Sony PlayStation 5 – What We Know So Far!
Mike Sanders / 2 weeks ago
Last Update – April 16th
We plan to regularly update this article with the latest news, rumours and speculation surrounding the release of the PS5. We will note any updates initially via the latest date above. This should help you identify them in the article. Plus, all the latest updates will always be highlighted in bold!
As we enter what can politely be called the ‘Twilight Years’ of the current generation of consoles, it’s pretty safe to say that all the contention surrounding the ‘console wars’ pretty much resulted in a huge win for Sony. Well, at least in terms of sales figures.
Actually, that point is rather debatable as not long after the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft stopped releasing it’s sales figures. If you ever needed an indication as to who was winning, however, that was surely it!
So, turning an eye to the next-generation console releases, there will clearly be big expectations on Sony and their PlayStation 5 (PS5). Let us, therefore, take a wander through the news, rumours and speculation to ask – What do we know so far?
Following a report earlier this year, it seems that a bit of digging into the latest Unreal Engine 4 might have revealed the codename for which the PS5 is currently operating under at Sony.
While the name “Erebus” has been found, it is at best a tenuous link. The last time we checked, this name was currently owned (trademarked) by a Canadian company. So, at best, the naming is entirely unofficial or solely utilised in-house.
With reports suggesting that the development of the PS5 APU might be set to start, there is already speculation as to exactly what that will represent. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an APU is effectively a processor which has an integrated graphics adaptor. It is, essentially, exactly what has been in every major console release since the 5th-generation back in the mid-nineties.
So, what do we know? Well, it’s pretty guaranteed that AMD will, again, be providing the power for Sony and their PlayStation console. Rumours are suggesting that an 8-core processor, utilising the Ryzen Zen 2 architecture will be used. This will include a base clock speed of 3.2 GHz and, in terms of graphics, will utilise AMD’s ‘Vega’ platform. This style of platform was used to huge effect with the release of the AMD 2nd-generation Ryzen desktop processors last Summer.
Ray Tracing & Resolution – Update
In a report via GamesRadar, Mark Cerny (a name you’ll likely see a lot throughout this article) has dropped a pretty huge indication that the PS5 will be capable of 8k resolution.
This is perhaps one of the wildest ‘suggestions’ thrown out there to date. I mean, we don’t have exact figures, but we’d easily estimate that less than 1% of consumers own anything with 8k as a potential resolution output. The market is still adjusting to 4k after all!
There is, however, more! He has also given a very strong indication that the console will be capable of ray tracing graphics. This is, of course, at the time of writing a realm exclusive to the Nvidia graphics cards and, as above, this isn’t going to have Nvidia inside. It’s not even confirmed (nor indeed likely) that AMD’s summer desktop launch will have ray tracing included as standard.
Anyway, you look at it, however, at the very least this would reflect the first time that this has been done on a home console and is certainly if nothing else, intriguing.
How Powerful Will it be?
In terms of comparative performance against the PS4, the PS5 will represent a significant step-up. While the PS4 was undoubtedly a good console, the AMD Jaguar architecture used was already dated before the console was even released. Ryzen is hardly something new either. Comparatively, however, it’s much fresher to the market. Something that consoles rarely achieve.
Nothing has been confirmed in terms of performance. That being said an industry analyst recently suggested that Sony may be aiming for 4K gaming as standard. They even went as far as to predict that the system would operate on 240 frames per second! This, if true, would be pretty impressive even by desktop PC standards!
Mark Cerny, the key designer of the PS5 has, however, dropped a pretty huge hint via wired that the system will not merely be an ‘upgrade’. The new console will represent a pretty significant boost in performance.
Sadly, since the PlayStation 2, Sony has always seen more than a little reluctant to make their consoles backwards compatible. Strictly speaking, the earliest PS3 releases were capable of playing PS2 games. For reasons largely thought to be performance-based, however, Sony essentially ‘locked’ this tech out following an update. The PS2 emulation was then removed entirely from later releases.
Following the release of a patent application, however, it seems that, at the very least, Sony may be considering bringing backwards compatibility to the PS5. This is, admittedly, entirely based on an image. The image, however, does appear to represent a concept of upscaling graphics. This would largely only make sense if the system was going to run older format games.
In an update via GamesRader, Mark Cerny, who is said to essentially be the ‘developing liaison’ of the new system has all-but-confirmed, that the new system will have backwards compatibility. If you’re wondering what that job title means, he’s essentially the ‘middle-man’ between the systems architecture and game developers. In other words, if anyone would know about such things, it would be him!
Although nothing specific has been confirmed, rumours suggest that given the huge success of the PS:VR headset on the PS4, Sony will be very much looking to push this technology further with their PlayStation 5 console. In a report via T3, Sony has reportedly issued a patent for a new headset design. One that will include eye-tracking technology which does seem to represent the ‘immediate future’ of VRs evolution.
Coming from the source of bounty that is Mark Cerny, he has confirmed that the PS:VR will be compatible with the upcoming console release.
Storage! – Update!
In a report via Wired, it has been confirmed that rather than relying on traditional hard drives, the PS5 will make the ‘upgrade’ to a solid state drive. While no specifics have at present been given, pretty large capacity drives have been hinted at which would more than tie into the ‘download’ aspect of the system.
There is, of course, another added bonus. Namely that a solid state drive will be capable of running games much quicker. Well… massively faster actually. Particularly if the entire game is located on the storage device.
PS Plus Premium?
There have recently been suggestions that Sony may be looking to introduce a new level of PS Plus membership. This would be set to coincide directly with the release of the PS5 console. This is most probably something to do with the recent indication that Microsoft was planning on releasing a new subscription bundle to promote their (reportedly planned) disk-less Xbox One console.
In so far as we can tell, however, this just entirely rumours. There is absolutely nothing to back it up. Unless Sony went disk-less as well, there isn’t even really much to suggest why such a ‘higher-tier’ platform would even be necessary. In terms of reliability, this one goes into the ‘dubious’ pile.
Audio Improvements! – Update
In terms of audio output, consoles haven’t improved much between this and the last generation. In a report via Wired, however, Mark Cerny has said that we can expect from big improvements from the PS5. This, coming via a brand new custom designed 3D audio chip.
“It’s been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it.” – Mark Cerny
When Will it be Released?
Ok, so I guess at this point we’re coming to the biggest question surrounding the PlayStation 5. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but at the time of writing there are absolutely no firm indications as to when the PlayStation 5 will come out. What we can say, with pretty much absolute certainty, is that it will not be released in 2019. Well, unless Sony really wants to shock the world!
This is a fact that has been backed by Mark Cerny who is essentially spearheading the liaison between Sony and game developers.
Based on the general market span of their consoles to date and, of course, the above, everything seems to indicate that the Sony PS5 will release towards the end of 2020. This is entirely our own opinion. It is, however, one that is being shared by more than a few industry insiders!UPDATE!
In a report via T3, however, updates surrounding the release suggest that the PS5 might be coming sooner than we thought! Well, sort of!
Sourcing an industry insider which the specification of the PS5 is still more than a little flexible, a release will (apparently) occur in either March 2020 or November 2020.
Out of these two dates, we would still say that the latter is more likely. Then again, with is being around a year away, March 2020 doesn’t seem overly impossible either.
The above leak via T3 has also given us some more insights. Specifically with an indication as to how much the PS5 might cost on launch.
A ‘small’ third-party developer has someone given an indication that the retail price of the PS5 on launch will be around $499 (£380).
This is around what we would’ve expected. Albeit I think many would’ve preferred to see prices closer to $400 or £350 respectively. It isn’t exactly a fortune, but it’s not exactly cheap either!
What do you Think?
As above, we will look to regularly update this article with the latest news, speculation and rumours surrounding the PS5. As such, if you do want to keep up to date with the latest information, you might want to give this page a bookmark! If you do, however, hear any fresh news surrounding the PS5, let us know in the comments. If the rumour looks good, we might even give you a mention!