Sony boss Jim Ryan has confirmed that the company’s next-gen games console will, indeed, be called the PlayStation 5. We’ve even been treated to the logo.
And, there are a host of other confirmed details, including the release window, plus many tantalising pics and rumours.
So, we’ve collated everything revealed about the PS5 so far. Read on for information on the next step in PlayStation‘s illustrious history.
Confirmation and logo
Since the end of 2018, we’ve had numerous confirmations that Sony is working on a “next-gen console”. The company even officially revealed in its corporate strategy meeting for the fiscal year 2019, that the machine will provide an “immersive experience created by dramatically increased graphics rendering speeds, achieved through the employment of further improved computational power and a customised ultra-fast, broadband SSD.”
However, it never mentioned the actual name. Until October 2019, that is.
That was when the CEO and president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, wrote in a blog posting that it will, indeed, be called the PlayStation 5: “Today I’m proud to share that our next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5,” he said.
In more recent times, during CES 2020 in January, we were treated to the official logo. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, considering it looks exactly like the PS4 equivalent, but it does offer one clue: SIE clearly sees the new console as an extension of its existing family of devices rather than a full replacement.
As well as the name reveal, Ryan revealed the release date of the PS5 in the same blog posting: “We’ll be launching in time for Holiday 2020,” he said.
That matches many previous estimations such as one provided by Michael Pachter in 2017. The games and electronics specialist for Wedbush Securities and host of YouTube series Pachter Factor told The 1099 podcast that he believed 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.”
A Christmas 2020 date also looked most likely as soon as Xbox took the stage during E3 2019 and revealed that its next console – now confirmed as Xbox Series X – will also be available in stores around that time.
One thing we don’t yet know, however, is when we’ll see the PS5 officially unveiled. There were some suggestions that it would be part of an E3 2020 press conference, but Sony Interactive Entertainment since announced that it will not be participating in the world’s largest videogames show for a second year in a row.
It is likely to be launched at a dedicated event in the coming months instead.
Although we don’t yet know what the consumer version of the PlayStation 5 might look like, a filed patent and subsequent renders created by Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital give a great indication as to the design of the PS5 devkit.
Photos of the devkit have since made their way online.
PS5 anyone? pic.twitter.com/cBggZTIty4
— The Drunk Cat™ (@Alcoholikaust) November 30, 2019
Whether the final consumer model looks anything like these is up for debate, however. One filed patent that could be indicative of a consumer version is the one of the, proposed, DualShock 5.
Posted in December 2019, it shows a controller much like the existing DualShock 4, but with no PS button on the front and extra buttons on the rear.
We’re yet to get sniff of actual, confirmed specifications but there have been some juicy suggestions and details over the last few months.
For example, in an interview with Wired in the spring of 2019, PlayStation lead system architect Mark Cerny revealed some key features.
The new console will have an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s 7nm process and be similar to the Zen 2 Ryzen PC processors – as found in recent laptops.
Graphics hardware was also revealed, with the GPU to be based on AMD’s Radeon Navi microarchitecture. It will support ray-tracing, which will be hardware rather than software led.
Subsequent reports, not least an CNET interview with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, revealed that the PS5 will be capable of 4K 120Hz gaming – with resolutions even capable of reaching 8K sometime in the future.
While, in terms of storage, Mark Cerny claimed that internal space will be (at least partly) 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.
You can even see the demo for yourself, as it was video recorded by the Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki and posted on Twitter.
Sony’s official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019
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.
It is more likely, therefore, that an SSD will be part of an overall hybrid storage solution. We think an extra, conventional HDD will also be used to increase the capacity.
Audio hardware will be improved, 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.
We also know, thanks to a follow-up interview published by Wired in October 2019, that the PS5 will continue PlayStation’s tradition of coming with a disc drive – regardless of the rise in popularity of digital downloads. What’s more, while Sony ignored 4K Blu-ray for PS4 Pro it is reversing that decision for PlayStation 5.
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. But, that was never a solution 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, the cloud gaming service is in the process of being improved and repackaged (and made cheaper). As Cerny said during his first Wired interview: “We are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch.”
A deal with Microsoft to switch Sony gaming services to its Azure cloud servers could even see latency and other tech features of PS Now improve greatly in the coming year. Certainly, Sony does not want Google Stadia nor Microsoft’s own Project xCloud to snatch the cloud gaming market without a fight.
The gaming giant’s CEO believes that PS Now can become a bigger deal in the face of such rivalry: “We’ve actually achieved a lot, and probably a lot more than people realise,” Ryan told CNET. “Our intent is to build on those learnings and really look to try to take PlayStation Now to the next level later this year and then in the years to come.”
Also backward compatible with PS5, 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 our round-up of the best PS4 games every gamer should own.