The ninth generation of game consoles is coming in 2020, headlined in part by Sony’s PlayStation 5. We won’t see it in stores for at least half a year, which gives us plenty of time speculate about just what we’ll be getting. As the year wears on, we’re even learning some concrete details, which we’re collecting here. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far.
PlayStation 5 Controller and Design
Let’s start with one of the biggest mysteries. A leaked view of the PS5 development kit has confirmed that developers’ systems look like big, heavily ventilated Vs, but Sony has remained silent on what the retail version of the console will look like. Will it be a parallelogram slab like the PS4? A plump, glossy black chunk like the PlayStation 3? A simple rectangle like the PS2? Only Sony knows, and it isn’t telling yet.
There’s a good chance the console will be white rather than black or gray, though. While Sony hasn’t revealed what the PS5 will look like, it’s unveiled the DualSense controller that will go with it. It keeps the same general layout as the DualShock gamepads Sony has used since the original PlayStation, but it’s rounded, white, and more friendly-looking than previous controllers. It kind of looks like the gamepad version of Baymax from Big Hero 6. Or a tiny pair of sunglasses with a huge white wig.
PlayStation 5 Specs
We might not know what the PlayStation 5 will look like, but we have a good sense of what will be running under the hood. Sony has gone into detail on the PlayStation 5’s internal specs, and they’re impressive.
The PS5 features an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU paired with a custom Radeon GPU, giving it ray tracing and 4K rendering capabilities. The CPU also features a 3D audio unit that will support directional audio similar to Dolby Atmos (or Sony’s own 360 Reality Audio), letting games generate sound in front, behind, to the sides, and even above the player (assuming the right speakers/headphones are being used). This will all run through 16GB of GDDR6 memory.
Instead of a hard drive, the PS5 will feature an 825GB SSD. This means games will load much faster than on previous consoles, and support some new features like suspending multiple games at once and what Sony’s lead designer Mark Cerny describes as “instant game startup.”
The PS5 will also have an optical drive, specifically an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive that will presumably be able to play UHD Blu-ray movies in 4K, a feature the PlayStation 4 and even PS4 Pro lack (but the Xbox One S and Xbox One X both have).
Sony has confirmed that the SSD will enable the system to suspend multiple games, letting you jump immediately back into whatever you feel like playing without loading it from the start. This is on top of the faster loading speeds for games that the SSD will enable.
The DualSense gamepad adds a few tricks as well, starting with a built-in microphone to let you use voice chat without a headset. It’s handy for some gamers, but could be a privacy concern for others. The controller also features improved force feedback, with “adaptive triggers” that add tension to the pull of the L2 and R2 triggers.
Release Date and Pre-Orders
Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will be ready this holiday season, and despite the global pandemic, it is standing by that schedule. According to Sony, the coronavirus will not delay the release of the PS5, which presumably will come out by the end of the year.
This is one of the biggest questions about the PS5 that’s yet to be answered. Sony hasn’t revealed the pricing for the PlayStation 5, but according to a Bloomberg report, the console costs Sony $450 to manufacture. The big mystery is whether Sony plans to take a loss on the console and make up for it with game sales, or whether it will price the PS5 higher than the $399.99 the PS4 was at launch (and the PS4 Pro when it launched three years later).