The PS5 (or PlayStation 5) is the next-generation PlayStation console, and its release date is coming in late 2020. In Sony's The Future of Gaming event on June 11, the PS5's design was finally revealed, along with the
The PS5 design reveal was a massive surprise, and an even bigger shock was the unveiling of the PS5 Digital Edition - a streamlined, digital-only console without a disc drive. Even though Sony didn't reveal the
Here's the PS5 event re-cap video if you missed it:
Earlier this year, Sony revealed the
Just as important as the DualSense Controller are the
When it comes to other PS5 features, we know the next-gen console will have
Want all the juicy details? Here's everything we know about the PS5 so far, including the newly-revealed design – and what we hope will be revealed the closer we get to launch.
PS5: key facts
- What is it? The Sony PS5 is the next-gen PlayStation console.
- When will it release? "Holiday 2020", so between October and December 2020.
- What can I play on it? Loads of games! They include a new Spider-Man entry, a Horizon Zero Dawn sequel, a Demon's Souls remake, Resident Evil 8 and much more to come.
- Will PS5 have VR? Oh yes. The next-gen console will be compatible with current PSVR hardware, and there are also rumors of
- What will the PS5 cost? TBC. The PS4 and PS4 Pro were both $399 / £349 at launch, but we expect the PS5 will cost somewhat more.
- Can I play PS4 games on the PS5? The PS5 will definitely be backwards compatible with "almost all" PS4 games - earlier generations are still to be confirmed. It will launch with support for the majority of the top 100 PS4 games, according to Sony's Mark Cerny.
- Will coronavirus delay the PS5 release? Sony has confirmed the
However, this date would be in the right window, as we're predicting the PS5 will release in November, 2020. November is historically when we've seen PlayStation consoles launch and it would leave time before Christmas to get those orders in.
AMD, the tech giant that’s been commissioned to make the processor and graphics chips in both the
We're expecting to find out the PlayStation 5's official release date soon, now that we've seen the design.
Sony hasn't officially confirmed a
In a quarterly earnings call (via
“It’s a balancing act it’s very difficult to say anything concrete at this point of time," Totoki said. But we do know that Sony is aiming for "the best balance so that we will be profitable in the life, during the life of this product."
However, Sony Interactive Entertainment's president and CEO Jim Ryan has hinted that a PS5 price tag may be closer to being decided and that the PS5 might not have the 'lowest price' in battle against Xbox Series X
In a wide-ranging interview with
Speaking on whether the potential for a Covid-19-related recession will affect sales of the PS5, a high-value gadget, Ryan said:
"I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don't necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things. In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games... all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform."
While Sony may not have confirmed a price yet, there have been rumors about how much the PS5 could cost. While many PS5 leaks are wild – and can't be trusted - some predictions seem a bit more feasible (even if they're not reliable).
We think this could be the most likely price for the console, but that could be wishful thinking. A report by
According to the report, Sony is simply anticipating less demand. This is likely due to what is expected to be a higher asking price for the PS5 than the PS4 launched with. The PS5 is expected to really push the boat out in terms of high-end components, and as such will likely be met with a higher price tag.
Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox Series X are key here, and Sony could well decide to sell the hardware at a slight loss to stay competitive with the other console. The PS4 benefited from a lower cost than the Xbox One, and Sony likely won’t be keen to reverse that for this generation. We hope.
However, speaking on an episode of
We can only speculate about whether this will happen. But, while we can expect that the PS5's price will be in line with the technology it uses, Sony will also have to be aware of its competition. It's unlikely, with the Xbox Series X, that Microsoft will repeat the mistake it made by launching the Xbox One at a prohibitively high price point, so Sony will have to ensure that it doesn't make a similar mistake by making the PS5 too expensive.
It could be a while before we get confirmation of the PS5 price - possibly a few months yet. Historically we've seen both companies reveal their console pricing around June or July, but this time things are a bit different. The hot topic of pricing has many on the edge of their seats, as we see just how powerful the PS5 and Xbox Series are, and wonder how expensive the technology will be.
It seems like we're currently in something of a standoff, with both companies waiting to see what the other will price its next-gen hardware at. It looks like Sony and Microsoft will be waiting until the last possible moment to set their pricing, with plenty of time before then to make adjustments. Still, enough time will need to be set aside before the consoles release between October and December for people to get those pre-orders in.
The PS5 design was officially revealed on June 11, 2020. This image above is what the console looks like.
When it came to the reveal of the console itself, Sony nailed it – the icing on the PS5 games reveal event, and with a few surprises in store too. Not one, but two PlayStation 5 consoles will launch – a standard edition with a 4K Blu-Ray disc drive, and a slimmer, disc-free PS5 Digital Edition (read more on this below).
Both make use of USB-C charging for their controllers, and can make use of a HD camera accessory, alongside a new PS5 wireless headset and media remote. The consoles themselves feature a striking design that’s sure to split opinion.
A curvy mixture of black and white plastics with blue highlight lighting, it’s far removed from the ‘black box’ designs of previous PlayStation consoles. What was not revealed however, were pricing and precise availability, which remain a mystery beyond the aforementioned "Holiday 2020" window.
In addition, Sony has said that the PS
Demon's Souls for PS5. (Image credit: Sony / From Software)
- 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
What's interesting so far is Sony's commitment to custom silicon, with a full focus on raising gaming capabilities to the next level, without alienating developers now comfortable with developing on the PS4. Custom hardware in the PS3 proved to be a difficult element for devs to get their heads around, but the PS5 aims to be as developer-friendly as possible.
The importance of the SSD
As has already been explored, the SSD is key to the PlayStation 5 experience. Internal storage will be built in at 825GB for the custom SSD – that's less than you'll find in the Xbox Series X, but with just as clever an implementation of the technology.
SSDs don’t just load faster, but allow for bigger open worlds, theoretically. Developers don’t need to make games with smaller worlds due to the limitations of mechanical hard drives, while SSDs will also allow system memory to be used more effectively.
SSDs have more bandwidth, so data can be loaded from the SSD when it’s needed, rather than heaps of potentially needless data being loaded into RAM. In pure gameplay terms that means that games will suffer less from texture pop-in, while load times will be hugely reduced when using a game's fast-travel option. Booting up from standby should be generally much faster, too.
You'll also have more control over how you install and remove games, meaning you could just install a game's multiplayer mode rather than the full block of data. This will allow for launch of direct gameplay, allowing players to jump straight into aspects of different games (such as match-making, continue save game etc) without having to boot up the full game.
As for expandable storage, Sony appears to be allowing for off-the-shelf NVMe PC drives, rather than proprietary storage systems that Xbox will primarily be relying on. However, there aren't many drives on the market right now that use the PCIe 4.0 interface required – they need to be capable of at least a 5.5GB/s transfer speed.
"NVMe PC drives will work in PlayStation 5," said Cerny. "The only problem is that PC technology is significantly behind PS5. It'll take some time for the newer, PCIe 4.0-based drives with the bandwidth required to match Sony's spec to hit the market."
PS4 games on the PS5 will work just fine if saved to a regular HDD, however, so you won't need to tap into that precious SSD space unnecessarily.
When asked about the PlayStation 5’s speed compared to its current-gen console at a corporate strategy meeting, Sony made the bullish claim that PS5 will “revolutionize the game experience for users” in an
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida added that the PS5’s custom-built SSD will enable processing speeds that dwarf those found on PlayStation 4 - with the PS5 boasting processing speeds 100 times faster than the PS4.
In fact, Epic Games has revealed that the PS5's SSD is so fast that the developer had to rework its Unreal Engine 5 tech demo to take full advantage of it.
“The ability to stream in content at extreme speeds enables developers to create denser and more detailed environments, changing how we think about streaming content," Epic Games VP of engineering, Nick Penwarden, told
A custom processor and GPU – what that means for backwards compatibility
We were already aware that Sony will be using AMD's Zen 2 CPU processor tech, with eight cores and 16 threads. The reveal stream, however, also revealed that the PS5 will be delivering 3.5GHz frequencies – so, the PlayStation 5 would be running 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (at variable frequencies) over the PS4's 8x Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz. That's a huge jump in performance.
Move over to the GPU, and you're looking at the AMD RDNA 2 GPU, itself customized. It makes use of 36 compute units capped at 2.23GHz. A compute performance peak of 10.28TF was stated.
What's smart is that the combination makes it simple for the PS5 to easily handle
Tempest 3D audio tech
The PS5 will boast
The example Cerny used described it in terms of rainfall. Today, the sound of rain in a game is a single audio track, but the PS5 would theoretically be capable of letting you hear individual raindrops, in relation to where the player character is.
"Where we ended up is a unit with roughly the same SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) power and bandwidth as all eight Jaguar cores in the PS4 combined," said Cerny.
The amount of attention Sony is heaping on its Tempest Audio Engine suggests it may be the secret weapon in the PlayStation 5 arsenal.
At a corporate strategy meeting for Sony, a slideshow called the PlayStation 5 an "evolution of sound".
"By installing a customized 3D audio processing unit in PS5, we have made it possible to deliver diverse and sophisticated 3D audio experiences," the slide read. "Players can experience sound that moves in from front to behind, above to below, and all around them."
"If we were to use the same algorithms as PSVR, that's enough for something like five thousand sound sources – but of course we want to use more complex algorithms, and we don't need anything like that number of sounds."
Perhaps best of all is the way you'll get to experience this – even a lowly pair of headphones at launch will be able to take advantage of the sense of presence and directionality Sony is promising here, with the company also committing to later support multi-speaker surround systems with the tech.
But this is an ongoing project for Sony. To accurately model surround data positioning, Sony needs to create a Head-related Transfer Function, or HRFT, map. Essentially, that's a distinct algorithm that works best if the system knows the precise shape of your ears.
"Maybe you'll be sending us a photo of your ear, and we'll use a neural network to pick the closest HRTF in our library," Cerny teased. "Maybe you'll be sending us a video of your ears and your head, and we'll make a 3D model of them and synthesize the HRTF. Maybe you'll play an audio game to tune your HRTF, we'll be subtly changing it as you play, and home in on the HRTF that gives you the highest score, meaning that it matches you the best.
"This is a journey we'll all be taking together over the next few years. Ultimately, we're committed to enabling everyone to experience that next level of realism."
Alongside the standard PS5, Sony is also releasing a PS5 Digital Edition - a disc-less version of the next-gen console. This solely digital console will boast the same specs as the standard PS5, just in a more streamlined package.
The PS5 Digital Edition sees Sony moving with what’s increasingly becoming a physical-media-free hobby, banking on players to make use of digital downloads and streaming services rather than buying games or movies on disc-based hardware.
It’ll certainly make swapping games with friends a challenge, as well as trading them in, and gaming stores will likely be a little worried by its presence – especially if it proves significantly cheaper than the main version of the machine. But for those that enjoy building a physical library, the disc-based console remains an option at least.
We're expecting the PS5 Digital Edition to be cheaper, although it's unclear just how much by. After all, there's still a considerable amount of brand new power inside the Digital Edition - none of which comes much cheaper when the disc tray is removed. It might make for a more affordable option for those right on the cusp of purchase, but it's unlikely to come cheap by any means.
PS5 DualSense Controller
The PS5 will come with a new gamepad, one that Sony is dubbing the
The two-tone PS5 controller color scheme extends to the four face buttons, which still consist of Triangle, Circle, Square and Cross (or X), but they're devoid of color. There is a pop of color around the side of the central touchpad, as the PS4 Lightbar has moved from the top of the gamepad on the PS5.
The PS5 controller includes haptic feedback in the L2 and R2 shoulder buttons that are going to be adaptive. Sony explains that these adaptive triggers are important to let players feel the tension of their actions, like drawing a bow to shoot an arrow. This will let developers program the resistance of the triggers to simulate actions more accurately.
The DualSense will include a microphone inside of the controller, allowing gamers to ditch their headset to communicate with friends. And the 'Share' button is dead. Long live the 'Create' button. That's what Sony is calling the the button that's in the same spot and still intended for gameplay content to share with the world. Sony is teasing more details about this button ahead of the console launch.
We finally got our first look at Sony's "compelling"
Dozens of games were shown off, and a wide variety of indies sat alongside big name studios like Capcom and Bethesda. But there were a few standout stars among them.
Crowning the show was Horizon Zero Dawn sequel,
Other franchises are set to return too. Sony’s take on Spider-Man, helmed by Insomniac Games, will swing back into action with Mile Morales taking the role of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man in another open-world title across a to-scale Manhattan.
The long-rumoured Demon’s Soul PS5 remake was also confirmed, for those who like their RPG’s with a side of masochism. And the Resident Evil franchise will be making another first-person outing, with the mainline series getting a new sequel:
A new Ratchet and Clank game, a new Oddworld title and a new Gran Turismo title were all also revealed, as well as the news that an ‘expanded and enhanced’ version of Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS5 will also land, marking the third generation of consoles the crime caper has now featured on. Arkane’s Deathloop was also shown off once again too, following its initial reveal at E3 2019, looking like Dishonored if directed by Quentin Tarrantino.
For a full look at the dozens of PS5 games on the way, including a bunch of previously confirmed third-party titles, check out our full
But what else do we know about the PS5's games, beyond the reveal event?
Well, for a start, we know that an "overwhelming majority" of the more than 4,000 PS4 games available will also be playable on the PS5, including
Not only will we see backwards compatibility with PS4 games, but expect any first-party
If you're holding out hope that any of Sony's PS5 exclusives that were revealed during the showcase will come to the PS4 too, you will be disappointed.
In an interview with
"We have always said that we believe in generations," Ryan said. "We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.
"We do believe in generations, and whether it's the
In addition to the gameplay reveals, we've also seen what the PS5 is capable of in Epic's Unreal Engine 5 reveal. This tech demo is running on PS5:
We're not sure if there'll be a PS5 Pro, but the reveal of an all-digital PS5 suggests that Sony is planning multiple versions of the console. A PS5 Pro feels possible, but we'd expect it deeper into the next generation of consoles.
- Tired of future-gazing? Why not check out the
- Already got a PSVR? These are the
- These are the