February 2013 was an interesting month. Seemingly out of nowhere, Sony held a conference revealing the PlayStation 4 in full. Showing off the next generation with in-game footage, in-depth details of hardware and console capabilities was the perfect tease ahead of its launch in November of that year.
The PlayStation 4 was a massive success and has sold over 100,000,000 units, making it the second best selling console of all time. Despite some nice new quality of life enhancements and a big improvement to the PlayStation Network, the hardware driving the machine started showing its age quickly. With the PS5 confirmed for a 2020 release, let’s take a look at what we know and the rumours and leaks that have been circling in the past few months. Take these with a pinch as salt, as always.
When is it Out?
While Sony have confirmed a 2020 release date, they’ve not nailed anything down. The recent news of Sony backing out of their Destination PlayStation event next month almost confirms the rumour that the PS5 will receive a reveal event on the 5th February. The leaks point towards an October release date, which would tie in with the 20th anniversary of the release of the PlayStation 2 in North America on October 26th. It’s certainly possible, though the November release structure has suited Sony for the past couple of generations.
How Much Will it Cost?
Sony hit the sweet spot with the PS4’s price point of £349.99. If rumours are to be believed, the PS5 will retail for £449.99 ($499USD/€449.99/¥54,999). While this seems like a big jump in price, the Xbox One X proved it to be a fair price point given the hardware powering it. £449.99 is a realistic price and honestly, a fair one.
Is it Worth the Upgrade?
The Jaguar CPU inside the PS4 was an embarrassment that only got worse as the generation continued. Sony has confirmed the PS5 will use the Zen2 chip from AMD, which was released last year. It’s a great line-up of CPU’s and with some refinements will be far more capable than what we have now. Not to be left out on the visual front, the PS5 will utilise RNDA graphics from AMD which, yet again, is a huge improvement over the current GPU. The PS4 boasted 1.8 Teraflops (Essentially total potential power) and the PS5 is touting a massive 10 Teraflops, so yeah, it’s worth it!
First up is the confirmation of the switch from slow HDDs, to incredibly fast SSDs. This will reduce load times, install times, increase boot times and much more. Console only players will get a taste of the advantage that PC players have had, though there’s no word on storage capacity yet. A new controller is confirmed for the PS5, with attention going to triggers that react to pressure from the player.
Ray Tracing is confirmed for the PS5 and it’s baked into the hardware. This feature reproduces shadows and reflections in real-time and pixel perfect. It may not sound like much but it’s a revolutionary feature. Another interesting feature also confirmed is 3D audio. This feature replicates sound audio based on character position. It’s exclusively used for headphones that worked beautifully in Hellblade: Senuas’ Sacrifice but Sony have confirmed it will work through TV speakers…….somehow.
Don’t throw away your old controllers yet, as PS4 controllers will work on the PS5. Even better, Sony have confirmed that the PSVR and it’s peripherals will work on PS5. Your PS4 games can also be kept, as the PS5 will play them natively. There’s no confirmation that PS4 Pro enhancements will be supported but it’s unlikely they won’t.
OK, time to look at some crazier rumours. Carrying on with backwards compatibility, there’s talk of all generations of PlayStation being supported on the PS5. While it’s unlikely this will be native, there are ways it could work but the ancient PS1 and the tricky PS3 could cause issues.
Fans of the PSVR will be happy to know that it seems a new headset is on the way. Early PS5 leaks suggested the VR housing unit was built into the system itself and even better, that a headset would be available at launch. While it seems unlikely we would see PSVR 2 hit this November, there’s little doubt Sony are still gunning for VR to work.
8K/120 is a term thrown around that has raised many eyebrows. Look, the chances of the PS5 playing games in 8K is very slim but it could certainly support 8K upscaling on 8K panels (Phil Spencer has shown off the Xbox Series X CPU and it confirms some sort of 8K compatibility). 120FPS is a huge upgrade from the 30FPS (60 if you’re lucky) of this generation but it will probably only be in a 1080p mode. Oh, and as a bonus mini rumour, the PS5 will ship with 3 months of PS Now.
All in all, there a hefty jump in power and a massive jump in speed if these leaked specs are to be believed. All these rumours are repeated from many sources and they honestly don’t seem that far fetched. Is it good enough for you? Let us know on Twitter.