addition to the line-up of first-party games that were revealed, several major third-party titles were also confirmed for the system such as Resident Evil: Village, Pragmata, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Hitman III, alongside new indie titles like Bugsnax, Goodbye Volcano High, Oddworld: Soulstorm, and more.
Below, you can find a list of the PS5 games that have been confirmed so far from the June reveal event and when we can currently expect them:
- Astro’s Playroom (Holiday 2020)
- Bugsnax (Holiday 2020)
- Deathloop (Holiday 2020)
- Godfall (Holiday 2020)
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Holiday 2020)
- NBA 2K21 (Holiday 2020)
- Ghostwire: Tokyo (2021)
- Grand Theft Auto V (2021)
- Goodbye Volcano High (2021)
- Hitman III (2021)
- Horizon Forbidden West (2021)
- Resident Evil: Village (2021)
- Solar Ash (2021)
- Stray (2021)
- Pragmata (2022)
- Demon’s Souls (TBD)
- Destruction Allstars (TBD)
- Gran Turismo 7 (TBD)
- Jett: The Far Shore (TBD)
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits (TBD)
- Little Devil Inside (TBD)
- Oddworld: Soulstorm (TBD)
- Project Athia (TBD)
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (TBD)
- Returnal (TBD)
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure (TBD)
When will the PS5 launch?
As of this writing, Sony is still being coy with the exact release date of the PS5 and when it will arrive. Right now, the only firm answer we have is that the system will arrive in holiday 2020, so expect it sometime within the October – December timeframe. At this point, November would seem like the most likely candidate, given that both the PS3 and PS4 also launched in November, and Sony will likely want the system to launch within Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. Along with the recent delay for Cyberpunk 2077 from September to mid-late November, the anticipated title’s new release date has fueled some speculation that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X should arrive by then.