Sony’s next console will officially be called the PlayStation 5. It will be released during Holiday 2020, though a specific date in that window was not provided.
The news comes from an exclusive Wired interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan and system architect Mark Cerny, among several others.
In the interview, not only do Ryan and Cerny unveil the console’s name and release window but also a few details about the PlayStation 5 controller, the PS5’s hardware specs, and the new console’s interactive UI.
PlayStation 5 Controller Details
Wired’s Peter Rubin, who was able to go hands-on with a PlayStation 5 dev kit at Sony’s U.S. headquarters, said that the controller was similar in style to the Dualshock 4. However, it differed in several key ways. Rubin said of the differences:
One is “adaptive triggers” that can offer varying levels of resistance to make shooting a bow and arrow feel like the real thing — the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back — or make a machine gun feel far different from a shotgun. It also boasts haptic feedback far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.
He goes on to say that the haptic technology present in the controller not only allows for more realistic-feeling actions but also more realistic environmental feedback. Playing several undisclosed PS5 demos, Rubin said that different surfaces feel unique with what Sony isn’t yet calling the “Dualshock 5.” For example, sand feels decidedly different than mud, Rubin says.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Ryan spoke a bit more about the controller’s haptic feedback technology, echoing Rubin’s experience:
… there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles.
With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.
The controller also reportedly boasts USB-C charging, a larger battery with increased capacity, an improved speaker, and (possibly) a microphone, although the latter has not been confirmed. Cerny simply said that Sony would “talk more about it [the microphone] another time.”
Shooting a bow using the “DualShock 5” might feel a lot more realistic.
PlayStation 5 Storage: Moving from HDD to SSD
While it’s logical that the PS5 would include solid-state technology, Cerny confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will ditch HDD technology for faster, more efficient solid-state technology.
Not only does an SSD reportedly allow the PlayStation 5 to read data faster, but it also helps developers eliminate data duping, potentially making games more data-efficient, if not smaller, in overall installation size. On the flip side, Cerny contends that developers might take advantage of such efficiency by making games bigger and more detailed.
Mandatory Installation — With a Nifty Catch
Cerny confirmed that game installations will be mandatory on the PlayStation 5, even if using [hysical optical media (according to Rubin, “the PS5 will use 100GB optical disks, inserted into an optical drive that doubles as a 4K Bluray player”).
However, players will reportedly be able to pick and choose what portions of a game are installed at any given time. Rubin uses the example of multiplayer and single-player modes, where players can install a game’s campaign without installing its multiplayer modes and vice versa.
PlayStation 5 SSD Size
Unfortunately, neither Ryan nor Cerny provided details on the PS5’s SSD size. We’ll have to wait for more information (and most likely another Wired exclusive) for that information.
PlayStation 5 Ray Tracing
We won’t get into the specifics of what ray tracing is, but Cerny confirmed what we all already knew: the PS5 will employ ray tracing technology. The news here is that it will do so at the hardware level, not the software level as some had previously thought.
PlayStation 5 Real-Time User Interface
Another interesting tidbit pulled from the interview is that the PS5’s UI will display in-game information in real-time.
Instead of turning on a game to see single-player campaign missions and their objectives and rewards, players will be able to see that information from the UI. The same is reportedly true of a game’s multiplayer, where players will be able to see available matches, allegedly regardless of if your friends are in those matches or not.
According to Cerny:
Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games, we don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up.
Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them — and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.
Of course, no further information was provided on the user interface and what it might look like. Those details, surely, will be coming sometime in the future.
PlayStation 5: What Does It Look Like?
According to Ryan and Cerny, a lot like the recently leaked dev kit designs.
That’s the bulk of the new information regarding the PlayStation 5, its release window, hardware details, and controller information. For more on the PS5 as it develops, stay tuned to GameSkinny