An Update on Next-Gen: PlayStation 5 Launches Holiday 2020

PS5 | 2019-10-08 17:11:37

Since we originally unveiled our next-generation console in April, we know that there’s been a lot of excitement and interest in hearing more about what the future of games will bring. Today I’m proud to share that our next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5, and we’ll be launching in time for Holiday 2020.

These updates may not be a huge surprise, but we wanted to confirm them for our PlayStation fans, as we start to reveal additional details about our vision for the next generation. WIRED magazine covered these updates and more in .

The “more” refers to something I’m quite excited about – a preview of the new controller that will ship with PlayStation 5. One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.

While there’s much more to share about PlayStation 5 in the year ahead, we have plenty of blockbuster experiences coming your way on PS4, including Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima. I’d like to thank all PlayStation fans for continuing the journey with us, as we embark on the future of games.

Exclusive: A Deeper Look at the PlayStation 5

Ever since the original PlayStation hit the market in 1994, Sony's series of videogame consoles has stuck to the numbers. No "Super," no "Max," no "Code Red Xtreme"; just PlayStations 2, 3, and 4. With such unwavering consistency, the name of the next iteration has been a question only in the most technical sense—but Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan is still ready to answer it. The console, he tells me, will be called PlayStation 5. "It's nice to be able to say it," he says. "Like a giant burden has been lifted from my shoulders." So. There you go. PlayStation 5, holidays 2020. Sony hasn't said too much about the console since April, when WIRED broke the story about development efforts on what was then known only as the "next-gen console." In fact, the company hasn't said anything . Sony skipped games show E3 this year, a void during which Microsoft unveiled details about its own next-gen console, a successor to the Xbox One referred to only as Project Scarlett. Like the PS5, Scarlett will boast a CPU based on AMD’s Ryzen line and a GPU based on its Navi family; like the PS5, it will ditch the spinning hard drive for a solid-state drive. Now, though, in a conference room at Sony’s US headquarters, Ryan and system architect Mark Cerny are eager to share specifics. Before they do, Cerny wants to clarify something. When we last discussed the forthcoming console, he spoke about its ability to support ray-tracing, a technique that can enable complex lighting and sound effects in 3D environments. Given the many questions he’s received since, he fears he may have been ambiguous about how the PS5 would accomplish this—and confirms that it’s not a software-level fix, which some had feared. “There is ray-tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware,” he says, “which I believe is the statement that people were looking for.” (A belief born out by my own Twitter mentions, which for a couple of weeks in April made a graphics-rendering technique seem like the only thing the internet had ever cared about.) With that in hand, back to the PS5's solid-state drive, which Cerny first extolled for the way it can turn loading time from a hassle to a blink. It’s not just the speed that makes the SSD formidable, he says, but the efficiency it offers. Think about the hard drive in a game console, spinning like a 5,400-rpm vinyl record. For the console to read a piece of information off the drive, it first has to send out the disk head—like a turntable needle—to find it. Each “seek,” as it’s known, may entail only a scant handful of milliseconds, but seeks add up. To minimize them, developers will often duplicate certain game assets in order to form contiguous data blocks, which the drive can read faster. We’re talking common stuff here: lampposts, anonymous passersby. But data adds up too. "If you look at a game like Marvel's Spider-Man ," Cerny says, "there are some pieces of data duplicated 400 times on the hard drive." The SSD sweeps away the need for all that duping—so not only is its raw read speed dramatically faster than a hard drive, but it saves crucial space. How developers will take advantage of that space will likely 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. Either way, physical games for the PS5 will use 100-GB optical disks, inserted into an optical drive that doubles as a 4K Blu-ray player.

However, game installation (which is mandatory, given the speed difference between the SSD and the optical drive) will be a bit different than in the PS4. This time around, aided in part by the simplified game data possible with the SSD, Sony is changing its approach to storage, making for a more configurable installation—and removal—process. "Rather than treating games like a big block of data," Cerny says, "we're allowing finer-grained access to the data." That could mean the ability to install a game's multiplayer campaign, leaving the single-player campaign for another time, or just installing the whole thing and then deleting the single-player campaign once you've finished it. Regardless of what parts of a game you choose to install and play, you'll be able to stay abreast of it via a completely revamped user interface. The PS4's bare-bones home screen at times feels frozen in amber; you can see what your friends have recently done or even what game title they might be playing at the moment, but without launching an individual title there's no way to tell what single-player missions you could do or what multiplayer matches you can join. The PS5 will change that. "Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games, we don't want the player to have to boot the game, see what's up, boot the game, see what's up," Cerny says. "Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like." He says this like he says many other things: knowing he'll fend off any follow-up question that ventures beyond what he wants to talk about. Like, What does the UI actually look like? How big will the SSD be? Or even, Is that a microphone ? Which is exactly what I ask when Cerny hands me a prototype of the next-generation controller, an unlabeled matte-black doohickey that looks an awful lot like the PS4's DualShock 4. After all, there's a little hole on it, and a recently published patent points to Sony developing a voice-driven AI assistant for the PlayStation. But all I get from Cerny is, "We'll talk more about it another time." ("We file patents on a regular basis," a spokesperson tells me later, "and like many companies, some of those patents end up in our products, and some don’t.") The controller (which history suggests will one day be called the DualShock 5, though Cerny just says "it doesn't have a name yet") does have some features Cerny's more interested in acknowledging. One is "adaptive triggers" that can offer varying levels of resistance to make shooting a bow and arrow feel like the real thing—the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back—or make a machine gun feel far different from a shotgun. It also boasts haptic feedback far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller. Combined with an improved speaker on the controller, the haptics can enable some astonishing effects. First, I play through a series of short demos, courtesy of the same Japan Studio team that designed PlayStation VR's Astro Bot Rescue Mission . In the most impressive, I ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, all of which gave distinct—and surprisingly immersive—tactile experiences. Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and . On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation.

Next, a version of Gran Turismo Sport that Sony had ported over to a PS5 devkit—a devkit that on quick glance looks a like the one Gizmodo reported on last week. (The company refused to comment on questions about how the devkit's form factor might compare to what's being considered for the consumer product.) Driving on the border between the track and the dirt, I could feel both surfaces. Doing the same thing on the same track using a DualShock 4 on a PS4, that sensation disappeared entirely. It wasn't that the old style rumble feedback paled in comparison, it was that there was no feedback at all. User tests found that rumble feedback was too tiring to use continuously, so the released version of GT Sport simply didn't use it. Sony rigged Gran Turismo Sport to demonstrate the haptics in its next-gen controller. Courtesy of Sony That difference has been a long time coming. Product manager Toshi Aoki says the controller team has been working on haptic feedback since the DualShock 4 was in development. They even could have included it in PS4 Pro, the mid-cycle refresh—though doing so would have created a "split experience" for gamers, so the feature suite was held for the next generation. There are some other small improvements over the DualShock 4. The next-gen controller uses a USB Type-C connector for charging (and you can play through the cable as well). Its larger-capacity battery and haptics motors make the new controller a bit heavier than the DualShock 4, but Aoki says it will still come in a bit lighter than the current Xbox controller "with batteries in it." How game studios will use all these new features—from previously known ones like the SSD and ray-tracing acceleration to newer ones like the controller and real-time UI—is still a matter of some speculation. While a number of studios already had their PS5 devkits, the controller prototypes began rolling out much more recently, and no one is ready to name specific titles they're developing for the PS5. "We're working on a big one right now," says Marco Thrush, president of Bluepoint Games, which most recently worked on last year's PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus. "I'll let you figure out the rest." That doesn't mean they're not exploring. "The SSD has me really excited," Thrush says. "You don't need to do gameplay hacks anymore to artificially slow players down—lock them behind doors, anything like that. Back in the cartridge days, games used to load instantly; we're kind of going back to what consoles used to be."

"I could be really specific and talk about experimenting with ambient occlusion techniques, or the examination of ray-traced shadows," says Laura Miele, chief studio officer for EA. "More generally, we’re seeing the GPU be able to power machine learning for all sorts of really interesting advancements in the gameplay and other tools." Above all, Miele adds, it's the speed of everything that will define the next crop of consoles. "We're stepping into the generation of immediacy. In mobile games, we expect a game to download in moments and to be just a few taps from jumping right in. Now we’re able to tackle that in a big way." That sort of tackle gets a lot easier, Jim Ryan knows, when a burden has been lifted from your shoulders. So say hello to the PlayStation 5, officially. Maybe one of these days we'll all learn what the thing actually looks like. More Great WIRED Stories The female founders disrupting the vagina economy Movie talk and the rise of review culture Jack Conte, Patreon, and the plight of the creative class TikTok—yes, TikTok—is the latest window into China’s police state Forget Mensa! All hail the low IQ 👁 If computers are so smart, how come they can’t read ? Plus, check out the latest news on artificial intelligence 💻 Upgrade your work game with our Gear team’s favorite laptops keyboards typing alternatives noise-canceling headphones

PS5: Sony Confirms PlayStation 5 Name, Controller Details, 2020 Release Date Window

Sony has officially confirmed its next-generation console will be called the PlayStation 5, as well as when it's coming out: The PS5 will launch in Holiday 2020. It's also shared the first details on its controller--at least for now, not yet called the DualShock 5--and more about the discs it uses, ray-tracing support, SSD, UI features, and other aspects of the system. Here's what we learned.

The company announced the news in a blog post. "I'm proud to share that our next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5, and we'll be launching in time for Holiday 2020," said Sony Interactive Entertainment present Jim Ryan. "These updates may not be a huge surprise, but we wanted to confirm them for our PlayStation fans, as we start to reveal additional details about our vision for the next generation."

PlayStation 5 News

Ryan went on to share more details on Sony's vision for the next generation, as well as its plans for the PS5 controller: "One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

"To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5's new controller. First, we're adopting haptic feedback to replace the 'rumble' technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

"The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal."

Sony shared more details on the PS5 in an interview with Wired. The company reassured fans, for example, that the hard drive seen in current-gen consoles is out, and a faster, more efficient solid-state drive is in. More new details include:

Sony has not yet shared what the PS5 will look like, nor its precise release date or price point. Earlier this year the company did state it was working on a new PlayStation, but stopped short of confirming a release window or name, so this is the first time those details have been confirmed. We do know is that the PS5 will be better for the environment and that it will support backwards compatibility in some way. For more, check out everything we know about the PS5.

PS5: Release Date, Price, Specs, Games and More

The next console generation is just over a year away, and the PS5 rumors are starting to heat up. Sony has already confirmed that its next-generation console is in development, and even let a few official specs slip ahead of an eventual reveal. But there's still plenty we don't know, which is why we're compiling all of the PS5 rumors we're hearing right here.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Latest PS5 News and Rumors (September 2019)

PS5 release date: when is it coming out?

Most signs are pointing to a late 2020 release for the PS5. In a recent forecast reported by Twinfinite, Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda predicts that the console will arrive in November 2020 with a $499 price tag.

Microsoft has already confirmed Project Scarlett for a Holiday 2020 release, so it would make sense for Sony to have its competitor ready around the same time.

If the PS5 does arrive in 2020, it'll likely come later in the year. According to The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki, Sony said in an April 2019 investor call that it has no plans to release a next-generation PlayStation in the next 12 months, meaning May 2020 would be the absolute earliest possible release window for the new console.

A 4chan post from August 2019 claims to have information from an internal Sony email, which says that the PS5 will be revealed at a special PlayStation Meeting in February 2020 (the last PlayStation Meeting was in 2016 for the PS4 Pro).

There is some precedence to this, as Sony officially revealed the PS4 to the world in February 2013 before launching the console in November of that same year.

PS5 specs: how powerful will the PS5 be?

In an interview with Wired, Sony's Mark Cerny revealed several key specs for Sony's next-generation console, which has yet to receive an official name.

The console will be powered by a CPU based on AMD's third-generation, eight-core Ryzen processor, as well as a custom GPU based on the AMD Radeon Navi line. That graphics card will allow the PS5 to deliver ray tracing, which is an ultra-realistic lighting technology that was first made popular by Nvidia's RTX cards.

According to a translated tweet from known hardware leaker Komachi Ensaka, the PS5's fast 2-GHz GPU could double the power of the Xbox One X, and deliver comparable performance to Nvidia's RTX 2080.

BREAKING: THIS IS PS5. According to this leak- the GPU will be clocked at an insane 2ghz.This equates to 9.2 TF on the RDNA architecture. Or roughly 14 TF on the GCN Architecture aka over double the power of the X1X. Almost RTX2080 power.In English: it's very powerful https://t.co/09rB49ugBTAugust 13, 2019

The system's CPU will allow for 3D audio, which promises to be more immersive than that of the PS4 whether you're playing with headphones or through your TV speakers. The PS5's massive power will also allow for resolutions of up to 8K (for reference, the PS4 Pro maxes out at 4K.)

Cerny also noted that the system will feature a speedy SSD (solid state drive) for loading games faster. In a demonstration, Cerny showed off that the system's new SSD, a segment of Marvel's Spider-Man that normally took 15 seconds to load took under a second. Additionally, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will support physical discs.

Sony demonstrated even further just how powerful the system's new SSD will be at a corporate strategy meeting in May. In a statement sent out after the meeting, Sony noted that the next-gen PlayStation will deliver more immersive experiences via "dramatically increased graphics rendering speeds, achieved through the employment of further improved computational power and a customized ultra-fast, broadband SSD."

A video from the meeting posted by The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki shows the same Spider-Man load test that Cerny gave to Wired. In it, a new area can be shown loading in less than a second on the next-gen PlayStation, compared to 8 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

In an interview with Cnet in June 2019, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the PS5 will support 4K visuals at a refresh rate of 120Hz, which could lead to extra-smooth graphics for folks with high-refresh-rate displays.

PS5 design: what will it look like?

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

A Sony patent discovered in August 2019 could give us a clue about the PS5's potential design. The patent images show what looks like a chunky game console, complete with a slew of USB ports, a disc drive, and a unique V-shaped chassis that could help keep the system cool. 

Codemasters senior artist Matthew Stott tweeted that the pictured console is indeed the PS5 dev kit, though his Twitter account was deleted shortly after the tweet. Could he have broken a Sony NDA? Only time will tell.

The folks at LetsGoDigital mocked up their own PS5 render based on the patent images, proving how the odd shape could actually turn out to be an attractive game console.

PS5 features: VR, cloud gaming and more

We already know that the PS5 will support the PlayStation VR headset, and could usher in a new version of the popular virtual reality accessory. But here's where things really get interesting: in May 2019, Sony and Microsoft announced a surprise partnership in which the two companies will share resources to further their own cloud gaming, AI and enterprise products. Does this mean the PS5 will have an improved version of PlayStation Now, or an entirely new cloud platform to compete with Google Stadia? We'll have to wait and see.

PS5 price: how much will it cost?

The PS4 found big success by undercutting the Xbox One at launch with its $399 price tag, but the PS5 might not be quite as affordable. In his quarterly forecast (as reported by Twinfinite), Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda predicts that the system will launch for $499, which is $100 more than what the PS4 and PS4 Pro sold for at launch.

PS5 backwards compatibility: will it play PS4 games?

Yep! In the Wired interview, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will play PS4 games as well as support the current PlayStation VR headset.

However, the jury's still out on whether the PS5 will play games from older PlayStation generations, as was rumored several months ago.

PS5 games: The titles to expect

While the PS5 has yet to be confirmed, it's never to early to speculate which titles may land on Sony's next gen system. First-party title The Last of Us Part II could be a ways out, and could potentially end up as a PS5 exclusive or launch on PS4 and PS5 simultaneously. And while we're speculating, don't be shocked to see sequels to PS4 megahits God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Spider-Man on the PS5.

(Image credit: The Last of Us Part II. Credit: Sony )

As far as third-party games, Bethesda already confirmed that its upcoming Starfield game is a "next-generation" experience. We also wouldn't be shocked to see The Elder Scrolls VI and Cyberpunk 2077 land on Sony's next-generation hardware. And since they release like clockwork, expect new Madden, NBA 2K and FIFA titles around the PS5's launch window.

Wondering what's next for Xbox? Be sure to also check our roundup of the latest Xbox Scarlett rumors.