The PS5, also known as the PlayStation 5, has finally been confirmed by Sony and will be arriving close to Christmas 2020.
The PS5 specs have now been confirmed and Digital Foundry expert Rich Leadbetter's has analysed the inner tech of the PS5.
We also have know about a number of features the PS5 will have, including ray tracing support, thanks to several Wired pieces. This includes an interview with Mark Cerny announcing the system, which revealed the basics of the PS5 specs and tech details, and another that confirmed small details about the console.
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PS5 specs: ray tracing, GPU, CPU and other confirmed details so far
We'll begin with the hard numbers - below you'll find the specs for the PS5, which were confirmed in Digital Foundry expert Rich Leadbetter's analysis. You'll find the specs for the PS5 below:
|CPU||8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU||10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU Architecture||Custom RDNA 2|
|Internal Storage||Custom 825GB SSD|
|IO Throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable Storage||NVMe SSD Slot|
|External Storage||USB HDD Support|
|Optical Drive||4K UHD Blu-ray Drive|
Now that you've seen the specs for the PS5, you're probably wondering - what exactly do these means for the console?
The choice of GPU has been driven by the belief Sony has that, as Rich Leadbetter from Digital Foundry explains, "a smaller GPU can be a more nimble, more agile GPU, the inference being that PS5's graphics core should be able to deliver performance higher than you may expect from a TFLOPs number that doesn't accurately encompass the capabilities of all parts of the GPU."
The new Custom 825GB SSD will also help increase performance. As Rich explains in his analysis, "Sony's actual implementation is something else, with performance rated at two orders of magnitude faster than PlayStation 4. 2GB of data can be loaded in one quarter of a second, meaning that in theory, the entirety of PS5's 16GB can be filled in just two seconds."
Want to know the Digital Foundry verdict on the PS5 specs and confirmed PS5 features? This video can help:
All confirmed PS5 features so far
We learnt a lot about the upcoming features for the PS5 from an interview Mark Cerny gave Wired back in April 2019. Rich Leadbetter's, from Digital Foundry, has also brought some new insight into what this new console is capable of.
These features include:
- You can have expandable storage for the PS5, but don't buy an NVME drive without Sony validation if you want to use it with the console. If you'd like to know more, then check out Rich Leadbetter's analysis of the PS5's inner workings.
- PS5 will support backwards compatibility with seemingly all PS4 games, due to it being "based in part on the PS4's architecture." The performance boost of the PS5 is so significant, however, that these games will need testing. Sony has said that the majority of the top 100 most played games are working, so expect support for the biggest PS4 titles at launch.
- At first some games may be released on both the PS4 and PS5 at the same time. We'll find out whether or not any games, especially release titles, will be cross-gen closer to the PS5's release date.
- PS5 won't be digital-only and physical media, such as the current form of discs, will still be supported.
- Game installations will be more configurable thanks to the way the SSD works (look below) players will be able to delete a single-player campaign for example, without removing the multiplayer, if the developers provide this support.
- Game sizes should smaller or, at least, better optimised. Due to the SSD-only solution with the PS5, developers will no longer need to duplicate data to make a standard 5400 RPM read faster. Wired commented that, "how developers will take advantage of that space will differ; some may opt to build a larger or more detailed game world, others may be content to shrink the size of the games or patches."
- PS5 will have some form of cloud functionality - "we are cloud-gaming pioneers,' Cerny told Wired, "our vision should become clear as we head towards launch.
- PS5 PSVR support, at least with the current headset, has been confirmed. There is a leak, in the form of a patent filed in February 2019, of a new headset that will have two front and one rear camera, with an additional camera on a Move-style controller. There is also a mention that this could all be operated wirelessly.
- The PS5 home screen will be more dynamic. This includes being better off at showing live elements, such as displaying available missions or allowing players to select their activity in real time. "As a player you just jump right into whatever you like," Cerny explained.
- The Geometry Engine is a new block that will give developers more control over triangles, primitives and geometry culling. You can learn more about this in Digital Foundry's analysis.
- The Tempest Engine uses the key tenets of presence and locality to help create more realistic audio. Coupled with the Head-related Transfer Function (HRTF for short) sound should sound different to you depending on the shape of your ear.
What else we know about the PS5, including the logo and name
The official name of Sony's next-gen console is the PlayStation 5, unsurprisingly keeping to the naming convention set by previous Sony consoles. When talking about the console name to Wired, CEO Jim Ryan said, "It's nice to be able to say it, like a giant burden has been lifted from my shoulders."
The PS5 logo also proved that it would follow the PS4's lead when it was revealed on January 6th 2020.
With the PlayStation 5 on its way, we’ve written guides on everything we currently know about PS5 specs, the PS5 controller and upcoming PS5 games you’ll be able to play. Until then, for existing PS4 owners, find out the PlayStation Plus games for this month.
What we don't know about the PS5 specs and features so far
With everyday the release date for the PS5 gets closer and closer, but we still don't know everything about the PS5. Below you'll find some of the important PS5 details that keep us up at night:
- The final console design won't necessarily look like the dev kit. Originally reported on by the Dutch website, LetsGoDigital, and later confirmed by leaked pictures posted by @Alcoholikaust on Twitter, the PS5 dev kits have an unusual V styled design. Sony has refused to comment on whether it'll keep the appearance for the final console. Still, based on how dev kits in the past versus the final product, we can expect the released console to look rather different.
PS5 anyone? pic.twitter.com/cBggZTIty4— The Drunk Cat? (@Alcoholikaust) November 30, 2019
- The PS5 price, thanks to the details we know about the PS5 specs, can be estimated, but that final figure will also depend on what else comes with the console, the competition and the price of the components at the time. In 2018 Digital Foundry ran a PS5 in theory piece that discussed pricing, saying that the next gens would have to wait until 2020 to keep the costs down. In 2013, the PS4 had a release price of $399 / £349 - could the PS5 have a similar price?
- PS5 backwards compatibility with PS1, PS2 and PS3 is unlikely. As the PS4 doesn't have this feature, the chance of it being included in the PS5 is very low. Yet a patent filed in 2018 suggested "remastered by emulation," which replaced the textures from old games with new ones on the fly. It's unknown whether this is a method for upscaling the PlayStation back catalogue or replacing the textures from old games with ones.
- Voice control is currently unconfirmed. Wired did, however, say that during their hands-on with the controller there was "a little hole on it." When asked, Mark Cerny responded with, "we'll talk more about it another time." A Sony spokesperson then added, "we file patents on a regular basis, and like many companies, some of those patents end up in our products, and some don't."
- If the PS4 library will update to the new PS5 version of the game library or whether it will stay the same. If this change does occur, we also don't know you'll have to pay to have your games transferred or converted to your new PS5.