It’s been officially confirmed! The next generation PlayStation is officially named the PlayStation 5. In a blog post on the PlayStation Blog, Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) confirmed the name and that the new PlayStation 5 will officially be available by holiday 2020. For those of us not in the United States, that’s between November and December 2020. Ryan also detailed some of the new technology going into the new PlayStation in the post. We’ve broken it down below.
The GPU of the PlayStation 5 will Support Ray Tracing
The first, and possibly, most significant confirmation that Mark Cerny gave in an exclusive interview with Wired. Earlier in the year, during Computex, AMD confirmed that the PlayStation 5 would be running on a customised AMD Ryzen processor and graphics processing unit (GPU). However, the company didn’t dive into specifics. Following this announcement, speculation ran rampant about the next generation PlayStation using software optimisations in favour of native hardware support. In a swift, concise statement, Cerny confirmed that the Navi (RDNA) based GPU will support ray tracing in its next generation console.
In addition to this, the PS5 will still use physical media. It will be running on 100GB optical discs and also support 4K BluRay playback. However, the PS5 will be leaving rotating hard disks behind. Instead, the console will be using solid state drives (SSDs). This change has been a long time coming. Even with the PS4, many gamers would opt to change the internal rotating hard disk for an SSD. The rationale behind it is simple: an SSD is much faster in retrieving information than a rotating hard disk. In fact, with the current generation of consoles, games can be pretty large due to the duplication of assets to hasten loading. With SSDs, there will be no need for this as the console will be able to call the required file a lot faster.
In addition to this, the new SSD implementation will allow developers to enable smaller system installs. With the simplified game data, due in part to the use of SSDs, gamers will have the option to install portion of the game data. For instance, users interesting solely in the multiplayer campaign can opt to install only that; or in the case of a complete install, gamers will have the option to remove segments of game data.
Brand New Controller & User Interface (UI)
Before we get into the details of the controller, Cerny and Ryan mentioned a revamped UI in the PS5. The new UI will allow users to get real time information about their games. This could be things like new missions or even multiplayer achievements they can get in the game without booting the game up.
That said, the post on PlayStation Blog highlighted the new technologies that would be coming in the new controller of the PS5 which is expected to carry the DualShock 5 moniker. The controller will be leaving their rumble motors behind in favour of haptic feedback. This technology would be able to deliver more immersive experiences; allowing developers to manipulate user experiences such as the feel of different terrains or the resistance of water in river.
In addition to this, the controllers will also have triggers with variable resistances. The company calls this ‘adaptive triggers’. Using these adaptive triggers, developers can now deliver experiences such as the tension of a bow being pulled back or even the different feels of different guns. Cerny noted in the interview that the technology in the controller was available since the PS4 Pro; however, the company opted to hold it for the PS5 to give a more consistent experience across the PS4 generation. The new controller will be slightly heavier than the DualShock 4 controllers but will be lighter than the XBOX controllers with batteries in according to Cerny.
While there were patents filed earlier by Sony regarding voice driven AI, there was no mention of the technology making it to the PS5 just yet. A Sony spokesperson did comment that while the company does file patents, not all of them may make it to their products.