The PS5 - which we assume to be the name of the upcoming, next-gen PlayStation - has finally surfaced.
Or at least the first details of it have: thanks to a Mark Cerny interview in Wired, we now know some of the basics of the PS5 specs and tech details, and we've a decent idea of where the PS5 release date will land once it's fully announced.
Here's what we know - and don't know yet - about the PS5.
On this page:
- PS5 specs, including SSD, ray tracing and more on how powerful the PS5 will be
- All confirmed PS5 details, including confirmed PS5 backwards compatibility
- PS5 release date expectations - when will the PS5 launch and be fully announced?
- What we don't know about the PS5 so far, despite what PS5 leaks and PS5 rumours tell us
- Are there any confirmed PS5 games yet?
PS5 specs, including SSD, ray tracing and more on how powerful the PS5 will be
Let's dive straight into the hard numbers - here's what we know about PS5's tech after this initial PS5 reveal:
- CPU - the PS5 CPU will be an AMD chip based on Ryzen. 8x cores; 7nm Zen 2.
- GPU and ray tracing - the PS5 GPU will be a custom AMD Navi GPU, that supports ray tracing (here's Digital Foundry on the current state of ray tracing tech if you're looking for more on that).
- Audio - the PS5 will have 3D Audio that Mark Cerny believes will be "dramatically different" to PS4 audio.
- Storage - the PS5 will have an SSD (solid state drive) which uses the new PCIe 4.0 connection. Cerny gave the example of a 0.8 second loading time, compared to 15 seconds, when tested on Marvel's Spider-Man.
- Resolution support - the PS5 will have up to 8K support, presumably including full 4k.
Want to know the Digital Foundry verdict on the PS5 specs and confirmed PS5 features? This video can help:
All confirmed PS5 details, including PS5 backwards compatibility
Let's look at some of the 'softer' features of the PS5, that we know of so far - again, thanks to Wired.
PS5 features: backwards compatibility and physical vs. digital
- The PS5 will support backwards compatibility - with seemingly all PS4 games, as it's "based in part on the PS4's architecture".
- The PS5 won't be digital-only - physical media, such as the current form of discs, will still be supported.
- Some games will likely release on both PS4 and PS5 at first - Wired speculated on Death Stranding being one example, based on Cerny's notably "pregnant pause" when asked.
- The PS5 will have some form of cloud functionality - "we are cloud-gaming pioneers," Cerny told Wired, "our vision should become clear as we head toward launch."
- PS5 PSVR support has been confirmed, with the current headset at least.
PS5 release date expectations - when will the PS5 launch and be fully announced?
There's still no word on the full PS5 release date - or even official confirmation that "PlayStation 5" will actually be what it's called. But Cerny did at least narrow it down.
According to Wired, the next PlayStation console "won't be landing in stores anytime in 2019," although studios have reportedly been working on it for some time.
Further to that, as part of end of year financial results we know the PS5 won't launch before April 2020.
That suggests a PS5 release date of mid to late 2020, unless they've decide to go straight for April, or even delay it past that to 2021. But based on the timing of the first PS5 specs, this seems unlikely.
What we don't know about the PS5 so far, despite what PS5 leaks and PS5 rumours tell us
The above is all what's need confirmed about the PS5. Of course, there's been years of speculation, PS5 leaks and rumours, all of which you should take with a pinch of salt.
- PS5 controller details are still unknown. Recent PS5 leaks suggest it'll have a touch screen - as seen in the embedded tweet below - replacing the touch panel as seen with the PS4, though nothing has yet to be confirmed, so don't take as gospel. Since the PS5 is backwards compatible with PS4 games, we have to assume there is some sort of touchpad on the new controller - though that said, the PS5 controller could ditch it, and the only way to play PS4 games on a PS5 is with a DualShock 4. So who knows!
- PS5 price can be estimated given the PS5 specs we know about, but the final figure will ultimately depend on what else is in the box, the competition and the price of components at the time. In 2018 Digital Foundry ran a PS5 in theory piece which discussed pricing, and said any true next gen leap would have to wait until 2020 in order to keep costs down. The PS4 launch price was $399 / Ł349 - perhaps the PS5 price will be similar?
- PS5 Backwards compatibility with PS1, PS2 or PS3 is unlikely - since the PS4 doesn't have these, chances are the PS5 won't either. But a patent in 2018 suggested "remastered by emulation" was revealed, which replaced the textures from old games with new ones on the fly. Whether this is a method for remastering older games or a way to upscale the PlayStation back catalogue is, again, unknown.
- The PS5 name, because despite everyone calling it the PlayStation 5, Sony has yet to officially call it that. But Sony would be foolish not to, right?
If you're generally confused by PS5 leaks and what to believe, this video by Digital Foundry gives you a good grounding of what you should know:
Are there any confirmed PS5 games yet?
There have not been any PS5 games confirmed yet - it's very early days - but as you can imagine, there's been some guesswork out there online. These include:
- Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's anticipated sci-fi adventure, is still a PS4 game, but the Wired article that revealed an interesting line: "When asked, a spokesperson in the room repeated that the game would be released for PS4, but Cerny's smile and pregnant pause invites speculation that it will in fact be a two-platform release."
- Starfield, Bethesda's space-based role-playing adventure, is still a few years off and is a next gen game - putting it in-line as a PS5 game. It could, of course, be cross-gen with PS4, too.
- Elder Scrolls 6 is even further away from that - this is almost certainly bound for PS5 than PS4. Here are our educated-but-very-over-excited Elder Scrolls 6 location predictions, if you want more on that.
- Cyberpunk 2077 is entirely possible as a current generation game, but there's a chance it could also release on PS5 and whatever the next Xbox is, too.
- Countless yearly franchises, live service games and popular apps. Will FIFA, Call of Duty and Madden be coming to PS5? Almost certainly. Fortnite on PS5? It's possible. Netflix? We reckon so. Of course we won't hear anything for a while yet about confirmed PS5 games, so this is all our guesswork on what is possible.
If a PS5 release date of 2020 is suggested, then there's still a lot to learn before it finally arrives. Though Sony won't have a E3 2019 conference, it's possible that's where we'll hear more about the status of next-gen games - including those on the PS5.