Rumours and even a few confirmed details on Sony’s next generation games console are ramping up, so if you’re after all the Sony PlayStation 5 speculation, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve collated everything we know about the PS5 so far. So, read on for information on the next step in PlayStation‘s long, much-loved history.
Although he didn’t mention the PS5 by name, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times in early October 2018 that the company is working on a replacement for PlayStation 4: “At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware,” he said.
This was further embellished in April 2019, with the new console’s lead system architect, Mark Cerny, providing several official details on the machine. He told Wired that the project is currently four years in the making and while he again only referred to it as the company’s “next-gen console”, he confirmed that studios are already working on games for it.
While there is nothing official on the PS5’s release date as yet, there is evidence to suggest that it will be available in 2020.
To begin with, renowned industry analyst, Michael Pachter, games and electronics specialist for Wedbush Securities and host of YouTube series Pachter Factor, told The 1099 podcast that he believes the PlayStation 5 could launch in 2020.
“If I had to bet, I’d say 2020,” he said.
“Sony’s making so much money on PS4 that they’ll continue to make it as long as they can milk it. I think the natural extension of that is that the PS4 Pro becomes the natural default PS4.
“The PS5 is probably going to be their real 4K device and it feels, to me, that they’re not going to launch the PS5 until sales momentum slows.”
That was followed by a quote by Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO John Kodera in May 2018. He told the Wall Street Journal that, as the company winds down the PS4, it could take up to three years to prepare for its next console launch: “We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future,” he said.
Cerny’s comments in April 2019 added further weight to a 2020 release date. Not only did he reveal that studios were already developing games for it, he said that the current generation PSVR would be compatible. That suggests Sony would not like to wait too long to bring it to market.
“I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy today,” he told Wired. “Beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.”
A 2019 release has effectively been ruled out, not least by PlayStation’s self-imposed absence from this year’s E3 conference in June.
With industry insider and games journalist, Marcus Sellars, claiming that Sony started to send out PS5 development kits as early as March 2018, it’s odd that few rumours about specs leaked in the following 12 months.
PS5 dev kits went out early this year to third party developers.
— Marcus Sellars (@Marcus_Sellars) March 6, 2018
However, Cerny’s Wired interview in the spring of 2019 finally revealed some key details and features.
The new console will have an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s 7nm process and be similar to the new Zen 2 Ryzen PC processors coming to laptops in 2019.
Graphics hardware was also revealed, with the GPU to be based on AMD’s Radeon Navi microarchitecture. It will support ray-tracing.
In terms of storage, Cerny claimed that the storage will be provided by a solid state drive rather than the traditional HDD tech used in PS3 and PS4. This means loading games and pulling assets in-game will be much faster.
Anyone who has swapped the HDD in the PS4 with an SSD equivalent will already know about some of the speed benefits, but the PlayStation 5 will combine notably faster data transfer speeds with on-board processing to make this even quicker still.
To demonstrate, Cerny used a modified version of Marvel’s Spider-Man. On the PS4, the fast travel loading cut screen logs in at around 15 seconds before Spidey appears at his new destination. On a PS5 devkit (hidden inside a nondescript PC-style tower) it took 0.8 seconds.
There has been no talk about storage size as yet, although we hope we’ll get at least 2TB, considering how even PS4 Pro enhanced games can take up more than 100GB apiece (just look at Read Dead Redemption 2, for example, which weighs in at a minimum of 99GB). Our only worry is that a 2TB SSD is currently around the £200 mark on its own and we can’t see Sony opting for a £600 launch price for the new machine, no matter how next-gen it is.
Audio hardware will be improved too, Cerny said, through the AMD chipset. It includes a custom unit for 3D sound that he promises will provide significant audio improvements over current and previous gen machines.
The final hardware confirmation (for now) is that the PS5 will still have a disc-drive. However, neither Cerny or another Sony exec has yet to mention what formats it will accept. Having ignored 4K Blu-ray for PS4 Pro, will it reverse that decision for PlayStation 5? time will tell.
One of the big confirmed features is complete backward compatibility with PS4 games.
With Xbox trumping its rival with a very decent list of backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on Xbox One, this is an area PlayStation clearly wants to catch up on.
For PS4, Sony opted for a cloud based service, PS Now, in order to offer PS3 games to play instead. It was far from ideal though for those who had discs on their shelves and no longer a console to play them on. Cerny’s revelation that backward compatibility with at least PS4 titles is most welcome, therefore.
That’s not to say Sony will turn its back on PS Now. As Cerny said to Wired: “We are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch.”
Also backward compatible, as we’ve already said above, will be existing PlayStation VR headsets.
It’s far too early to know how much the PS5 will be on release.
We doubt it’d be anything shy of £450 though – the price of the Xbox One X on its release in late 2017.
We’ll update this feature with new rumours and/or confirmed details as and when they occur.
For now, why not check out 37 best PS4 games every gamer should own.
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