Sony today announced that it is launching the PlayStation 5 in the holiday season of 2020, which points towards November 2020, just like the PlayStation 4 came out in November 2012, 7 years ago. Apart from this Sony’s executives including its legendary system architect Mark Cerny revealed there will be tons of new features and upgrades over the current generation of consoles which should mean that it can hold its own the next-generation Xbox, PC games and the inbound generation of cloud-based gaming services like Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud.
- 8k gaming will be supported, even though this will not be probably leveraged by game developers for years till 8k TVs become pervasive. 4K is just starting to hit prime time, but this could be something Sony could’ve done this thinking that it might be the last ever hardware-based PlayStation it is making which is why it is arming it with as much headroom as possible. But the bigger deal is that it will have 4K support at 120Hz which is very necessary.
- What makes this is so powerful is the fact that Sony is using AMD’s Ryzen architecture for the CPU and the announced but unreleased Navi line of GPUs for graphics which will even support hardware-based Raytracing techniques providing next-generation lighting models providing more realism in visuals.
- The PlayStation 5 will be fully backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4 which will give it a huge library of games from the get-go. It also means like new games like Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding will be supported by the PlayStation 5 at launch using techniques like upscaling.
- There will also be a new type of haptic feedback on the DualShock 5 controller which replace the rumble based feedback. Sony claims that it will provide more realism for the games — for example, it will provide different types of levels of feedback between different weapons like a shotgun, sniper or a pistol. It will also provide different type of responsiveness based on the type of surface.
- This console will not have a traditional hard disk, but rather, it will have an SSD. And this on the face of it sounds like a logical and obvious upgrade, its advances are not as obvious. Speed and reliability aside, Sony is able to provide more memory to users because of the way the console reads games reducing load times and by modularising bits of games — for example, if you want to just play the single-player story mode it will just install that, not install the multiplayer mode.
- Other things to note is that this console will still come with an optical drive which means game installs will still be a thing apart from having cool new additions like 3D audio, a low power mode and a completely revamped user interface. The good news here is for markets like India where Internet speeds haven’t reached levels to consistently handle huge downloads, this will come in handy.