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PS5 FAQ – Everything You Need To Know (Honest)

PS5 FAQ

PS5 FAQ – Everything you need to know, PS5 Specs, PS5 Release Date, PS5 Price, PS5 Backwards Compatibility, PS5 Teraflops

With the details and specs of the PS5 now officially confirmed, there are some things we now know for a certainty – such as the CPU & GPU makeup of the machine, the type of storage it’ll use, the resolution it can output and whether or not it has PS4 backwards compatibility (it does! – yay). But there is so much more to the PS5 than that – so cast your eyes upon our PS5 FAQ for everything you need to know about Sony’s PlayStation 5 console.

PS5 FAQ – Price, Release, Specs, PS Now, PS Plus, PSVR2, PS3, PS4 compatibility More

There are also a whole bunch of things that we haven’t been clued in on too, and so in the interest of clarifying just what we do know at this point, we’ve put together this handy little FAQ which will be updated whenever there’s new stuff to update it with. So stay tuned!

Updated – 22/03/2020 – Added official PS5 specs from Mark Cerny March 2020 briefing

Q: So, is the PS5 actually going to be called, y’know – the PS5?

A: It is yes! Sony even have a fancy PS5 logo for you to gawk at too.

Q: What does the PS5 look like?

A: We simply don’t know right now – the machine currently only exists in devkit form and it’ll be a while before we catch a glimpse of a finished production unit.

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PS5 Release Date

Q: Do we know the PS5 release date ?

A: The PS5 will release during Holiday 2020. This has been confirmed.

PS5 Price

Q: What about the price? Are we any wiser as to what the PS5 will cost?

A: Comments from Mark Cerny suggest that the PS5 won’t (thankfully) require folks to get another job just to afford the dang thing at launch. Specifically his remark that the console’s price will ‘be appealing in light of its advanced feature set,’ suggests that we could see the PS5 release at a reasonable price point. $499/£399? Seems likely to us – especially given that the PS5’s advanced tech will cost much less to manufacture by this time next year.

Q: Alright – PS5 then; just what can this machine do – is it much more powerful than the PS4 Pro?

A: Well my friend, not only is the PS5 much more powerful than the PS4 Pro, it is leaps and bounds beyond what Microsoft’s Xbox One X is capable of too. Make no mistake – this is no mere tech refresh, this is a true, nakedly powerful generational leap over what we have now. Perhaps nowhere is this leap in power better illustrated by the fact that Sony confirmed the PS5 will support ray-tracing at a hardware level, in addition 8K resolution support and a 10.8 teraflop output that puts the console at over twice the power of the PS4 Pro. So yep, it’s MUCH more powerful.

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PS5 CPU

Q: Gotcha – so, the PS5 is a beast; but what makes it so powerful? What CPU does it use?

A: Like everything else to do with the machine, the CPU that is housed within the chassis of the PS5 is a technological monster. The PS5 employs an eight-core, sixteen thread version of AMD’s Zen 2 line of powerful CPUs that are head and shoulders above the ageing Jaguar CPU seen in the base PS4, and even in the more recent PS4 Pro. The PS5 CPU runs at a screamingly fast 3.5Ghz.

PS5 GPU

Q: So we know about the CPU – what about the GPU? Is it similarly jacked?

A: By all accounts it very much is! PS5 is using AMD’s Navi RDNA 2 compliant GPU – the next-generation of AMD silicon to be used in their upcoming cutting edge graphics cards for PC. As such precious little is known about Navi (it hasn’t even released on PC yet), but all signs point to it being an absolute titan when it comes to graphics processing horsepower. Not only that, but a recent report puts the performance of the PS5 GPU as being somewhere north of the massively powerful Nvidia GTX 2070 graphics card.

In terms of the nitty gritty of the PS5 GPU spec, it is capable of kicking out a massive 10.28 teraflops, with 36 compute units running at super fast 2.23GHz (that’s faster than Microsoft’s competing Xbox Series X).

Q: With such a powerful GPU, can we expect better visuals from the PS5? You’re going to say “Yes!” aren’t you?

A: Y-yes! The Zen 2/Navi CPU and GPU combo means that the PS5 will be capable of some truly astounding visuals. From 8K resolution support to extensive ray-tracing capabilities, the PS5 will be kicking out some stunning looking games from day one. Something that developers at EA DICE seem keen to take advantage of with the new hair rendering technology that features in the latest iteration of its Frostbite engine.

Q: Both Zen 2 and Navi are essentially off-the-shelf PC components; will there be any ‘special sauce’ – optimisations for PS5?

A: Comments from AMD CEO Lisa Su, that PS5 will indeed boast uniquely customised hardware, were echoed by the unveiling of the PS5’s technical spec where it was revealed that the system will be using AMD’s SmartShift technology to prioritise processing power to the GPU from the CPU when needed and also a special new boost mode that regulates thermal, power and processing power consumption. In short, there’s a *whole* lot more going on with PS5 beyond what the numbers on its technical specification sheet suggest.

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PS5 Teraflops

Q: Ok. What about Teraflops (TFLOPS) then? Is that still going to be a thing or…?

A: The PS5 is capable of outputting 10.28 teraflops. So yeah, it ain’t no slouch. Oh and each of those teraflops are worth more than their current gen equivalents because AMD Navi uses brand new RDNA 2 micro-architecture. Also, teraflops in general are not the be all and end all of system performance. Here’s why.

PS5 Memory

Q: Do we have an inkling as to how much memory the PS5 will bring to the table?

A: The PS5 will be packing in 16GB of super-fast GDDR6 memory clocked at 448GB/Sec. Yep. It’s fast. Real fast. But why ‘only’ 16GB? Well, there’s an interesting story behind that!

Q: What about the audio processing – what does PS5 do in this area?

A: As part of the overarching silicon deal with AMD, PS5 is touted to have a groundbreaking 3D audio processing chip that will enhance player immersion in a 3D space (particularly in VR). In fact, Sony have gone one step further with its 3D audio implementation for PS5 by creating the awesomely named ‘Tempest Engine’ – a dedicated piece of hardware that can accurately render hundreds of different sound sources at once in addition to be able to identify all kinds of audio outputs depending on the ears of those listening. In short, PS5’s 3D audio is a revelation.

PS5 Storage

Q: We’ve been using hard drives in consoles for ages – does the PS5 do anything different on this front?

A: Oh boy, does it ever do something different. Eschewing the regular hard disk drives seen in the PS3 and PS4, the PS5 will use an ultra-fast SSD instead. How fast is it though? Well, it loads Insomniac’s superb Spider-Man in just over 0.5 seconds – an improvement that is some 19(!) times faster than what the PS4 Pro can achieve. So yeah, that fast. Sony have also patented a way for loading screens to be almost completely non-existent, so it seems like this new SSD will certainly figure into that.

Something else that the new console will do is improve game installations too – allowing players to decide just what components of a game they wish to install.

Plenty of developers seem excited for the PS5 SSD too – like Alan Wake developer Remedy, for example. The PS5’s SSD storage is clocked in at 825GB with a mega fast I/O throughput of 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed). To put that into perspective, the PS5 SSD is over twice as fast as its Xbox Series X counterpart. It’s that fast.

PS5 4K Blu Ray Drive

Q: Will PS5 include a 4K Blu Ray drive?

A: Yes! Comments from Mark Cerny made during a recent WIRED interview have confirmed that the PS5 will have a 4K Blu-ray drive.

Q: Do we know how much storage the PS5 will pack?

A: Yep! A very odd 825GB – and there’s a story behind that too!

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PS5 DualShock 5

Q: What do we know about the PS5 controller – will it be called the DualShock 5 and what new features will it bring to the table?

A: Though we don’t know the name yet (let’s be honest ‘DualShock 5’ is pretty much a sure a thing), we do know that the controller will bring haptic feedback to the table for the first time in a console controller, allowing you to experience every bit of resistance and inertia as you wade through a swamp, or drive a car over loose gravel. On top of that, the next controller will also have adaptive triggers, a USB-C connection and an improved speaker to boot. In short, the PS5 pad is shaping up to be something really quite awesome.

PS5 Games

Q: What about games? What sorts of titles can we expect on PS5?

A: We now know the name of the first game for the PS5 – Godfall, an loot slasher from Gearbox Software that was announced at the 2019 Video Game Awards. The first of many no doubt!

Mark Cerny seemed very coy when asked whether or not Death Stranding would be coming to PS5 – though to be honest, his cheeky grin did little to dissuade us to the contrary. Beyond that, we know it’s likely that Cyberpunk 2077 will be PS5 bound, as will the new Lord of the Rings: Gollum adventure from Daedalic Entertainment. To make things a little easier, we’ve got a list of all the games currently confirmed for PS5 right here. Oh, don’t be surprised to see a whole bunch of first-party games too, from developers such as Insomniac Games.

Don’t be surprised to see external games subscription services, such as EA Access, arrive on PS5 too as publishers such as EA will strive to make the most of PS5’s backwards compatibility functionality.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility

Q: Talk to me about backwards compatibility – I’ve got a wall that is *just* PS4 games; please tell me I’ll be able to play them on PS5. Please.

A: You can! Mark Cerny confirmed that the PS5 will play PS4 games. Where things get a bit murky is exactly how it’ll do it and what sort of improvements we can expect the PS5 hardware to provide these older games. PS5 will also support cross-play between PS4 and PS5 players too in addition to allowing PS5 players to use PS4 saves as well.

From day one, lucky PS5 owners will be able to play just about all of the PS4’s library of 4,000+ games. In addition to this, Sony is currently working to make the top 100 PS4 games work with PS5’s boost mode too – allowing those games to benefit from enhanced performance in the form of higher resolutions and better framerates.

Q: Will the PS5 be able to play PS1, PS2 and maybe even PS3 games?

A: Sadly, Sony has only confirmed that the PS5 will play PS4 games. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised however if Sony merely relied on PS Now to play PS3, PS2 and PS1 titles in much the same way that it does now.

PS5 Rest Mode

Q: Will the PS5 have a similar Rest Mode style suspension function as the PS4?

A: It definitely will. More than that, according to comments from SIE’s own Jim Ryan, the PS5 Rest Mode will be able to save much more power than the PS4 version of the functionality too.

PS5 PS Now

Q: How will PS Now figure into Sony’s PS5 plans?

A: This is an interesting one – not least because it’ll be interesting to see how Sony reacts and adjusts PS Now (if at all) to the recent announcement by Google of their cutting edge Stadia streaming service. Well, now we know – at least to an extent. On May 16th, 2019 Sony and Microsoft announced a ‘strategic partnership’ that extends to their streaming services and also the sharing of game development tech – an obvious shot across the bow of Google’s Stadia platform. How this unfolds further down the line though, is anyone’s guess right now. All the same, these are exciting times indeed; especially considering just how many games are on the PS Now service.

What we do know is that going forward, PS Now will be an increasingly stronger focus and it makes sense that PS5 would be included in that too.

PS5 PS Plus

Q: Can we expect PS Plus to change with the release of PS5?

A: Again, we have nothing concrete to go on regarding this – our guess though, is that Sony will use PS Plus to support the PS5 at launch and within the first year of release with a range of smaller games and indie releases; much like they did at the launch of PS4 with the likes of Resogun and Contrast. You can see all the PS Plus games released to date right here.

PS5 PSVR

Q: What’s the deal with PSVR? Will PS5 support it?

A: It most certainly will – yep! Like regular PS4 games though, we don’t know yet know exactly what improvements the PS5 will bring to the existing PSVR unit or the games and experiences it supports.

PS5 PSVR2

Q: What about a PSVR2? Surely Sony would want to release a next-gen version of their current headset?

A: On that second part you are correct – after selling more than 4 million units, PSVR is in a really good spot right now and so a much more capable PSVR2 seems like a sure thing. The thing is, Sony’s R&D and production capacity only stretches so far, meaning that we’ll likely see a PSVR successor a good while after launch; so expect Sony to make a big deal out of PS5’s compatibility with the existing PSVR headset. That said, we are starting to see Sony patent and invest in R&D on PSVR2 related projects – such as this haptic VR glove for example that simulates the sensation of impact, pulling and pushing.

Sony’s Jim Ryan recently said in an interview that the company has “nothing to say” about a potential PSVR2, so even if something is in the works, the console maker is not ready to talk about it yet. However, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out some tasty specs and a price point for PSVR2. Another rumor has also said that the PSVR2 will include a back and front camera on the headset itself, in addition to a camera on a reworked PlayStation Move controller to allow for room scale VR.

Q: Ok, so Microsoft has announced its next-gen console, Xbox Series X. How does PS5 compare?

A: Well, it’s funny you should ask… Though in all seriousness, it’s looking like a fairly even playing field right now (as one might reasonably expect).

Stay tuned for more info on PS5!