PlayStation 5: Games, Specs, And Everything We Know About It
Sony has already shared some of the first news about its next-generation console, it will be released sometime next year. We have some news, although we don’t even know its official name as of yet. The PS5 will have PS4 backwards compatibility and SSD storage, and it will support the PSVR which we are waiting for it. Sony hasn’t unveiled a specific price or release date as of yet, but we know the PS5 won’t be released earlier to April 2020.
It’s worth mentioning that we don’t know the final title of the next PlayStation console. We’re using PlayStation 5 and PS5 as a short-hand name but Sony could always “pull a Vita” on us and name it something distinctive. Indeed, the PS5’s lead system architect, Mark Cerny, has refused to explicitly call the console the PlayStation 5 for the time being, rather simply calling it as Sony’s “next-gen console.”
PS5 Release Date
This is surely the question on everybody’s lips: when will the PS5 come out? Sony, as you’d expect, is tight-lipped on the matter, but in May 2018 the then-head of PlayStation, John Kodera, said that the PS5 was “three years” away. However, plans change, and it’s also possible Kodera was merely trying to keep a lid on the rumors that were flying around at the time which were saying the PS5 would be released as soon as 2019.
Sony has not said how much its new console will cost us in the end, but it did say just recently that the PS5’s price will make gamers happy. “I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set,” said Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4 who’s currently working on its successor.
You wouldn’t expect Sony to say anything unusual, but one gets the feeling the company has acquired from the PS3’s expensive price tag–and the console’s subsequent struggles–and the PS4’s more moderate cost and subsequent successes.
Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?
Cerny also confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles are made upon related internal architectures.
SIE president Jim Ryan told GameSpot sister site CNET backwards compatibility and cross-gen are important for the PS5 to help players have a seamless transition.
“Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” he said. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”
PS4 games will even run quicker than they do on your current console, in part because the PS5 will contain a solid-state drive, as opposed to hard drives that modern consoles ship with. Cerny has shown a load screen from Insomniac’s Spider-Man taking less than a second on a PS5 development kit, associated with 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro.
Sony showed off the quicker loading times during an investor presentation.
Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019
PS5 Specs And Disc Drive
Sony has confirmed the PlayStation 5 will come with an AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen. It’ll have eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip. The next-gen console will also support 8K gameplay, but this will, of course, be dependent upon TVs.
Graphics will be driven by a custom version of Radeon’s Navi family. This graphics chip will work with ray tracing, something which is starting to become common in movies and video games. Although it is thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this technique could also change game audio. In fact, PS5 will fully support 3D audio.
The SSD is a big detail too in the console, as it means games will load faster and be able to work more objects on-screen at once than current HDD-driven consoles. Characters and cameras could move quicker through game worlds, as environments could be loaded in much quicker than they are right now.
We know the PS5 will not go the way of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn’t come with a disc drive. Instead, the PS5 will add a disc drive, so rest guaranteed you’ll still be able to buy and play physical games like the good old days. We don’t yet know though what kind of discs the console will support. It’s likely it could handle 4K UHD Blu-Rays, which can carry around double as much data as usual Blu-Ray discs.
Sony has also validated that the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs.
Will PS5 Support PSVR?
The PSVR at this moment will indeed be supported by PS5, as will the PlayStation Move controllers. “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy,” Cerny has stated, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.” The system architect ended short of saying whether a new PSVR gadget will ever come out, however.
There were rumors Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding would come to PS5, but that game’s sooner-than-expected PS4 release date has cast suspicion on that particular rumor. When asked by GameSpot whether Death Stranding would come to PS4, PS5, or both, Sony avoided answering the question and just listed the game as one of many that “PlayStation fans have … to look forward to on PS4.”
Aside from Death Stranding, it’s fair to presume annual games like FIFA and Call of Duty would make the jump to PS5, though their developers haven’t said anything solid.
The only established game to be playable on PS5 is the Final Fantasy VII remake after Square Enix’s president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said: “I believe that our teams have made it so that the game will support both the next generation and the current generation of consoles. I believe it is being developed so that it is going to be playable on both, so I’m not really concerned about that and I believe that the fans are also going to be able to enjoy it on both, including the next-generation of consoles.”
For now, it’s not clear whether Matsuda was leading to a dedicated PS5 edition of the game, or if he was referring to the PS4 version being playable on PS5 via backward compatibility.