PlayStation 5: Everything you need to know about Sony’s console

Sony’s next console will be released at the end of the year and will have the daunting task of succeeding the PlayStation 4. The current machine from the Japanese manufacturer crossed the 100 million mark sold worldwide in the summer of 2019, becoming the fourth home console to reach this symbolic milestone. The arrival of the PlayStation 5, and more generally of the next generation of consoles, is therefore highly anticipated by players and the sector.

In full mutation, the latter sees the emergence of cloud gaming with a greater variety of players and an additional threat for Sony, Microsoft and consoles. For many, starting with Google, gaming in the cloud ( cloud gaming ) represents the future of video games, but “physical” consoles have not said their last word. It is in this context that the PlayStation 5, the ninth generation console from Sony, will be released.

Sony PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5: a name as obvious

Sony spoke at the beginning of October 2019 to give an update on its next-gen console and confirm its name. The PS5 will be called PlayStation 5. A name that will not surprise anyone, since it will be the manufacturer’s fifth home console. Twenty-six years after the first PlayStation, the PS5 will have to confirm the good health of the Japanese giant which dominated the eighth generation of consoles. Sony has sold more than 100 million PlayStations worldwide, while rival Microsoft is struggling to reach the 50 million Xbox mark.

In June 2020, however, the console maker confirmed a notable element: its PS5 will not be the only device available to players. They will have the choice between a standard model, with a disc player (Ultra HD Blu-ray), and a console that will not have one. This Digital Edition, slightly finer and probably a little less expensive, will therefore require downloading all the games on its storage space.

What is the PlayStation 5 release date?

The other big news for October 2019 concerned the release date of the PS5. Sony then announced that its console “will be released in time for the 2020 holiday season”, i.e. at the same time as Microsoft’s Scarlett project, renamed Xbox Series X (see our dedicated file). If the exact date had not been communicated, the firm revised its communication in September 2020, announcing the release of its console on November 19, and the launch of pre-orders in stride.

The technical sheet: AMD SoC, ray-tracing and SSD

The architect of the PlayStation 5, Mark Cerny, had nevertheless already confirmed several elements from 2019, before going back to them with a little more detail this year. Here are the main technical characteristics of the PS5:

3rd Generation CPUAMD Ryzen (Zen 2, 8 cores/16 threads, 3.5GHz, 7nm burning) Customized GPUAMD RDNA 2 (36 compute units, 2.23GHz, 10.3 TFLOPS) 16GB RAM (GDDR6 ) Storage 825 GB custom SSD Memory expansion Yes, via compatible M.2 SSD internally, and external USB Optical drive Yes, 4K HDR Blu-ray Backward compatibility Announced for at least PS4 games Other 3D audio

Like its rival from Microsoft, the PlayStation 5 will be equipped with a third-generation AMD Ryzen processor (Zen 2, 8 cores/16 threads) engraved in 7nm, associated with a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA2 architecture. supporting ray-tracing (hardware). We know this, however, since the clarifications provided in March. With a raw computing power of 10.3 TFLOPS, the next PlayStation will be lower on this point than the Xbox Series X and its 12 TFLOPS, but that does not seem to scare Sony, which is counting on other elements to win. Particular attention has been paid to the sound dimension with 3D audio, but also and above all to the storage unit. One of the great novelties of the PS5 will thus reside in the integration of a custom SSD. With a capacity of 825 GB,

This “ultra-fast” SSD should drastically reduce loading times. The manufacturer had also proven the performance of its future console in a comparative video. On a game like  Marvel’s Spider-Man , Sony said it cut load times tenfold, from 8.10 seconds on PS4 Pro to 0.83 on PlayStation 5.

Sony PlayStation 5

A significant and ultimately quite logical gain since Sony will switch from a much slower hard drive to an SSD. But the firm does not intend to stop there. Mark Cerny explained to the Wired site that the addition of the SSD will make it possible to gain in efficiency by avoiding the duplication of data. Currently, developers do not hesitate to copy certain elements of a game several times (such as street lamps or anonymous passers-by) in order to avoid the disc having to search for them. This practice saves time and avoids wasting a few milliseconds for each search, but this data tends to multiply.

“If you look at a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man (…) there is data duplicated 400 times on the hard drive. The SSD sweeps all of that away – not only is its raw read speed significantly faster than that of an HDD, but it also saves space, which is crucial,” explains the architect of the console. Reassuring news therefore for those who feared running out of space when the 825 GB capacity was announced. It should also be noted that a slot will be provided internally to allow the memory of the PS5 to be extended to using compatible SSDs, the list of which should be communicated soon. Of course, it will also be possible to connect an external hard drive via USB, but the transfer speeds in this case will be limited to around 100 MB/s. This would nevertheless be enough for the storage of PS4 games, which it will be possible to take advantage of thanks to the backward compatibility already announced. We will come back to this a little further down.

As for the PS5 games, Sony indicates that they will be offered, for the physical format, on 100 GB optical discs that the console can play via its integrated 4K Blu-ray player. The installation process has also been modified. Unlike the PlayStation 4, the future console will allow an “à la carte” installation by offering, for example, to install only the single-player campaign of a game or its multiplayer part.

The design of the PlayStation 5

If until then it had to be content with visuals inspired by patents and rumors, Sony confirmed in June 2020 the design of the PlayStation 5 and its Digital Edition. Curved lines, a black and white look, blue lighting reminiscent of the PlayStation VR are therefore on the menu, as well as a support allowing the consoles to be placed vertically. Both PS5s will come with a set of matching accessories. A matching headset, media remote, charging stand for two DualSense controllers (see details below) and HD camera will also be released by Sony.

Sony PlayStation 5

DualSense: a brand new controller

The PlayStation will be accompanied by a new controller, and even a brand new controller. Sony has indeed created the surprise by unveiling it in April 2020, since it completely breaks with the DualShock series.

DualSense controller for PlayStation 5

It is therefore not a DualShock 5 that we should expect, but a DualSense, in particular in reference to the new haptic feedback technology designed to offer a “rich panel of sensations, such as a slight feeling of heaviness while driving. a vehicle in the mud” . It will replace the “vibration” technology used in the DualShock series, and will come with “adaptive” triggers in the L2 and R2 keys. Again, it’s all about the feel, with Sony claiming that players will be able to “actually feel the tension in [their] actions, like [when] drawing a bow to shoot an arrow”. The controller can also offer different sensations depending on whether you are using a machine gun or a shotgun, and thus reinforce the feeling of immersion.

DualSense controller for PlayStation 5

Also equipped with a new CREATE button that Sony presents as an evolution of the SHARE button that it replaces, the DualSense also intends to promote sharing between players. A set of microphones is also integrated to converse online. Note of course to finish that the new controller from Sony also inaugurates a new design. The curves are more generous and there is a rather unusual combination of colors from the console manufacturer Nippon, which also claims to have tested this DualSense “with hands of different sizes” in order to satisfy as many players as possible. Comfort should also be there thanks to a reasonable weight, given the good autonomy announced at least, since it has not been specified.

The issue of games

Sony has already confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is going to be backwards compatible with PS4 and PlayStation VR games. The firm assured the Famitsu site that it was working on “full backward compatibility” with its current console, but it could go even further. Rumors suggest backward compatibility with PS1, PS2 and PS3 games in addition to PlayStation 4 games. Information that has not yet been confirmed by Sony.

Nevertheless, the firm has published a list of titles dedicated to the PS5, all types of publishers combined. They are expected for the most part in 2021-2022, but some could be available at the same time as the console.

What price for the PlayStation 5?

Since the conference organized by Sony on September 16, 2020, the price of the PlayStation 5 is known. It is therefore at the price of 499.99 euros that the “standard” model of the console, equipped with 825 GB of internal storage, will be invoiced. A little cheaper as expected, the Digital Edition will be charged 399.99 euros.

Sony PlayStation 5