The PlayStation 5: What We Know So Far

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Sony recently announced that the PlayStation 5 will be coming out before the 2020 holiday season. Sony has not released much information other than the 2 interviews Wired has held with them.

This what we know so far:

  • The console will run on a central processor and graphics unit based on AMD’s Ryzen and Navi lines respectively. The GPU will include hardware for ray tracing acceleration (for advanced lighting, among other things), in step with upcoming PC gear.
  • There will be a solid state drive in place of a traditional hard disk, meaning dramatically faster loading and booting. It also potentially means larger open areas that can be traversed faster.
  • The PS5 will support 3D audio and 8K video, and will be backwards compatible with PS4 games and the existing PlayStation VR headset.
  • There will still be an optical drive, with retail games coming on 100GB Blu-rays, but the contents will need to be transferred to the internal solid state drive to play.
  • The optical drive will also play 4K Blu-ray movie discs.
  • Games can be installed in chunks, for example you could have just the campaign or just the multiplayer portion installed, saving you storage space. Content will also be indexed so you can jump to a specific mission or multiplayer event directly from the PS5 home screen rather than having to boot the game first.

Sony also has announced that the PS5 will have an optional standby mode that is more energy efficient, but can still keep active games suspended. This was a Sony initiative in response to the United Nation’s “Playing for the Planet” initiative to get gamers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Sony’s PlayStation Now and Remote Play services are also expanding, and the PS5 will be made in mind for connecting to the cloud. This means that players can stream new games to their phone or playPS3 games on their PS5 via the net.

The new PS5 pad will look very similar to the PS4 version, but will charge by USB-C. Inside it features an improved speaker and advanced haptic feedback thanks to voice actuators in the handle, which sounds a lot like the “HD Rumble” in Nintendo’s Switch controllers. It will also have “adaptive triggers”, meaning the game can determine how much force you need to apply. Pulling back a bow might offer more resistance than squeezing a machine gun trigger for example. Although not officially confirmed, the controller may include a microphone, with the PS5 running some kind of smart voice assistant.

Sony later on and released further info about the new PS5 controller:

“First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”

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