You have the questions surrounding the PS5 and we attempt to answer them to the best of our abilities below.
Is the PS5 going to be called the PS5?
In all likelihood, yes. Lead architect Mark Cerny has only referred to the console as Sony’s next-gen offering in the press, but if Sony’s recent naming trends are to be believed then it’ll probably be called the PlayStation 5. Sony has established a strong and lasting brand identity in consumers’ minds, so changing their strategy at this point could lead to Wii U-style confusion and abandonment by gamers. That said, we also don’t know what Microsoft’s next console offering will be called. Sony could switch up their strategy, but it’s unlikely at this point.
When will the PS5 be released?
We don’t yet have a concrete release date for the PlayStation 5. We know we won’t be getting our hands on the console this year. Sony doesn’t have an E3 presence at 2019’s show, and although it’s likely to be running its own events around the same time, we won’t be hearing anything about the PS5 at E3 2019. It’s very likely that the console will be released next year, probably around November time. The PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 all launched in November of their respective years, so the PS5 should continue this trend.
What will the PS5 cost?
When the PlayStation 4 was released, it cost £349 in the UK and $399 in the USA. We can probably expect the PlayStation 5 to be roughly the same price, give or take a hundred dollars. Despite its advanced technology, waiting a year or so will probably drive down prices to the point where it won’t be unreasonable to produce consoles with that price tag. It’s also worth remembering that consoles often sell at a loss in order to promote software or addons that will make the profit difference up. As such, a lower price for the PS5 wouldn’t be completely unheard of.
How much more powerful will the PS5 be than the PS4?
In short: a lot more powerful. Sony is experimenting with the latest graphics technology, including ray tracing, which uses lighting to simulate realistic objects and environment effects. Cerny is proud of the solid state drive (SSD) in the PS5, which he considers to be head and shoulders above the average market SSD. Supposedly, the PS5 will be able to load PS4 content in 0.8 seconds where before it took 15. That should give you an indication of how much more powerful the machine could be. From there, the sky’s the limit.
What’s inside the PS5?
Good question. For a start, we have that solid state drive, although we don’t know who will be making that yet. We’ve also got an AMD 3rd generation Ryzen CPU with 8 cores of 7nm Zen 2 architecture. Graphics-wise, Sony has gone with Radeon, so there’ll be a custom Navi card inside the machine. We don’t yet know what capacity the SSD inside the PS5 will be. We think Sony would be laughed out of the room with anything short of 500GB, but a 1TB drive should probably be standard given the current move towards digital downloads and the size of AAA games these days.
Will the PS5 have a physical media drive?
Yes. Mark Cerny has confirmed that the console will definitely feature an optical drive which can read physical media. Despite Microsoft’s recent release of a discless Xbox One, it doesn’t look like Sony is interested in pursuing this avenue, at least not for now. We might see a discless PS5 somewhere down the line, but it’s likely to be a budget option to go alongside the main beast. The fact is that many still have extensive physical media collections, and Sony won’t want to miss out on potential sales to that crowd. Physical media still seems to be an important part of Sony’s strategy.
Will the PS5 have backwards compatibility?
Again, this one has a pretty clear answer, and it’s yes. Cerny says the PS5’s architecture will be largely based on the PS4’s, which also means the new console will be able to play the old console’s games. Some games may launch as double-platform titles, such as Hideo Kojima’s upcoming Death Stranding. We don’t yet know whether the PS5 will enhance or change PS4 games in any way like the Xbox One does with older Xbox 360 and OG Xbox titles. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, start lining up your library for some PS5 action.
Will the PS5 support PS VR?
Another very clear answer here: yes it will. The PlayStation 5 will continue to support the current existing PS VR headset. That presumably also means you’ll still be able to play all your current PS VR titles on the PS5, as well as meaning some new games will be in development for the device. Sony are tight-lipped about their future VR strategy, but a PS VR 2 is not unimaginable given the original device’s runaway success. Frankly, it would be more of a surprise to us if Sony didn’t make another PS VR headset.