Later today Sony will at long last fully unveil the technical specification of its highly anticipated, next-generation PlayStation 5 console, definitively putting to rest months of rumor pertaining to the capabilities of the machine.
That said, we need to be mindful as to what this reveal will actually showcase. For a start, folks expecting a range of PS5 titles to be shown will likely be disappointed, as all signs point to this reveal being one that is solely confirmed with the technical make up of the console – so expect lots of sexy spec talk by way of Mark Cerny’s soothing tones.
Nonetheless, in light of Microsoft’s bare-all reveal for its own next-generation Xbox Series X console, we feel that the onus is now on Sony to respond to the concerns that PlayStation gamers rightly have. With that in mind, here are ten crucial questions that we feel Sony needs to answer regarding PS5.
What Will The Retail PS5 Actually Look Like?
Since Microsoft unveiled Xbox Series X to the world in late December, PlayStation fans have quite rightly wanted to know what the PS5 will look like when it finally releases later this year. Will it look akin to the previously revealed development kit (almost certainly not – as retail units hardly ever do), or, will it fall in line with the flat stepped approach that PS4 and PS4 Pro have embraced this generation?
Will PS5 Be More Powerful Than Xbox Series X?
A key question that is at the forefront of the minds of many PlayStation gamers – there’s no denying that the Xbox Series X is something of a beast in terms of its technical spec. As such, PlayStation folks will be keen to know how the PS5 shapes up against Microsoft’s competing next-gen console simply because if one console is more power than the other, that very fact will likely shape much of the narrative for the forthcoming console generation.
Backwards Compatibility – How Far Does It Go?
One area where Microsoft has commanded a strong advantage that they’ve doubled down on with Xbox Series X is backwards compatibility. While we know that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games out of the box, we do not know what sort of enhancements the PS5 will bring to current-gen games, and neither do we know if the PS5 will be backwards compatible with games from the PS3 generations and earlier.
Cross-Gen Purchases – One Copy For All?
Another area where Microsoft came out swinging was the idea that if you buy a copy of one game on Xbox One, you will be able to download the Xbox Series X version of that same game at no extra cost when it releases. This is absolutely one area Sony needs to achieve parity in with Microsoft, as forcing consumers to buy the same game twice on different formats is a tall ask and will certainly not go over well at all (especially in these economically perilous times).
PSVR Compatibility – How Does PS5 Enhance Sony’s Existing VR Hardware?
One of the best surprises of Sony’s current generation escapades has been the degree to which the platform holder has managed to achieve wide scale proliferation of its PSVR headset. Outselling more than every other VR headset combined and commanding the majority market share as a result, many PlayStation gamers will be curious to know just how PS5’s beefier technical offering will benefit games played on the existing headset. We already know that the PS4 Pro offers a visual improvement for PSVR titles when compared to the base system – how far with PS5 develop this idea?
DualShock 5 – What Does It Bring To The Table?
While we know that the forthcoming DualShock 5 controller brings expected advancements such as haptic feedback and USB-C charging to the table, we’re more interested in the more exotic stuff that it can do which Sony hasn’t announced yet. With rumors flying around stating that the PlayStation 5’s next-generation controller will be able to process bio-metrics and possess an LCD screen, it would be great to see Sony thoroughly detail not just how much of an improvement the DualShock 5 will be over its current-gen predecessor, but also the unique features which separate it from Microsoft’s next-gen pad, too.
Will There Be Special Visual Rendering Techniques In Place For Devs To Achieve 8K?
Given that the very notion of achieving native 8K resolution on visually sophisticated titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy 7: Remake seems out of the question, we have to wonder if Sony will address this situation with some fancy software tool workaround – much like how the company leveraged checkerboard rendering techniques to allow the PS4 Pro to pump out games like God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn in 4K.
How Big And How Fast Will The PS5’s SSD Solution Be?
We all know that like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 will come with its own NVMe SSD drive which will enable the console to largely eradicate loading times and help with supplementing the system RAM. What we don’t know is the size, the speed of the drive or if there will be multiple SKUs at launch which come with SSD drives of varying sizes.
What Expandable Storage Does PS5 Allow & How Much Will It Cost?
Feeding on from the previous point, it’s reasonable to suggest that with a bog-standard 1TB SSD drive and with games coming on 100GB Blu-ray discs for Sony’s new console, PS5 gamers will likely fill up their stock SSDs super quickly. As a result, the attention then turns to how much will additional expandable storage cost and what purchase options will there be beyond Sony’s own branded offering.
Is There Anything Built Into The Hardware To Aid PlayStation Now Streaming?
An overlooked part of the Microsoft Xbox Series X spec reveal was that the console has some encoder trickery going on at the hardware level which allow it to lower the latency on game streaming through its nascent XCloud game streaming service. With PlayStation Now already proving to be a large success for Sony, it makes total sense that Sony would match Microsoft with their own hardware innovations to improve the cloud gaming experience – *especially* if the platform holder intends to supply backwards compatibility to non-PS4 games through this method.
Those are some of questions that we would like to see answered – what about you guys? Let us know in the comments below!