SONY is now just weeks away from launching the PlayStation 5 – and we know plenty about this next-gen console.
As Sony prepares to take on the mighty Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, here's what we know so far about the PS5 release date, price, games and more.
PlayStation 5 news – what is it?
The PS5 is Sony's latest and greatest gaming console.
It's the successor to the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and will be available in two distinct versions.
The console is expected to launch in time for Christmas 2020 with an impressive roster of launch games.
And it'll be going head-to-head with Microsoft's next-gen Xbox consoles.
Sony PS5 design revealed – first look photos
The new console has finally been revealed and here's what it looks like.
And note that there are two versions of the PlayStation 5.
One is the PS5 proper, and then there's a Digital Edition – which has no disc tray.
It'll likely be a similar offering to the current Xbox One S Digital Edition – cheaper, but restricted to downloadable games.
Microsoft is expected to make a similar spin-off movie with its next-gen Xbox Series X console.
PS5 event game news – what has Sony announced?
The first bit of news is that PS5 owners will get GTA Online completely free at launch.
But the event is largely focused on new PS5 games you'll enjoy in the future.
“Today’s the day we’ve been looking forward to for years,” said Jim Ryan, Sony’s PlayStation chief.
The first game announced is a brand new Spider-Man game set in the Spider-Man Multiverse universe – recently featured in an animated movie.
It looks stunning graphically, and stars Miles Morales as the eponymous Spider-Man.
That's probably why it's called…Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Also on the cards is a new entry to the Gran Turismo franchise – a staple racer on PlayStation.
The new Gran Turismo 7 looks like it takes full advantage of the PS5's boosted hardware, with seriously realistic graphics.
And the lighting effects are particularly impressive.
Next up is a new Ratchet and Clank game – another PlayStation franchise titan.
It's called Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart, and features a brand new female alternative to Ratchet.
However, Ratchet still appears in the game – in what's described as an "inter-dimensional adventure".
Then there’s a mysterious PlayStation exclusive called Project Athia.
We see a robed woman doing parkour in a wilderness – with sweeping vistas and…dragons?
It looks great, whatever it is.
Sony also unveiled a 2021 game called Stray.
It appears to star a small cat as the protagonist, set in a strange sci-fi world.
One for the feline fanciers, then.
Another game in the line-up is Returnal.
It appears to be a space horror, with some kind of psychological element.
The graphics look decent enough, and it sounds like a stressful and gripping experience – but perhaps not one to play alone at night.
There’s a new Sackboy game, starring the iconic character from LittleBig Planet.
It’s called Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and looks as fun and as colourful as ever.
Next up is Destruction Allstars, which looks like a full-throttle monster truck game.
It’s probably a great option for adrenaline junkies, and anyone who likes smashing things.
One for the classic PlayStation players: a new Oddworld game.
This long-running franchise is back with a bang – and some hi-res new graphics – in Oddworld Soulstorm.
Protagonist Abe is tasked with saving his entire people, no small task – but one PS5 gamers will gladly take up, given that this is a console exclusive.
“You see things others can’t. See threats others don’t.”
That’s the opening line in the trailer for Ghostwire Tokyo.
It’s an action horror game set in a Tokyo occupied by ghoulish creatures – that you’re tasked with dispatching tout de suite.
Looks spooky, but fantastic.
One of the PS5's blockbusters is sure to be Hitman 3.
It's what appears to be the final entry into the Agent 47 Hitman trilogy.
That means it's likely to wrap up the longstanding character's bloody tale.
Sony showed off a short trailer for a mission set in Dubai, and it looks like there'll be plenty of sky-high prowling – and lofty assassinations – on the menu.
Then there’s Resident Evil 8: Village.
It brings back Chris Redfield from previous games, and is out in 2021.
The game is set in a dark, dank and gloomy village – being terrorised by gruesome baddies.
And you’ll probably play it, despite it scaring the living daylights out of you.
This will likely be one of the PS5’s blockbuster hits.
Not a huge surprise, but there’s a successor to hit PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn.
The graphically gorgeous original’s sequel looks even better than the first model, visually.
It’s called Horizon 2: Forbidden West, and will be a big hit – and a prized PS5 exclusive.
The game is set in a far-future America, and follows Aloy once again, with new challenges in a ravaged land where our own civilisation has long collapsed.
PS5 specs – what's the latest news?
Sony used a special press conference in March to detail the PS5's specs.
The performance will be groundbreaking, Sony explained.
“Soon there are games that could never have been created before,” said Sony’s Mark Cerny, lead architect of PS5.
The console features a 10.28 teraflop GPU clocked at 2.234GHz.
That's fewer teraflops (or trillion operations per second), than the Xbox Series X, which is promising 12 teraflops.
Fortunately, much of game loading comes down to RAM, or fast memory.
And the PS5 boasts 16GB of nippy GDDR6 memory – just like the Xbox Series X.
PS5 release date – when is the new console out?
In a blog post, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said: "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."
That's not a specific date, but it's effectively a promise that you'll be able to buy it in the run-up to Christmas 2020.
In reality, that probably means the new console going on sale in October or November, the latter more likely.
That's a great time for a new console to come out, as those months are when blockbuster releases like new Call of Duty games typically happen.
In fact, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is out on November 13.
So what's the likeliest date? Well the PS4 launched on November 15, 2013 – a Friday.
And the PS4 Pro launched on November 10, 2016 – a Thursday.
Based on those launches, we predict either a November 12 or 13 PS5 release date in 2020.
PS5 price – how much will the PlayStation 5 cost?
We still don't know how much the PS5 will cost.
But we do know the price of its biggest rival, the Xbox.
The cheaper disc-free Xbox Series S will cost £249/$299, while the Xbox Series X comes in at £449/$499.
We'd expect similar – if not identical – mark-ups from Sony, giving how aggressive Microsoft's prices are.
Sony PS5 controller – what do we know?
The October announcement also revealed details about the PS5 controller.
Sony's new controller will feature haptic feedback that replaces the "rumble" technology typically found in joypads.
The term "haptic" literally means "relating to touch", and so it's about providing better touch feedback to your hands.
That means more vibrating motors in your controller in places like the triggers and even joysticks to give what PlayStation calls "a broader range of feedback".
"Crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field," said PlayStation boss Jim Ryan.
"You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud."
The new controller will also feature adaptive triggers – technology built into the L2 and R2 trigger buttons.
Developers will be able to program the resistance of these triggers so you can feel the "tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow", for instance.
Game creators are already receiving early versions of the new controller.
Will it be able to play PS4 games?
Yes, it will.
The first official revelations confirmed it would be fully backwards-compatible with all PS4 games.
A patent revealed last year but filed in 2016 outlined some pretty nifty technology for automatically increasing the quality of older games when played on a newer networked system.
It showed off the ability to replace textures and audio files on the fly with higher-quality versions as they became available.
The possibilities of this for backwards-compatible games are obvious, but the timing of the original filing doesn't suggest it's got much to do with PS5 plans specifically.
Another patent filed in 2019 suggested that the PS5 processor would be able to pretend to be the processors from older consoles, and thus play their games natively.
How fast will the PS5 be?
Loading up a game on the PlayStation 5 will be ten times faster than on PS4, according to a demo shown off by Sony.
A scene that took over 8 seconds to load on top-end PS4 Pro hardware was shown popping up in 0.8 seconds in a video shown to investors.
This demo, shown off in Japan to an audience of investors was recorded by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.
The magic happens because the PS4 has to load games off an old-fashioned spinning hard drive, the PS5 will load them straight from a solid-state drive.
Solid state drives have been found in gaming PCs and fancy laptops, like gaming favourite the Razer Blade Stealth, for some time.
They don't have any moving parts, and your computer can read the data off any part of them right away.
Normal hard drives store data on spinning magnetised plates, so the computer not only needs to spin the plate to be able to read it, it also needs to find and then physically read the correct bit of disc to get the data off it.
The downside is that solid-state drives are much more expensive than normal hard drives, and many fear it's going to push the price of the new console up.
However, the increased speed means that as well as cutting loading times at the start, things in games can also happen much faster with the new technology.
Games only load a small portion of the game at any one time, and load more as you're playing in the background.
That means that even once it's loaded up you can only move in the game's world as fast as whatever you're playing on can load the new information.
Showing Spider-Man running on both consoles, Sony demonstrated how much faster it would be possible to swing down New York's streets on the new hardware without having to stop so the game could catch up.
When the PS5 specs were revealed, Sony reportedly showed a 15-second in-game loading time cut down to less than a second, but this is the first time we've seen it in action.
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