Here’s the Playstation 5 (PS5) – the successor to the Playstation 4
The Playstation 4’s successor is a real monster of a machine
On 11 June, Sony finally revealed what the PlayStation 5 will look like. We've already had some tiny sneak peaks at the design, including the unveiling of the game console's controller – but the we were forced to wait until now for the 'big reveal'.
The PlayStation 5 is a futuristically designed game console in black and white, just like the controller. Two versions are being released – one with an optical reader for discs, the other a fully digital version for downloading and streaming. It is not known how large the price difference between the two versions will be.
Both versions of the PlayStation 5 can be positioned vertically or horizontally, just like the upcoming Xbox Series X. The game console has a special foot that ensures the device stands steady, regardless of the position in which it is placed. The size of the foot differs slightly between the standard PlayStation 5 and the Digital Edition version.
A range of accessories are being at the same time as the PlayStation 5. These include a charging station for two controllers, a wireless gaming headset called Pulse 3D, and a new media controller. There is even an optional HD camera.
Sony has not revealed price details for the PlayStation 5 or its accessories, and the exact launch date has yet to be announced. Read more about the game console in our original article below.
Much better performance than the Playstation 4 Pro - and much quieter
With the new-generation AMD hardware, the Playstation 5 has much better performance than both the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. The game console uses a powerful 8-core AMD processor with its associated graphics card and 16GB of RAM. Performance is sufficient to run games at up to 8K resolution, or 4K resolution at 120 fps, if the player prefers high frame rate rather than higher resolution.
Ultra HD Blu-ray & NVMe SSD
The Playstation 5 uses an Ultra HD Blu-ray that supports standard 100GB Blu-ray discs. This means that you can watch high resolution films on discs and install your new games without having to download them from the internet. However, what you cannot do is run the games directly from a disc. According to Sony, all Playstation 5 games must be installed on the SSD disk in the game console.
Backwards compatible with Playstation 4 titles
The Playstation 5 is backwards compatible with older Playstation 4 games. However, this doesn’t mean that the game console can run all old games, but at least the majority should work smoothly, and the games that are supported can benefit from the higher performance of the Playstation 5 for more stable playback frequency and higher image resolution.
3D sound for a more immersive experience
The Playstation 5 has built-in support for 3D audio which gives it a more all-enveloping experience for those using headphones with the game console. With 3D sound you get a more precise positioning of footsteps, shotgun, thunder and other sounds. Distances become clearer and you simply get a greater chance of hearing where the sounds come from in the games. Sony says that the Playstation 5 and its upgraded audio technology supports hundreds of audio sources simultaneously.
● 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor running at 3.5GHz
● AMD RDNA 2 graphics circuit capable of 10.28 teraflops
● 16GB GDDR6 RAM memory
● 825GB NVMe M.2 SSD that can be upgraded by the user
● Ultra HD Blu-ray that uses standard 100GB discs
● Support for 8K resolution and 4K at 120 fps
● Backward compatible with most Playstation 4 games at the launch
● New hand control with haptic feedback
The Playstation 5 is backwards compatible with many older Playstation 4 games. This means that many (but not all) games for Playstation 4 will work just the same as on the older game console and in many cases even better thanks to the more powerful Playstation 5 hardware.
Sony is working on making as many Playstation 4 games as possible fully playable on the Playstation 5, but not all will be able to run properly. Therefore, it’s important that there are enough Playstation 5 games ready at the launch. Today, there are only a few confirmed games that have been optimised for the game console when released. Here we look at three of the major game titles.
Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion is the third game in the Watch Dogs series where the player assumes the role of hacker in an open game world. Watch Dogs Legion differs a bit from the previous games by now controlling a group of hackers instead of a lone protagonist. Just as before, the main opponent is DedSec, and the goal is to fight for the organisation once and for all, this time in a dystopian London. The game is also released for the Xbox Series X.
Gothic for Playstation 5 is a completely redesigned version of the original game from 2001. Gothic is a so-called action RPG where the player sets out in the wilderness to fight monsters and collect various resources. It’s unclear exactly what the re-worked version will look like, but game publisher THQ Nordic says that they want to be faithful to the original game while introducing new and exciting gameplay mechanics.
Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege is released for both Playstation 5 and for the Xbox Series X. Choose between dozens of special operators, defend your position with various traps, and break down walls to surprise opponents. Rainbow Six Siege brings everything that was good in the previous games to this series, and increases the pace with more intensive close-ups and new strategies.
Ultra-fast storage should eliminate loading times
One component of the Playstation 5 that Sony promotes is the super-fast SSD storage. Up to 19 times faster loading times than with the Playstation 4 has been promised, which basically means that loading times disappear completely. That should outweigh the fact that the Playstation 5 has generally worse performance than the Xbox Series X, at least on paper as we haven't been able to test the game consoles yet.
The Playstation 5’s SSD storage is installed in an M.2 slot in the game console. Storage can be replaced with other, third-party solutions by users in the future. It requires that the storage device is of the NVMe type for an M.2 slot and has a minimum bandwidth of 5.5GB / s. The reason that Sony has a minimum requirement of 5.5GB / s is because they want a minimum level that all developers work from.
No news on the Playstation 5 Pro
At the time of writing, there is no information on the Playstation 5 Pro at all. Sony has only confirmed that the Playstation 5, which is equivalent to the Xbox Series X, will be released. There is currently no indication that a more expensive and more powerful Pro variant could be released. Instead, Sony is more likely to release a simpler, cheaper variant of the Playstation 5 for consumers who do not need the raw power of the regular Playstation 5.
Standard stereo 3D audio headphones suffice
Standard stereo headphones will work to hear the 3D sound with your Playstation 5. That means you can use both regular gaming headphones for Playstation as well as HiFi headphones, if you prefer. Here are some popular headphones for the Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro:
- Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
- Sony PlayStation Wireless Platinum
- Razer Nari Ultimate
- Beyerdynamic Custom Game
- Corsair HS60 PRO
Most Playstation 4 games work on the Playstation 5 - but not all
Most games for the Playstation 4 will also work on the Playstation 5. This applies to both games on discs and downloaded via the Playstation Store. There are exceptions where, at least initially, some titles cannot be run due to the new, more powerful hardware. Sony is working to increase the compatibility so that as many games as possible from the company's directory of 4,000 game titles will work.
You won’t be able to play PlayStation 1, 2, or 3 games on your PlayStation 5
Sony has confirmed that games for consoles older than the PlayStation 4 won’t work with the new game console. The exception is games that have been updated to work with PlayStation 4, for example, games marked with "PS2 Classic". They are emulated and thus can be used with newer hardware. This means that games like Jak 3, Red Faction, Max Payne, and Psychonauts should work smoothly.
New power-saving mode in the Playstation 5
Playstation 5 introduces a new power-saving mode that reduces energy consumption. According to Sony, one million gaming consoles with power-saving mode enabled can reduce power consumption by as much as 1,000 average American homes. It’s unclear at the time of writing how the power saving mode works and what effect it has when using the game console.
When is the Playstation 5 released?
At the time of writing, it’s unclear exactly when the Playstation 5 will be released. According to Sony, the launch will take place sometime during November or December 2020. The goal is to reach the shops and consumers before the important Christmas holidays. What we do know so far is that Microsoft will release the Xbox Series X at about the same time that Sony starts selling the Playstation 5 in the shops.
Improved hand control for the Playstation 5
The Playstation 5 is released with a new and reworked controller with several new features. Amongst other things, the well-known rumble vibration technology has been replaced by haptic feedback with a greater range of variation when sending signals to the user via the hand control. The L2 / R2 buttons have gained programmable resistance that the game developers can adjust for different games.
- 3D audio and the haptic feedback support of the controller are also things that, when you try them, you will be surprised at how big a change they are. Even just playing the racing game Gran Turismo Sport with a PlayStation 5 controller is a completely different experience. While it runs well with the previous controller, there is no going back after you experience the detailed road surface via haptic control and play using the adaptive triggers, says Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.