Sony confirms PlayStation 5 launch for holiday 2020, hardware-level ray tracing, configurable game installs, and DualShock 5 controller with haptic feedback incoming
It is now official — the upcoming game console from Sony will indeed be called the PlayStation 5. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan and PS5 system architect Mark Cerny opened up about the next-gen console to Wired giving a cursory overview of the new features and improvements it brings across the board for gamers of all kinds.
Here's what you can expect from the Sony PlayStation 5 when it lands in Holiday 2020.
Design: The PlayStation 5 dev-kit resembles a lot like the renders we've seen recently. However, Sony declined to comment on how the dev-kit design would be different from the retail version.
CPU and GPU: Sony did not reveal the exact specifications of the CPU and GPU, but we do expect a semi-custom AMD Zen 2 8-core 7nm CPU and a semi-custom Navi GPU with 40 compute units (CUs) and a 2 GHz clock. Cerny has confirmed that the GPU will indeed support hardware-level ray tracing and that it is not a software fix.
Storage: The PlayStation 5 will sport an SSD and a Blu-ray player. Specifics about the SSD are still under wraps, but Sony says that developers can now provide users the option to install specific parts of the game. For example, users can choose to install only the single-player campaign or multiplayer features and even remove just the single-player mode once all missions are completed.
User interface: The PlayStation 5 will bring in some radical changes to the user interface (UI). Games will now show activities in real-time on the UI itself so gamers won't have to enter into a game just to find out what missions are available, the rewards for completing them, or which multiplayer matches are ongoing. All these choices appear directly in the UI itself so gamers can choose whether or not to play a mission instead of having to sit through an entire campaign.
DualShock 5 controller: The PlayStation 5 is getting an updated controller, which will likely be called 'DualShock 5' (the name is not official yet). The DualShock 5 controller resembles the previous generation in terms of design but now comes with what is possibly a microphone for voice commands (Sony said, "We'll talk more about it another time".). The new controller will feature USB-C for charging and data transfer and comes in a bit heavier than the DualShock 4 (on sale now at Amazon), but Product Manager Toshi Aoki claimed that it will still be lighter than the current Xbox One controller with included batteries.
The new controller comes with 'adaptive triggers' that offer varying levels of resistance and feedback. So now, the feedback from a machine gun will be different from that of a shotgun and gamers will be able to feel effects such as increasing tension when an arrow is pulled back on a bow, for example. Haptic feedback support is also available with programmable voice-coil actuators in the left and right grips.
The controller also sports a speaker, which when combined with the haptic feedback, offers a new level of immersion such as distinct experiences when sliding on ice, swimming in water, or running on wet mud.
Apparently, the haptic feedback feature has been in the pipeline for an updated DualShock 4 controller that was originally slated to be a part of the PlayStation 4's mid-cycle refresh, but Sony did not want to offer a "split experience" for gamers at that time.
Ultimately, it all depends on game developers to make the most of the PlayStation 5's horsepower. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett feature some really powerful hardware that aim to blur the line between console and PC gaming. For now though, we will have to wait a year before we can lay our hands on these next-gen consoles. We are sure they will be worth the wait. (PlayStation 4 Slim on sale now at Amazon)