With the first details 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).
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.
Updated – 15/06/2019 – Added update on how PS5 compares with Project Scarlett
Q: So, is the PS5 actually going to be called, y’know – the PS5?
A: We don’t actually know for sure at this point! Mark Cerny has only so far referred to the next PlayStation simply as the “next-gen console” with a cheeky nod and a mildly conspiratorial wink. Though let’s be honest, there’s a good chance (roughly 99.9%) that it’ll end up being called the PlayStation 5/PS5. Doesn’t make much sense to call it anything different, really.
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.
Q: Do we know the PS5 release date ?
A: Not yet, but we know for sure that the next PlayStation home console will not launch this year as Cerny definitively ruled out a 2019 release. As such, a PS5 2020 release is a pretty sure bet to make from where we’re sat – something which Sony themselves have seemingly confirmed and who go even further to suggest that the launch won’t happen in the next 12 months, too. Looks like a late 2020 PS5 launch, folks.
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.
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 will employ an eight-core, third-generation version of AMD’s Ryzen 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.
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 set to use the AMD Navi 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, but all signs point to it being an absolute titan when it comes to graphics processing horsepower.
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 Ryzen/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 the Ryzen and Navi are essentially off-the-shelf PC components; will there be any ‘special sauce’ – optimisations for PS5?
A: If comments from AMD CEO Lisa Su are to be believed then aye – PS5 will indeed boast uniquely customised hardware.
Q: Do we have an inkling as to how much memory the PS5 will bring to the table?
A: Not as yet. Given that the PS4 Pro comes with 8GB and the Xbox One X 12GB, we’d expect the PS5 to be comfortably north of both consoles in that regard.
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).
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.
Q: Will PS5 include a 4K Blu Ray drive?
A: All we know at this point is that the machine will include a physical optical drive. However, the prices of 4K Blu Ray drives are tumbling and this time next year will be even cheaper still, so we would be quite surprised to not see one inside the PS5 quite honestly.
Q: Do we know how much storage the PS5 will pack?
A: At the stage no, though we’d be very surprised (and mildly horrified) if it clocked in at anywhere less than 1TB – especially given how big game installs are these days, and how much bigger they’ll get in the future, too.
Q: What about games? What sorts of titles can we expect on PS5?
A: 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.
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.
Q: Will the PS5 be able to play PS1, PS2 and maybe even PS3 games?
A: Now this is the side of the backwards compatibility equation that we desperately need more information on. As yet, we simply don’t know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Q: Ok, so Microsoft announced its next-generation Xbox, Project Scarlett, at E3 2019. 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!