Everything we know about the PS5!

Sony hardware architect Mark Cerny announced that the company was working on the PlayStation 5 in an interview on Tuesday. After months of speculation and rumours, the company decided it was the right time to make things official and tell everyone a few details as to what the follow-up to their best selling PS4 console will be.

The biggest idea being discussed in the interview was “upgrades” versus real progress. Cerny wants everyone to know that this new console will be “no mere upgrade”. In progress for over four years, the next gen console looks to beef up everything from graphics to loading times to general performance issues. Utilizing a new AMD chip (to help make the console’s CPU more powerful) and introducing a brand new GPU that will support ray tracing will help convey just how much of an upgrade this console will be. Ray tracing is used most notably in Hollywood to help make special effects look all the more realistic. No video game console has been capable of supporting the technology, so it goes without saying that this would be a monumental shift forward graphically.

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Above: Concept PS5


The biggest technical advancement is the addition of an SSD. An SSD (or Solid State Disk) is a form of hard drive that contains no moving parts. Introducing this to the system will allow games to load at times we haven’t ever seen. To provide an example of this, Cerny booted up Sony’s newest exclusive, Spider-Man. On a PlayStation 4 Pro the game took about 15 seconds to load a new location via fast travel. On the prototype of the new console, it took 0.8 seconds. With tech like this, it’s easy to imagine the amazing things developers will be able to create when the shackles of loading times have been released.

All these technical upgrades are really nice and will change the way we play, but one of the most exciting developments stemming from this interview is that the console will be backwards compatible. That means most (if not all) of your
PS4 games will be able to be played on the new console. This alone makes the console worth whatever price they decide to sell it at.

PS5 specs:
  • CPU - the PS5 CPU will be an AMD chip based on Ryzen. 8x cores; 7nm Zen 2.
  • GPU and ray tracing - the PS5 GPU will be a custom AMD Navi GPU, that supports ray tracing (here's Digital Foundry on the current state of ray tracing tech if you're looking for more on that).
  • Audio - the PS5 will have 3D Audio that Mark Cerny believes will be "dramatically different" to PS4 audio.
  • Storage - the PS5 will have an SSD (solid state drive) which uses the new PCIe 4.0 connection. Cerny gave the example of a 0.8 second loading time, compared to 15 seconds, when tested on Marvel's Spider-Man.
  • Resolution support - the PS5 will have up to 8K support, presumably including full 4k.
PS5 features: backwards compatibility and physical vs. digital
  • The PS5 will support backwards compatibility - with seemingly all PS4 games, as it's "based in part on the PS4's architecture".
  • The PS5 won't be digital-only - physical media, such as the current form of discs, will still be supported.
  • Some games will likely release on both PS4 and PS5 at first - Wired speculated on Death Stranding being one example, based on Cerny's notably "pregnant pause" when asked.
  • The PS5 will have some form of cloud functionality - "we are cloud-gaming pioneers," Cerny told Wired, "our vision should become clear as we head toward launch."
  • PS5 PSVR support has been confirmed, with the current headset at least.
What exactly will that price be? Well the price can be estimated given the PS5 specs we know about, but the final figure will ultimately depend on what else is in the box, the competition and the price of components at the time. In 2018 Digital Foundry ran a PS5 in theory piece which discussed pricing, and said any true next gen leap would have to wait until 2020 in order to keep costs down. The PS4 launch price was $399 - perhaps the PS5 price will be similar?

With gaming becoming more and more streaming focused, many had doubts this console would even exist. While Sony has put those rumours to bed, it’s becoming ever more clear that this may very well be the last PlayStation console. I’d suggest buying this console if you like video games at all, because consoles in general will soon become a thing of the past.

PS5 likely games:
  • Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's anticipated sci-fi adventure, is still a PS4 game, but the Wired article that revealed an interesting line: "When asked, a spokesperson in the room repeated that the game would be released for PS4, but Cerny's smile and pregnant pause invites speculation that it will in fact be a two-platform release."
  • Starfield, Bethesda's space-based role-playing adventure, is still a few years off and is a next gen game - putting it in-line as a PS5 game. It could, of course, be cross-gen with PS4, too.
  • Elder Scrolls 6 is even further away from that - this is almost certainly bound for PS5 than PS4. Here are our educated-but-very-over-excited Elder Scrolls 6 location predictions, if you want more on that.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 is entirely possible as a current generation game, but there's a chance it could also release on PS5 and whatever the next Xbox is, too.
  • Countless yearly franchises, live service games and popular apps. Will FIFA, Call of Duty and Madden be coming to PS5? Almost certainly. Fortnite on PS5? It's possible. Netflix? We reckon so. Of course we won't hear anything for a while yet about confirmed PS5 games, so this is all our guesswork on what is possible.
 

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