The beginning of a new console generation is always a seriously exciting time. Speculation is rife about the specifications of the console, the games you’ll be able to play on it, and the environment it’ll provide for gamers. Will this one be more of a media hub or a dedicated games console? How’s the streaming function? Will it have physical media capabilities? Trying to guess what a new console will be like is always exciting, and it’s been that way with Sony’s PlayStation 5, too.
Thanks to lead architect Mark Cerny, we now have a good idea of what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a technical perspective, or at least part of it. There’s plenty we still don’t know about Sony’s upcoming beast, though. Let’s take a look at the latest PlayStation 5 news – when is it coming out? What will its tech specs look like? What games can we expect?
We should expect the PS5 to be fully unveiled next year, although don’t rule out a potential reveal this year. Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 in February 2013 and that console went on general release November that year; they like to announce consoles in the same year people can buy them. We also know that Sony won’t be at this year’s E3, so we won’t get any news of the console then. The latest rumours place a Christmas 2020 release for the PS5.
Mark Cerny recently eagerly showed off a tech demo of the PS5 in which he claimed the console would load games super-fast. What used to take the PS4 15 seconds to load can now be called up in 0.8 seconds. That’s a pretty bold claim, but there’s a new SSD powering the PS5 that might be the shot in the arm Cerny claims it will. We can also expect top-of-the-range Ryzen architecture and custom Radeon graphics, complete with ray tracing technology.
Cerny told Wired that the PlayStation 5 would still accept physical media and wouldn’t be a download-only console like Microsoft’s recent discless Xbox One. It probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense to go completely physical media-free for the flagship launch of a new console. UK game sales may now be 80% digital, but that’s still a pretty significant portion of the audience to abandon. Plus, physical movie media still isn’t dead yet, so being able to play old Blu-ray discs is a plus.
As a result of the PS5 being based partially on the PS4’s architecture, the console will be backwards compatible. That means you’ll be able to play your old PS4 games on your PS5. There’s no word yet on whether the console will enhance them in any way – resolution upscaling, for example – but rest assured you will be able to play them. Likelihood is some games will launch simultaneously for both consoles, although why you’d want to buy the PS4 version of an exciting PS5 game is beyond us.
The only game we can confirm for the PS5 is Hideo Kojima’s upcoming Death Stranding. Again, in the Wired interview, Mark Cerny...didn’t exactly deny Kojima’s game would launch for the PS5. If that’s true, then we can also place Death Stranding for a 2020 release. We’re entering the realms of speculation now, but expect sequels to Sony properties like the excellent God of War and the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima. A Bloodborne sequel would be lovely but obviously hasn’t been announced yet.
This is still wildly up in the air right now, so we can only speculate. We haven’t had any news about the PS5’s potential controller. If the console is capable of playing PS4 games, then it probably needs something that can at least emulate the PS4’s touch pad. As such, expect to see either the same touch pad on the DualShock 5 (working title) or something close to it. Sony has stuck relatively close to its design since the PS1 days, so it’s hard to imagine them deviating too much from it for the PS5.
Mark Cerny has confirmed that the PS5 will continue to support the PS4’s VR headset. All your PS VR games will be playable on PS5, and Sony will continue to produce VR games for that headset. Whether a new PS VR set is on the horizon we don’t yet know. PS VR is arguably the best and most stable form of VR on the market, so it’s not urgent for Sony to iterate on their headset just yet. Still, with the new technical capabilities of the PS5, a new VR headset does kind of make you salivate, no?
With Google recently announcing its Stadia cloud gaming platform, Sony will have to make sure they’re keeping up with the Joneses in this area. Mark Cerny told Wired that the company’s strategy is to be a “cloud-gaming pioneer”, and that the vision Sony has for cloud gaming will become clear closer to launch. We don’t know much more than that, sadly, but an improved version of PlayStation Now with improved support for weaker connections wouldn’t be a massive stretch.
This is the latest news we have on the PS5 right now. As we move further into the year, we can expect Sony to perhaps divulge a little more info on the console. What would you like to see? Any features you’d add?