Last week, Sony casually dropped a post on its blog announcing some of the features of the (officially titled) PlayStation 5. The company also disclosed the all-important release window, which will be some time during the holiday 2020 season.
So, with the PlayStation 5 confirmed to be coming in about a year's time, here's all we know about the next generation console so far.
The console's controller will have haptic feedback, provided by voice coil actuators in the left and right grips, which will replace the traditional rumble feature most modern controllers have. Haptic feedback is a technology that allows for a broader range of vibrations and shaking, but each type of haptic feedback is different. The Switch, for example, has HD Rumble, which is a form of haptic feedback. Sony hasn't released details about the haptic feedback quite yet but it does seem to be similar to HD Rumble and will have various levels of rumble to simulate what's happening on screen.
The PS5's controller will also feature adaptive triggers for its L2 and R2 buttons. This will allow the triggers to be programmed to a specific level of resistance and possibly have tension so as to push back on the player's finger, similar to how holding an arrow on a bow would be.
Wired has confirmed that the controller will be using a USB Type-C connector for charging. This means the controllers will charge much quicker, similar to a recent phone. It will have a higher capacity batter as well as a heavier weight, though still lighter than a current Xbox One with batteries in it. The speaker in the controller will also return, albeit improved.
Before the recent announcement, we already knew a few things the PS5 would feature: The console would still play physical games; all PS5s would use a solid state drive or SSD; PlayStation VR is compatible with PS5; the console will be backwards compatible with PlayStation 4, and the console will support 3D audio and 8k TVs.
For those unaware, an SSD is a storage drive with no moving parts, making it a much quicker way to transfer data and usually resulting in much quicker load times. It should also be noted that while the PS5 will support 8k TVs, that doesn't mean it will be able to fully support them. 8k technology is still new and the PS5 will most likely need to be updated to fully take advantage of that feature.
Here's what we've learned more recently from Wired's exclusive look. The PlayStation 5 will use 100gb optical disks and a 4k BluRay optical drive. Game installation from disks are once again mandatory, but installations will be more customizable. You will be able to install just the multiplayer mode or a portion of a campaign as well as delete portions of an installed game in order to save space.
The home screen will be more flexible with players being able to boot a game to a specific mission or multiplayer section and even see what rewards they'll earn for doing so. What the UI looks like, as well as the storage capacity of the SSD, and whether the controller will have a microphone, are still unknown.
Famitsu added some more technical details about the PlayStation 5, which we can read thanks to translations from IGN. The console will include an 8 core, 16 thread x86-64-AMD Ryzen "Zen2" CPU. This would bring the console in line with AMD's current mid-tier Ryzen 7 processors. Basically, each of the 8 cores are used to accomplish tasks simultaneously, whether that be navigating the home menu or calculating a bullet's trajectory. It'll constantly be telling the GPU what to render in relation to you and other in-game objects. The 16-threads will allow double the work with a process called "multi-threading," so it will appear that the console actually has 16 cores. And, when it comes to getting multiple things done at once, the more cores the better.
Finally, the PlayStation 5 will also use Ray-Tracing on a hardware level. Ray-Tracing is a new lighting model that simulates illumination physics in the real world, resulting in impressive 3D lighting in games. Mark Cerny, the architect of the PlayStation 5, also told Wired about the technical benefits of the SSD, specifically that some data was duplicated on hard drives for the sake of load times but that won't be necessary with an SSD, meaning developers will have extra space.
Some developers already have dev kits of the PS5 and a couple are raving about the speed of the console. Bluepoint Games' Marco Thrush mentioned to Wired that the load times feel close to the instant loading of cartridge games. He goes on to say that tricks to mask load times, such as locking players behind doors, won't be necessary. Chief Studio Officer for Electronic Arts, Laura Miele also praised the speed of the console, proclaiming that we're entering "the generation of immediacy."