In June, Sony officially unveiled the PS5 to the world at their PS5 event, giving us a taste of what next-gen gaming could be. Since then, more juicy details regarding specs, design, customization, and games have slowly been trickling out.
Sony has now announced that the hotly anticipated PS5 console will launch on November 12, 2020. With an ultra-high speed SSD, support for haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and even 3D audio, it’s sure to be quite the experience. Direct pre-orders have now closed, but don’t worry – you can still get your hands on a console when it hits the open market in November.
Let's dive into everything we know about Sony's next-gen.
Table of Contents
- Specs & Performance
- Console Design
- DualSense Controller Design
- The Games
- Exclusive Games
- Third-Party Games
- Indie Titles
- PS5 UI
- Backward Compatibility
- Peripheral Backward Compatibility
- PS5 Ready TVs
- The Future of PS4
- Pre-orders, Price & getting hands-on
- The Logo
- Is It Better than the Xbox Series X?
Specs & Performance
Promising one of the most substantial leaps in console technology since the jump to the PS4, the PS5 boasts an incredibly exciting set of upgrades compared to the previous-gen.
Sony has officially provided the following specs:
- CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 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 bandwidth: 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 (PS4 games only)
- Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive
These stats can be daunting for the uninitiated, so let's translate them into what they mean for our gaming experience.
The upgrades to the CPU and GPU will heighten gameplay and graphical capabilities. The PS4 opened the door to incredible graphical capabilities that were glimpsed, but not fully experienced. Now on the PS5, we'll be able to take advantage of real-time lighting, raytracing, super-high-definition resolutions of 4K or even 8K, HDR (high dynamic range) modes and high frame rates (120 fps). Ultimately, it'll bring many more tools for developers to bring their games to life, especially in terms of raw power for computer processes (CPU) and graphical fidelity (GPU).
The new SSD internal storage has also been all the rage. For many of us, the SSD may seem like a place to save our data and install our games, but PS5 plans to integrate it more fully. As most current-gen consoles use HDDs (hard disk drives), they are relatively sluggish and slow when handling data.
The new SDD, along with its upgraded IO ports, will permit much faster loading times, which will ease pressure on the RAM. All this will result in Sony claims, near-instant load times, fewer texture-pop ins, and much larger seamless open worlds.
As audio isn't mentioned on the spec sheet, it's easy to overlook it. However, with increased audio systems and 3D audio, it's clear that Sony's new Tempest Engine will be something to behold.
It's essential to also understand that although the specs are listed with a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive, some PS5s won't have this feature. This is because two editions will be released: a disk drive version and a diskless variant, relying instead on digital downloads of games alone. This latter digital edition will likely be cheaper than the one containing a disc drive, which is worth considering when we all get in a buying frenzy once the console goes into pre-order.
For a more detailed breakdown of the PS5 specs, check out our full article.
Departing from Sony's 3-generation old all-black body and controllers, the PS5's design is notably futuristic. Instead of a black-box, the new console sports a black interior within a sleek, flowing white casing standing upright, like a tower. It kind of reminds us of the old Xbox 360 brought into the 2020s, but given the extra Sony shine.
Departing the traditionally minimal all-black design may be a bold move. Still, it's fair to assume that Sony will release several limited-edition versions of the console down the line, as they have done with previous generations. This will give you the option to get your hands on a different color scheme, albeit for a premium. If the official customizations are too lacking, there are already many places that offer custom skins for the PS5. Furthermore, leaked images suggest that the faceplates surrounding the PS5 may even be detachable and interchangeable, opening up the options for console customization even further.
This new focus on white as their color of choice has seeped into their box art, with the iconic blue bar at the box's apex now coming off as a clean white, with the black PS5 and PlayStation logos pasted in their usual location.
DualSense Controller Design
Ditching their classic DualShock line-up for an allegedly far superior design crowned the DualSense is another one of Sony's bold departures into the next-gen. But it definitely sounds like it's one for the better.
Again sporting the new black on white aesthetic, similar to the console, and an original boomerang shape, the controller looks radically different to what we've held for generations.
It sports a bunch of new exciting features that warrant the change in name and fresh look.
· Haptic feedback: This will replace the DualShock's classic rumble technology with touch-stimulation, meaning the controller will output vibration or movements somewhat replicating a real-life touch experience. It's hard to get our heads around how this will actually translate into gameplay scenarios, but we can't wait to find out.
· Adaptive Triggers: These will allow developers to program specific resistance dependent reactions to the triggers (L2/R2), furthering the technology we already have in the DualShock 4.
· The 'Create' Button: Ditching the 'Share' button many of us never pressed on the DualShock the new 'Create' button looks to provide some more functionality, which they've yet to reveal.
· Audio Jack: Unlike most technology companies these days, Sony opted to keep the audio-jack for easy use of headphones and headsets.
· Built-in Microphone: But you may not need that headset anymore, as you'll be able to talk right through the controller to those you're playing with.
Beyond these features, it has also been hinted through leaks and patents, we can expect better battery life, potential wireless charging, voice control, and even (if we're lucky) heart-rate monitoring and sweat sensors. Although this last offering, suggested by Sony's patent for a "biofeedback sensor attachment", sounds pretty sci-fi.
Whatever final features will be added to the list, the DualSense stands tall as a next-gen controller.
But what's the use of a sleek, high-performing console and an excellent controller without top-notch games to play? Let's dive into the games we know about so far.
A handful of exclusives have taken their place as the PS5's poster-boys, and rightfully so. The one's we're most excited about are:
· Horizon Forbidden West – the sequel to the prehistoric robo-futuristic Horizon Zero Dawn
· Spider-Man: Miles Morales – A new addition to the Spider-Man universe
· The Demon's Souls remake – The iconic PS3 title being brought to next-gen
· Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart – Reviving the fan-favorite franchise, ripe with nostalgia
· Gran Turismo 7 – An all-in addition to the racing sim, which will be enhanced by the new haptic controllers
· Sackboy: A Big Adventure – an off-shoot of the LittleBigPlanet franchise
In addition to all these titles adding to existing franchises, there are a handful of new IPs coming to the PS5 as exclusives.
· Astro’s Playroom – This will come pre-loaded on PS5 consoles, introducing players to the new controller's features and the console itself.
· Destruction AllStars – An action romp blending vehicular and on-foot combat
· Godfall – A third-person fantasy role-playing dungeon loot-em-up
· Project Athia – An action game featuring breath-taking visuals from the team behind Final Fantasy XV
· Returnal – A third-person sci-fi shooter and psychological horror from Housemarque
Of course, first-party and exclusive games only make up part of the roster. Below are all the other confirmed games to feature on the PS5' list so far:
· Assassin's Creed Valhalla
· Balan Wonderworld
· Braid: Anniversary Edition
· Dirt 5
· Earthlock 2
· Far Cry 6
· FIFA 21
· Ghostwire: Tokyo
· Gods & Monsters
· Guilty Gear Strive
· Hitman 3
· Hood: Outlaws and Legends
· Kena: Bridge of Spirits
· Marvel's Avengers
· Metal: Hellsinger
· NBA 2K21
· New Dragon Age Title
· Observer: System Redux
· Oddworld Soulstorm
· Overcooked! All You Can Eat
· PES 2021
· Planet Coaster: Console Edition
· Quantum Error
· Resident Evil Village
· Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One
· The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
· The Pathless
· The Pedestrian
· Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine
· Untitled People Can Fly project – from the team behind Bulletstorm.
· Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
· Watch Dogs: Legion
· WRC 9
· Yakuza – Like a Dragon
With the announcement of PlayStation Indies, a program to promote indie development for PlayStation consoles, the PS5 looks to be an Indie friendly console, with a dense line-up already forming.
· Chivalry 2
· Cris Tales
· Goodbye Volcano High
· Heavenly Bodies
· Jett: The Far Shore
· Paradise Lost
· Solar Ash
· Worms Rumble
Now that's certainly a ton of fun to dive into on the PS5. And this is just the games which have been confirmed so far. There are some titles we can speculate on, such as The Elder Scrolls 6, but we'll have to wait and see for more games to trickle out of the woodwork. Needless to say, PlayStation is undoubtedly sticking to their mantra of being "for the players".
To play this extensive catalog of games, we first need to navigate the system's UI, which is to be "completely revamped," according to an interview with WIRED. The rework concept is to give players instant access to whatever they want—single-player missions or multiplayer matches without ever needing to even boot up the game.
This promises to pull players into the action much faster, undoubtedly helped by the system's incredible new SSD.
Furthermore, other leaks from 2019 suggest that Sony plans to delve into the world of streaming—either to twitch-like platforms or perhaps their own. This could be one of the new features of the DualSense controller's 'Create' feature, and the fact that the console may have an in-built 4K camera! Perhaps we can finally enter an organic age of easy console streaming. But watch this space for these rumors to be confirmed or disregarded.
Although Sony confirmed that the PS5 would be backward compatible with PS4 games, it's not as simple as that. Although next-gen architecture based on that of the PS4 backward compatibility is definitely in the cards, speculation suggests that, at least at launch, only white-listed PS4 games may work well on the new hardware.
This may reduce the more than 4000 PS4 games Sony promised being reduced to around 100. Keep in mind this only applies at launch, and it is very likely that most of these games will become compatible down the line, as Sony tests and white-lists more and more titles.
Beyond the mists of the PS4, it's unclear whether PS3 and earlier titles may be compatible with the PS5. But thanks to a patent filing, spotted by GearNuke, there's reason to believe that you could play the entire PlayStation bloodline on this new console. This patent, called "Remastering by emulation", seems to attempt emulating older titles to pull them into the 2020s.
Backward compatibility of games seems healthy for the PS5, even if the catalog may be a little limited at launch.
Peripheral Backward Compatibility
The future of old PlayStation games looks bright, and so does bringing current officially-licensed peripherals into the next-gen. Sony has specified that racing wheels, arcade sticks flight sticks, wireless/official third-party headsets, PS Move Motion Controllers, the VR Aim Controller, and the PlayStation camera will all work on the new console.
The DualShock 4, the primary peripheral, is a different story. Although you will be able to continue using this for PS4 titles on the new console, they state that it will not work with PS5 only titles, reasoning that PS5 titles should take advantage of the unique features of the new DualSense controller.
The PSVR headset is also said to be compatible with the PS5, which is excellent news to VR fans, especially given the recent announcement of Hitman 3's VR mode at this year's 'State of Play'. However, although the headset will be compatible with the new console, it is unclear to what extent. And a selection of leaked PS5 VR-related patents does suggest that there's more for the PSVR on the horizon—including the potential of a VR Glove, which sounds absolutely cosmic!
PS5 Ready TVs
Yeah, this one's a bit strange given that you've never had to consider whether your TV would be compatible with a console before. You can plug the console into most modern TVs, and it will be functional, but to get the most out of the console, you may need to invest in some specific tech.
The features in question are the resolution and refresh rate of the TV, with the PS5 offering both 4 and 8K resolutions, 120fps support, and ultra-low 7.2ms input lag.
These top-class features will require HDMI 2.1, meaning even most of Sony's current TV line-up won't be able to take full advantage of the PS5's technical features.
There are certainly many alternatives that look like they will support the PS5's demands—such as the LG CX or the Samsung QLED range.
If you're looking for a new TV and plan on getting the most out of your PS5, keep an eye out for that HDMI 2.1 input.
The Future of PS4
While next-gen consoles certainly don't spell immediate death for previous consoles, they indicate that they are entering their twilight years. And with all future PS4 releases submitted after July 13 requiring PS5 compatibility, Sony may be looking to move on quickly.
However, with Sony predicting that the PS4 will continue to be their central driver for profitability until 2022, it's clear it will be around for a while longer.
We can take a look at history to find that PS3 lasted 11 years and PS2 12 years, to conclude the PS4 could be supported into the mid-2020s.
Pre-orders, Price & Getting Hands-on
Back in June, we predicted the PS5 would retail for around $499. This turned out to be spot on. Sony has announced that the PS5 will retail for $499.99 when it launches this November. The Digital Edition will cost $399.99. This price places the Sony PS5 squarely in competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series S, priced at $299, and the Xbox Series X, which is set to retail at $499. Both the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S will hit stores starting November 10, 2020 – just two days before the PS5 launches. What do you think of the price of Sony’s newest console? Will you be buying a PS5 this holiday season?
Revealed back in January at CES 2020, the new PS5 logo is remarkably similar to the PS4 logo… and indeed the PS3 logo… and ever so slightly different to the PSP and PS2 logos. That's to say that Sony is consistent with their marketing and branding, despite the radical changes in the console and controller design.
Although many fans have responded negatively to this uninspired continuation of the logo, with one Reddit user jokingly flipping the 'P' to create the '5', the continuity is comforting. It represents Sony's continued ideologies for the platform, favoring market-leading quality and embodying their sleek, efficient temperament that is less about flair and more about functional, all-out gaming.
And let's be honest, whatever design they unveiled it would be slaughtered by the internet. After all, we are the gaming community…
Is it better than the Xbox Series X?
For many of us, this is the real reason why we're here. "Is it better?"
Well, this is complicated and really depends on the type of gamer you are.
With pretty comparable specs and peripherals, it's fair to say either console will do you well.
Based on games alone, the PS5 certainly looks to win out with far more exclusives and announced titles coming to the platform. Furthermore, with the continued compatibility with PSVR, the PS5 does look like it'll give you far more gaming experiences.
If you're anything like Valve boss Gabe Newell—affectionately known as GabeN—the Xbox Series X wins out. Although he doesn't quite clarify why, it's fair to assume it is down to the fact that the Xbox pips the PS5 slightly in terms of specs, has a less aggressive marketing strategy (something valve knows well), and aims to move console gaming towards a multi-platform future.
Microsoft's approach to the Series X is also considerably more PC-like in its out-the-box compatibility with all previous Xbox generations and services like the Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery looking to give users bang for their buck. But, let's be honest, GabeN would prefer you buy a PC to give Steam 30% of all of your purchases…
The truth is that PS5 hold immense brand power with good reason and Forbes has reported that analysts believe the PS5 will outsell the Series X by a 2-1 margin, which is directly in line with the previous generation (even though the Xbox 360 and PS3 directly competed at around 80 million units each).
The PS5 certainly looks like it will be the powerhouse of gaming in the next couple of years, due to a broader array of games and more day-one desirable features. Keep an eye on the Series X boasting better specs across the board, as it may win out as the better, albeit lesser selling, console in the years to come.
That said, don't take it from us. Take a look at everything we know about the Xbox Series X to make up your mind.
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