The long awaiting PlayStation 5 looks, reviews and release date has been unveiled by Sony and we have all the official details ahead of the launch this year.
The PlayStation has always offered more to the AV world than just games. It has scored well with DVD playback, Blu-rays and 4K streaming over the years. So what will the PlayStation 5 have to offer at launch? Will it be an 8K machine? Will it still support optical media? When is the PS5 release date? How much will the PS5 cost?
We’ve been reporting all of the PS5 news as it’s been released and now have more concrete information than ever after the latest official PS5 event, which gave us our first look at the new PlayStation 5.
Perhaps surprisingly, given that the event focused on games, the Playstation 5 console itself has now been revealed. In fact, make that consoles, because there are actually two versions of the PS5 on the way: one with an optical disc drive and a ‘Digital Edition’ that does without.
Like the already-revealed ‘DualSense’ controller, the PlayStation5 consoles are exceptionally stylish. In fact, we’d argue that this could be the most strikingly sculpted games machine ever created. For once, the myriad fanboy-created concepts were too conservative and perfect.
PlayStation 5 price
The PlayStation 5 price wasn’t revealed during the June games event and is likely to remain under wraps until closer to launching date. The original PlayStation and PS2 launched at £299/$299, the PS3 started at £425/$499 and the more recent PS4 came in at £350/$399. It’s widely believed that a price north of £400/$400 is a recipe for trouble but, given the technological envelopes being pushed by the PS5, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony take the risk.
The trade war between China and America may also have an effect when it comes to manufacture and shipping. Indeed, back in June 2019, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft issued a joint statement warning of such price rises if the trade war continues. Enjoy that one at your leisure.
In fact, according to Bloomberg, Sony is having significant troubles in keeping the cost of the PS5 down. It’s due to the cost of the components inside with DRAM and NAND flash memory in particular proving expensive what with smartphone manufacturers gearing up for their own next-gen devices. The upshot is reportedly a manufacture price of $450 (£350), and that will lead to a higher ticket at retail too.
The result could mean a considerably more expensive device, another reason, perhaps, that Sony has chosen to take the two-console approach, offering a full-fat, disc-playing PS5 and a (presumably) more affordable disc-less ‘Digital Edition’. Perhaps the aim is that the Digital Edition will dip below the £400/$400 barrier, while the version with the disc drive will get closer to £499/$499.
It’s worth noting that, while not confirmed, we’re expecting both consoles to have performance parity, with the disc drive (or lack thereof) being the only difference between the two models, so we’re not talking about the standard and ‘Pro’ editions predicted by YouTuber ReviewTechUSA.
PlayStation 5 release date
While a specific date is yet to be revealed, Sony has confirmed that the PS5 release date is Holiday 2020, setting up a battle royale between the PS5 and new Xbox Series X for Christmas 2020.
When will we get the official release date? Having spurned the opportunity to put us out of our misery during its June PS5 games event, it’s now anyone’s guess, and perhaps the chaotic nature of a COVID-19-riddled globe is encouraging Sony to keep its cards close to its chest until much closer to launch, although Sony has claimed that the coronavirus pandemic has not effected the expected late 2020 PlayStation5 release date.
What does PlayStation Design Look Like?
After months of rampant speculation, leaks and renders, we finally know what the PS5 looks like, and it’s not as anyone predicted. To these eyes, it’s better: the utilitarian looks of the Xbox Series X and Xbox One (and, to a lesser extent, the PS4) have been eschewed in favour of something altogether bolder, more sculpted and more sci-fi. It will almost certainly prove divisive and may age quickly, but we’re impressed at first glance.
So far, Sony has chosen to show the PS5 almost exclusively in its vertical orientation, where its white shell has the look of a high-collared catsuit with an opening that plunges down further than some might consider decent and creates a ‘V’ to denote that this is the fifth-generation PlayStation console.
That high, wide collar is separated from the black body of the machine by finned gaps that are almost certainly designed to allow the hot air generated by the console’s processing bits and pieces to escape. Rather than hide this functional part of the design, Sony has chosen to highlight it with some lovely blue lighting. This is form and function working as one.
For what it’s worth, the slenderness and symmetry of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition make it undeniably the better looking of the two consoles, with the standard version’s disc drive looking a little awkward, particularly when they’re stood side-by-side. You might even assume that the Digital Edition was designed first, with the disc drive reluctantly added afterwards. That said, even this bigger model looks smooth and sleek compared to the boxy Xbox Series X.
The design includes two slim slots or buttons (they could also be lights but neither was illuminated during the reveal) towards the bottom of the console’s front, plus a standard (presumably 3.0-certified) and USB-C socket further up. The rear of the machine has not yet been revealed, so the sockets it has back there remain a mystery for now.
Crucially, the final PS5 design is vastly different from that of the many leaks we’ve seen in the last few months. On 13th August, a patent was registered as a Sony electronic device and listed Sony technical director Yusuhiro Ootori as its designer, as filed, apparently, back in May 2019. And below, thanks to LetsGoDigital, is a coloured in and graphically rendered version of the the black and white sketch which accompanied the patent.
To call that wide of the mark would be an understatement: this huge, flying V console was almost certainly a developer machine, or a concept for one, and was probably never considered as the final design.
That didn’t stop ZoneOfTech publishing, on 10th October 2019, a leaked image of a developer version of the PS5 that looked very similar to the patent sketch from August.
And finally here is the official logo of PlayStation 5.
Sony started its CES 2020 press conference with a segment on the forthcoming PS5 and while no new specs were released or images shown, Sony did confirm the official PS5 logo.
The design… won’t shock you. It stays in line with previous PlayStation logos, keeping it simple with white lines on a black background.
Will the PlayStation 5 support 8K video?
The PS5 will support 8K video, at least to an extent. The PlayStation 5 will ship with an AMD Ryzen chip — a 7nm chip on Zen 2 architecture — and a GPU from the Radeon Navi-family. It will also come with SSD storage. The promise from this trio of hardware is fast load times, large bandwidth capabilities and oodles of graphics grunt.
Enough grunt for true, native 8K gaming? Perhaps, but possibly only when dealing with simpler titles. Big budget blockbusters might well employ a new version of the sort of checkerboard upscaling that Sony currently uses to make PS4 Pro games look ace on a 4K display.
We know, for example, that Gran Turismo 7 will not be in 8K. The game’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, said: “I think, display resolution-wise, 4K resolution is enough.”
Instead, the Polyphony Digital studio boss told GTPlanet that he is more interested in raising the frame rate to 120 or 240fps to really add to the experience.
Both the PS4 and PS4 Pro are already HDR-enabled, supporting the HDR10 format, and there’s no reason to believe that this would be any different for the PS5. Will we see a more advanced version of HDR, such as HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, also employed? We certainly wouldn’t rule it out, particularly as the current Xboxes already support the latter, but nothing has so far been announced on that front.
It was for a time suggested by the likes of YouTuber Zenj Nishikawa that Sony would announce a PS5 Pro alongside a standard PS5, and that the Pro version would support, among other things, 8K video and higher frame rates. However, no PS5 Pro has so far been mentioned.
Here Are Some Accessories and Image Of PlayStation 5
PlayStation VR –
Most definitely. Comments from Mark Cerny point towards an even bigger VR push from Sony with the PS5. VR technology is set to be hard designed into the build of the GPU. He didn’t mention whether there would be a PlayStation VR2 headset launched to go with the PS5, though.
Given PSVR is not as strong on resolution as other headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive it could make sense to launch a suitably powerful and impressive next-generation headset with the new console.
One interesting twist is Sony may be working on a 3D hologram accessory for the PS5 for multiplayer games. A light emitter with an eye tracker could project an image directly to the user’s retina to give the impression of a hologram floating in mid-air. Exactly what images Sony has in mind is another thing but you may want to reconsider multiplayer gaming in your pants.
PlayStation 5 Cartridge –
On top of the official news, a patent that leaked on 5th November 2019 showed sketches of a mystery cartridge that many believe is an expandable SSD storage module for the PS5.
On the one hand memory modules are not new to PlayStation consoles, but having easy slot-in/slot-out external hardware could be a game-changer when talking units of 500GB or more. Rather than just saved game data and other media, it could well offer the storage for game libraries instead.
That frees up the need for buying a PS5 with an enormous hard drive to begin with and could make for a much cheaper console.
PlayStation 5: accessories–
As well as revealing the design of the PS5 console itself, Sony used its June PlayStation event to reveal a number of PS5 accessories.
The most interesting of the bunch is undoubtedly the Pulse 3D headset, which we expect Sony to push as the primary way to enjoy the PS5’s new 3D audio. In design terms, it doesn’t look dissimilar to the current Platinum Wireless Headset, albeit with much more matte white on show. Given how good Sony’s last couple of gaming headsets have been, we’ve got high hopes for this new model.
Sony’s also made a reassuringly big deal of its new Media Remote, which looks designed to make using the PS5 as a 4K Blu-ray player and video streamer all the more intuitive.
We’ve also now seen the DualSense Charging Station (for docking and charging two controllers at once) and HD Camera (which is presumably for use with PlayStation VR), and yet more accessories will surely be announced closer to launch.
PlayStation 5: DualSense controller –
With each new PlayStation normally comes a new Dual Shock controller, except this time it doesn’t. Sony has gone to the next level and created the Dual Sense controller to partner the PS5.
It’s a sleek and modern-looking design with a two-tone finish instead of the standard single hue of the Dual Shocks. Sony has promised that the new controller “will captivate more of your senses as you interact with the virtual worlds in PS5 games. The features of Dual Sense, along with PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, will deliver a new feeling of immersion to players.”
hat added immersion is set to come across primarily through a more evolved sense of touch. Haptics have replaced the rumble technology to create a broader range of more realistic feedback. Players will now get more nuanced sensations such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud. The L2 and R2 trigger buttons feature adaptive, programmable resistance so that players can feel more or less tension through certain actions.
DualSense is, of course, wireless. So far, there are no details on how long you get from a single charge but Sony has stressed that it’s tried to maintain a strong battery life.
There’s a built-in microphone array and speaker, which means players can chat to their friends without the need for a gaming headset, and the ‘Share’ button has been replaced by a new ‘Create’ button. It’s to “create epic gameplay content to share with the world” according to Sony. More details on what that entails are promised closer to launch.
To fit these new components, the style and shape of the new controller has been tweaked. The angle of the hand triggers has been changed and the grip updated too The aim is to make the DualSense still feel light and small. The light bar has also shifted to the sides of the touchpad from its position on top of the DualShock 4, which is a rather pleasing aesthetic if nothing else.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t stand the thing, then the PlayStation 5 should be backwards compatible with the PS4 controller.