Earlier today Sony formally announced the PlayStation 5. While we had known a next generation console was coming soon we now have so many more details. And we also know when we’ll be able to buy it – holiday 2020.
In an exclusive article in WIRED Sony revealed the following:
- The next Sony console will be called the PlayStation 5
- It’s releasing holiday 2020
- Ray tracing is built into the hardware
- There will be a new controller with haptics replacing the rumble feature
- All PS5s will have solid state drives
- Games will be able to install on a modular basis
Those are the headlines on the PS5, but let’s dive a little deeper into the announcements with somore more details below. If you’d like to read the WIRED article you can do so here, otherwise I’ve summarised a lot of the info below.
The next Sony console will be called the PlayStation 5
This one isn’t exactly a shocker. The company that released the PlayStation, then PlayStation 2, followed by PlayStation 3 and finally the hugely original PlayStation 4 is going to continue the naming scheme. I think the bigger deal is with how they announced it. With the PlayStation 4 they held a live event in New York, livestreamed around the world with Joel McHale. This time out it’s a simple article in WIRED. Not even a video. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Sony. Are they being over-confident or subtle?
It’s releasing holiday 2020
Again this wasn’t a huge surprise. Seven years after the release of the PlayStation 4 we now have a PlayStation 5. Consoles have always tried to ship in time for the Christmas period, as this is their best time of the ear for sales. So having a new system on shelves when the most number of people are looking for something to buy is sort of a no-brainer. Expect Microsoft’s next generation console to release at the same time too.
Ray tracing is built into the hardware
Now here’s where I hold my hand up and tell you that basically all I know about ray tracing is that it makes the lighting in gaming look more realistic. Here’s a much better explanation from my old friend WikiPedia:
“In computer graphics, ray tracing is a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects. The technique is capable of producing a very high degree of visual realism, usually higher than that of typical scanline rendering methods, but at a greater computational cost.”
And here’s a video showing you the difference between non and ray tracing graphics from excellent British YouTuber The Tech Chap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n68s9I28AvY
There will be a new controller with haptics replacing the rumble feature
AND IT WILL HAVE USB-C
Sony is debuting a new controller with the PS5 just like with the DualShock 4 and the PS4 in 2013. This new controller will charge via USB-C, have a longer battery life and will forgo standard rumble for more sophisticated haptics.
As an iPhone user I can tell you now that the haptic vibrations that Apple has built into iOS are so much better than the generic rumble. They’re subtler but able to convey different things with different patterns and strengths of vibration VS the rumble we’re getting now. Think of the Switch’s HD Rumble and then just increase the complexity of what they can do. We’ll be able to feel how many balls are in our DualShock 5 whenever necessary.
All PS5s will have solid state drives
Earlier this year Mark Cerny talked about SSDs and how much they improved load time without really going into detail on how they would fit into the hardware for the next generation. But now we know that they are going to be standard in every PS5, which is a really big deal. Some games are now struggling to open menus in a timely fashion, especially on the base PS4, so this is a huge win.
Games will be able to install on a modular basis
Anyone who follows me on social media (Twitter/Instagram/Cat Instagram) will now that I love my cats and I don’t really play multiplayer games. I recently installed Gears 5, which was a huge download, and I will probably only play the single player story for that game.
I would save so much space by only installing the modes of games I am actually going to play, and this is probably even more true for people who are all multiplayer and don’t bother with single player. No need to install a huge open world and hundreds of hours of dialogue if you’re just there for the 4v4 deathmatch multiplayer mode.
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