The PS5, also known as the PlayStation 5, has finally been confirmed by Sony and will be arriving close to Christmas 2020.
Everything we know so far about the PS5 specs and console features, including ray tracing support, has come from 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: SSD, ray tracing, GPU, CPU and other confirmed details so far
- 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 (possibly 36 custom Navi compute units at 2000MHz), that supports ray tracing at a hardware level (here's Digital Foundry on the current state of ray tracing tech if you're looking for more on that).
- Audio - the PS will have 3D Audio that Mark Cerny believes will be "dramatically different" to PS4 audio.
- Storage - as with the new Xbox, the PS5 will have an SSD (solid state drive). Sony says its version uses the new PCle 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. Digital Foundry believes it could be GDDR6 at 448GB/s (possibly 512GB/s).
- Resolution support - the PS5 will have up to 8K support, presumably including full 4k.
- 4k Blu-ray Player - will be available, with the PS5 reading 100GB optical discs.
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.
These features include:
- PS5 will support backwards compatibility with seemingly all PS4 games, due to it being "based in part on the PS4's architecture."
- 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.
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.