Update, March 20, 2020 (05:30 PM ET): Sony just revealed that the PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with nearly every PlayStation 4 title and not just the top 100. Read on for more details.
Original article, March 19, 2020 (5:30 PM ET): Sony’s critically acclaimed PlayStation line of gaming consoles is expected to receive a new iteration by the end of the year. Called the PlayStation 5, or just PS5 for short, this next console has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Its predecessor — the PlayStation 4 — is one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time. Sony sold more than 106 million units as of January 2020. The PlayStation 2 is the only home gaming console to surpass those numbers, selling more than 150 million units in its lifetime.
Surely Sony is looking for a home run with its next-generation console. But will it pack enough punch to woo gamers around the world as the PS4 did?
Here’s everything we know about the PS5 so far. Be sure to bookmark this page as we’ll update it as new rumors come to light.
Read also: What is cloud gaming?
Name and design
Sony’s next-generation gaming console will be called the PlayStation 5, or PS5 for short. Every prior iteration has adopted that naming scheme, and the company has referred to it as such in all of its press releases, marketing information, and announcements etc.
There’s not much we know for sure about the PS5’s design yet, though leaks of the console’s dev kit have been floating around the internet for months now. We got our first look at it when the team over at LetsGoDigital found some patent images online. The outlet later mocked up its own design renders based on these patents — as seen in the video above — giving us a better look at the dev kit. A few alleged real-life photos also surfaced online, giving us a real-life look at the kit.
yes, this is the PlayStation 5 devkit. The reason it’s large and v-shaped is to make them more easily stackable for devs who are running multiple stress tests. The cooling is optimized to push air out of the sides and center https://t.co/pc3wJw2A6v
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 30, 2019
Since these are not the final product, we don’t expect the PS5 will look like this at launch. Which, if you ask us, is good news, because this design does not make for a particularly good looking console. The finished product will be much slimmer and more visually appealing than this.
As far as the PlayStation 5 controller is concerned, there’s not much we know for certain. A few pictures of the aforementioned dev kit surfaced on Reddit with the supposed next-gen controller alongside it.
Read also: The best phones for gaming
These pictures reveal what looks like a slightly chunkier version of the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller with no visible branding. Since these are just pictures of the dev kit, they aren’t a very good indicator of what we can expect from the final product.
On the other hand, Sony invited Wired for an exclusive early hands-on look at the upcoming console last year. The outlet revealed the prototype controller they saw was an “unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4.” Other than that, the controller will apparently sport a microphone, adaptive triggers, and a more immersive haptic rumble.
In Sony’s recent system architecture deep-dive, the company revealed some of the details about this technology, as well as other hardware details about the upcoming console. According to the PlayStation 5 Lead System Architect Mark Cerny, the PS5 will tout some serious improvements over the PS4.
Here’s a complete overview of the PS5’s specs list compared to the PS4’s:
|PlayStation 5||PlayStation 4|
|CPU||8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz with SMT (variable frequency)||8x Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz|
|GPU||10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (Custom RDNA 2 architecture)||1.84 TFLOPs, 18 CUs at 800MHz (Custom GCN architecture)|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6/256-bit||8GB GDDR5/256-bit|
|Internal Storage||Custom 825GB SSD||500GB HDD|
|Expandable Storage||NVMe SSD slot||Replaceable internal HDD|
|External Storage||USB HDD support||USB HDD support|
|IO Throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)||Approx 50-100MB/s (dependent on data location on HDD)|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive||Blu-ray Drive|
The deep-dive revealed a lot more about the PS5’s future capabilities too. We can expect an upgraded CPU in the form of the AMD Zen 2, which touts eight cores clocked at 3.5GHz. This should provide significant performance gains over the PS4’s eight-core Jaguar 1.6GHz CPU. The PS5’s custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU is also a solid upgrade over last gen’s custom GCN GPU.
This CPU and GPU combination will allow the PS5 to utilize ray tracing acceleration. Ray tracing is advanced lighting tech that can take in-game graphics to a whole new level by more realistically mimicking the way light behaves in an environment.
We also learned the PlayStation 5 will sport an 825GB SSD, and it will support off-the-shelf NVMe SSD expandability. Not only does that mean users will be able to easily expand their PS5’s storage, but it should also offer faster load speeds, allowing for bigger maps, as well as better system memory management.
Read also: 5 best PlayStation emulators for Android!
The last major thing Sony revealed during the PS5 deep-dive is the console’s new custom AMD compute unit-based Tempest Engine. Using custom Head-related Transfer Function (HRTF) maps, this new tech should allow gamers to experience high-quality 3D in-game audio with even the most basic headphones or speakers. Cerny admitted the Tempest Engine is still in the early stages, and it may take years for it to fully develop.
At launch, customers will be able to select from one of five custom HRTF maps that best fits their sound profile. Cerny went on to hint at how Sony could possibly expand on this tech in the future.
“Maybe you’ll be sending us a photo of your ear, and we’ll choose a neural network to pick the closest HRTF in our library,” said Cerny. “Maybe you’ll be sending us a video of your ears and your head, and we’ll make a 3D model of them and synthesize the HRTF [or] you’ll play an audio game to tune your HRTF, we’ll be subtly changing it as you play and home in on the HRTF [that] matches you the best.”
What makes any given console better than the next? It’s the games, baby.
At launch, the PS5 will be backward compatible with nearly every single game in the PS4’s library. At first, the company claimed that it would work with nearly all top 100 titles from the previous generation console. But in a recent blog post, the company announced it will be compatible with “the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles.”
Not only that, but Sony believes most PS4 titles will likely benefit from higher, more stable frame rates and higher resolutions on the PS5. It can’t guarantee every game will work, but it has already tested hundreds of titles with thousands more to come.
The PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with nearly every PlayStation 4 title at launch.
As far as new game releases are concerned, there are a few titles we can officially bank on, including Dying Light 2, Godfall, Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six: Quarantine, Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, and Lord Of The Rings: Gollum. Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War sequels are also rumored to launch on the console. We also expect titles like Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 4, and Uncharted 5 to launch on the PS5, but that’s just speculation at this point.
It goes without saying that plenty of new titles should be available for the console at or soon after launch. If the console lives up to its promises, we expect many of them will be some of the biggest, most beautiful video games we have ever seen.
Read also: Google Stadia games: Here’s the full list
PS5: Price and release date
Last Fall, Sony said we can expect to see the PlayStation 5 officially launch during the 2020 holiday season. The company has yet to announce a specific release date or reveal event. The PlayStation 4 landed in November 2013, so we expect Sony’s next-gen console to land during a similar timeframe this year. That is, if the launch plans aren’t affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As far as price is concerned, the PS4 and PS4 Pro retailed for $399, so we expect the PS5 to surpass that price point. During an earnings call in February 2020, Spiel Times reported that Sony has yet to decide on a pricing model.
But, if we are to believe some of the leaks surrounding the topic, we can expect the console will come in at $499. Tipster @PSErebus tweeted several pieces of information about the PS5, including this rumored price point, as well as a supposed November 20 launch date.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) will launch PlayStation®5 (PS5™) in several countries in the holiday season of 2020 and will make PlayStation®5 (PS5™) available in North America on November 20, 2020 at a recommended retail price (RRP) of $499 pic.twitter.com/fe4jKlHmrH
— PlayStation (@PSErebus) November 19, 2019
Bloomberg later reported that Sony was struggling with the PlayStation 5’s price due to expensive components. So far, it looks like Sony’s PS5 will cost about $450 to manufacture. The original PS4 reportedly cost about $381 to build, so if Sony wants to maintain razor-thin profit margins on hardware, the PS5 will need to cost at least $470, which roughly lines up with the previously rumored price point.
Though it’s just speculation at this point, we think it is safe to assume the PS5 will most likely retail for around $500.
Those are all the details we have on the PS5 so far! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as we will update it with new information as we get our hands on it.