PlayStation 5 release date, price, features and specs

Jan 23, 2020 – Update: Gamers are super excited about Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 console. The PS5 logo was kind of boring, but customers expect the console to be a major upgrade. A new report claims that the PlayStation 5’s DualShock 5 controller could get a built-in microphone and a voice assistant.

A Sony patent recently published by WIPO and first spotted by SegmentNext describes a controller with a microphone, a tactile presentation device, and a speaker. As per the patent documents, the controller will be able to accept voice commands similar to smart speakers from Google and Amazon.

It’s not the first Sony patent pointing to a voice assistant on the PS5 controller. In the past, the Japanese company has filed numerous patents suggesting the new DualShock controller could get an AI-powered voice assistant.

In March last year, the company had filed a patent for a voice assistant called PlayStation Assist. The patent was published by WIPO in September 2019. According to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, it will allow users to input queries and then the game will dynamically respond to the input. If Sony adds PlayStation Assist to the PS5 controller, it will be a useful upgrade.

Previously

With the PlayStation 4 having surpassed 100 million units in sales, expectations are running high for the next year’s PlayStation 5. Sony and its developer partners have been dropping hints and juicy tidbits about the next-gen PlayStation for quite a while. It’s gearing up to be one of the biggest product launches of 2020. Ahead of the official unveiling, let’s take a look at the expected PlayStation 5 release date, specs, pricing, and other details.

PlayStation 5 release date

Fans have been talking about the PlayStation 5 release date for months, and Sony has finally confirmed it. The next-generation console will be released in the 2020 holiday season, which means sometime between October and December of next year. That window places the PlayStation 5 release date in direct competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X release window, which isn’t a major surprise. We pretty much expect the Xbox Series X and the PS5 to face off in an epic battle for supremacy.

Sony hasn’t provided a specific release date yet. Japanese tech blog Gamer Gate claimed recently that the PS5 will be released on Dec. 4, 2020 and that the price will start at 69,800 yen for the base model with a 1 TB solid-state drive and basic functions. The most expensive model was reported to be priced at 109,800 and featuring 4 TB SSD with separate GPU for ray-tracing and even more improved graphics performance. Supposedly, pre-orders for both PlayStation 5 models would begin on March 20.

However, a Sony spokesperson told Famitsu that the report from Gamer Gate was not an official announcement about the PlayStation 5 release date or price. The spokesperson also said they would not comment on rumors and speculation.

PlayStation 5 specs

In April, Sony’s lead system architect Mark Cerny disclosed various details about the PS5 in an interview with Wired. He also worked in the same position when the current PS4 was in development.

Cerny revealed that the PlayStation 5 — Sony has officially confirmed the name — will be equipped with an AMD CPU with eight cores, custom 3D audio unit, cutting-edge solid-state drive (SSD) and much more.

The GPU and CPU Cerny detailed in the PlayStation 5 specs are much more powerful than those of previous consoles. This gives it the ability to achieve graphic capabilities that have never been seen before on consoles. The computer’s memory size and speed will also be larger, meaning the game files will grow in size as well. There will be larger downloads as well as larger physical discs for the player.

  • CPU – 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen with eight cores and 7nm Zen2 microarchitecture
  • GPU – Radeon Navi custom-designed for Sony that supports hardware-based ray-tracing for intense 3D animation and 8K graphics. Ray-tracing is a rendering technique that defines how light travels and interacts with virtual objects
  • Upgraded Sound Card – Immerses user in full 3D sound
  • SSD storage – Improved load times and faster response in game. It will also allow players to choose to download the single-player or multiplayer version, the whole game or a specific part of it.

Toshihiro Nagoshi, the series director for PlayStation title Yakuza, has said that the AMD processor in the next-gen PlayStation 5 will change gaming for the better. It will focus more on programmable features like artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will be a change from simple graphic updates that improve the view in the game, but do not really add much to the gameplay.

Despite its massive hardware upgrade, the PlayStation 5 might still not be as powerful as high-end PC graphics cards. According to Komachi, its AMD Oberon APU (a combination of CPU and GPU) will have a clock speed of 2GHz, almost double the clock speed of PlayStation 4 Pro. But it’s still not as powerful as the Nvidia RTX 2080 line.

The upcoming Sony console will have an optical drive and a 4K Blu-ray player. Physical games will be able to use optical disks with a capacity of 100GB. The PlayStation 5 will also offer game downloads and improved cloud gaming performance.

PlayStation 5 controller

Gamers expect the PS5 controller to have some new tricks up its sleeves. A new patent filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment in Japan reveals what the controller might look like. As per the filing, the controller looks similar to DualShock 4. It has the familiar button placement, the D-pad, and the touch bar. There is also a tiny square under the PlayStation button.

Sony PlayStation 5 Controller
Image source: Sony / Japan Platform for Patent Information

The patent filing confirms several aspects of the controller that were previously described by Wired. The thumb sticks have become shorter, and the light bar has disappeared from the back of the controller. The new controller features a USB-C port on the back for charging.

It’s worth pointing out the patent was filed on March 20, 2019. The PS5 will arrive toward the end of 2020. Sony could tweak its design or come up with new ideas by then. Only time will tell whether the new controller would be called ‘DualShock 5’ or something else.

Sony itself has revealed some changes it’s making for the PS5 controller. It will replace the rumble technology with haptic feedback. Rumble has been in use since the first PlayStation, so this is a noteworthy change.

PlayStation 5
StockSnap / Pixabay

The console maker also said it would be implementing what it calls “adaptive triggers” in the R2 and L2 triggers in the controller. Game developers will be able to program the triggers’ resistance levels in games, enabling players to feel increased tension when performing certain actions, like pulling back a bow.

Backward compatibility

According to Mark Cerney, the PS5 will be backward compatible with the PS4, meaning it will easily run games that were previously released for the PS4. The backward compatibility with the PS4 is largely because the PS5 is expected to have a similar architecture. The PS5 will also support the current PlayStation VR headset.

The BBC claims the upcoming console will not be backward compatible with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games. But a Sony patent suggests the PS5 could be capable of emulating the PS3, PS2 and even the original PlayStation.

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has also confirmed that the new console will not only be backward compatible but will go a step further. The PS5 will support cross-generational gameplay. You can start playing a game on the PS4 and then pick it up where you left off on the PlayStation 5, and if you want, you can go back to finish it on the PS4. You will also be able to play online multiplayer games with PS4 players.

PlayStation 5 games

Games can make or break a console. Sony’s consoles tend to have an exceptional lineup of first-party and third-party titles that attract gamers to the PlayStation.

Sony’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, said during an earnings call that the “development of game titles by our software development partners is progressing smoothly.” However, Totoki didn’t specify which titles will be coming to the PS5. Some developers have dropped hints that they are developing titles for the PS5.

CD Projekt Red has been developing Cyberpunk 2077. The studio said last year at a conference that the game would have true-to-life visuals “on current and next-generation technology,” suggesting Cyberpunk 2077 would be available on both the PS4 and PS5.

Industry analyst Michael Pachter predicts Sony’s Death Stranding could also arrive on the PS5 as a “cross-generational title.” Bethesda, Blueprint, and other studios are also rumored to be working on PS5 titles. A ResetEra forum member has spotted a 3D character artist’s profile which mentioned a “new AAA title for PS5” at Luminous Production, which is part of Square Enix.

The same day Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X, the first game for the PlayStation 5 was revealed. Gearbox shared the official trailer for Godfall, and PlayStation Lifestyle spoke to a representative for the developer about why the game had to be released for the PS5 and not either of the two current-generation consoles. The title will actually be a PlayStation 5 exclusive, which means it won’t be released on the PS4 or the Xbox. Here’s the trailer of Godafall:

Keith Lee of Counterplay Games, which is working on Godfall with Gearbox, explained that the PS5 will have an “exceptionally powerful” solid-state drive that will offer “a new level of detail for each individual object as well as seamless loading of our expansiveness world.” He said the combat in Godfall is “kinesthetic in nature,” which means the haptic feedback provided by the next-generation controllers will make the combat feel “exhilarating and visceral.”

Expected price

Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda wrote in a report that he expects the PS5 to be released in November 2020. Sony later confirmed that the console would launch during “Holiday 2020.” According to a translation of the report by Google Translate, Yasuda said he expects the PlayStation 5 price to be $499. If he’s correct, it means the PS5 will start out $100 more than the PS4 and PS4 Pro, which were both priced at $399 at the times of their launches.

Most gamers are probably expecting a higher starting price for the PS5 because of one major addition. Sony has confirmed that it plans to include a solid-state drive rather than a traditional hard drive in the console. Switching to an SSD will make the games load faster, but it will also likely increase the price because SSDs do cost quite a bit more than standard hard drives.

The higher PlayStation 5 price can also be expected due to some other premium improvements, like the Boost Mode feature, which is designed to improve the framerates on games, ray-tracing, and 3D audio.

Logo revealed

Sony has officially unveiled the PlayStation 5 logo at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan took the stage at Sony’s CES presentation, fans expected him to share something about the next-gen gaming console. He revealed the logo, and confirmed that the console would hit the store shelves in Holiday 2020.

The logo does not look exciting at all. There are no fancy aesthetic changes. The color scheme, font, and styling look identical to those of the PS3 and PS4 logos. The only big difference is that the numbers 3 and 4 have been replaced with 5. No surprise that it didn’t receive an overly enthusiastic response from fans.

Ryan promised that the company would be sharing more PS5-related details in the months ahead, including “the content that will showcase the platform and the future of gaming.” Sony could reveal further details at the E3 expo in June. Ryan also revealed at CES that Sony has sold more than 106 million PS4 consoles, five million PlayStation VR headsets, and 1.15 billion PS4 software titles.

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