At its Future of Gaming event in early June, Sony broadcast the biggest news to date about the next-generation PlayStation 5 console: That’s when we actually got to see the PS5 hardware, along with its new family members, as well as a host of games we might expect. Add this to the detailed hardware specs that the company gave us in April 2019 over a year earlier and the only major remaining mystery is the price. Make that prices — a Digital Edition appears to exist, which is presumably less expensive than the standard model.
The company delayed the event after global protests occurred in response to the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in police custody. Sony had originally intended to stage its event on June 4, following the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down this year’s annual E3 video game show.
There’s a whole family of accessories to match the console’s somewhat controversial design including a new headset, the Pulse 3D, which is likely to take advantage of the PS5’s ray-traced audio technology. There is a remote and modified camera for media, too. It is unknown if any or all of these are to be bundled with the PS5 or optional purchases.
Sony also said its latest console would be “greener” in September 2019. If 1 million players use the energy-saving feature of the PS5, it said, it will save the equivalent of 1,000 US homes’ daily electricity usage. Both Sony and Microsoft have confirmed they are committed to making the video game consoles more environmentally friendly.
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What’s the PS5’s release date and how much will it cost?
Sony aims to stick to its release in Holiday 2020, but we really don’t know how much we’re going to have to pay out for it. According to a Bloomberg report in mid-February, the cost for making one is reported $450. The low availability of DRAM and NAND flash memory which is also used on smartphones is one contributor to the steep cost. Nevertheless, Sony could also offer the PS5 a lower price tag to compete with Microsoft and its upcoming Xbox Series X. One Canadian retailer officially priced the console at $559 in Canadian dollars, roughly $400.
On April 15, Bloomberg reported that due to its specs, the price of the PS5 could be higher than previously expected and that Sony could offer fewer consoles at launch because it expects the higher price to muffle demand. The company has told partners it plans to make 5 million to 6 million units by March 2021, which would be less than the number of PS4 consoles launched in 2013, according to Bloomberg. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t exactly a perfect time to launch a new product, either.
The official website of PlayStation 5 went live on Feb. 4, but there’s not much to see except a short message on the site saying “We’ve started sharing some of the amazing features you can expect from PlayStation 5, but we’re not quite ready to unveil the next generation of PlayStation fully.”
What are the PS5’s specs?
Like the Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 is based on custom AMD CPUs and GPUs; the PS5 features an 8-core Zen 2-architecture Processor running at 3.5GHz and a 2-generation 7 nm Navi / RDNA 2-GPU with 36 compute units and 16 GB GDDR6.
Like the Xbox, the PS5 also moves to SSD storage, a much-needed shift all required to address the sluggish load times typical spinning hard drives have put. Sony says that this will allow developers to load assets directly into the graphics frame-buffer from storage, free up general-purpose system memory (which has traditionally been a middleman to accelerate PS4 games), and reduce latency.
A base configuration comes with a fairly small 825 GB SSD, but the console has NVMe slots to attach more and support external USB drives. Nevertheless, the NVMe must meet some speed specifications and as of now, there are few compatible SSDs on the market. Sony says that when it is able to do some certification testing, an official compatibility list will be made available after launch. It will also maintain a Blu-ray 4 K drive to watch videos and to stream physical game discs.
The PS5 will be able to output up to a maximum of 8 K or 4 K at 120fps due to the new components.
PS5 Full Specifications
|Processor||8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at max 3.5GHz|
|Graphics||AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 36 CU at 2.23GHz (10.3 TFLOPS, FP unit unknown)|
|Video memory||16GB GDDR6 with 256-bit interface (448GB/sec)|
|Storage||825GB SSD at 5.5-9GB/sec; NVMe SSD slot; support for USB HDD|
|Optical drive||Yes, 4K Blu-ray|
|Maximum output resolution||8K|
|Maximum frame rate||4K/120fps|
|Audio||3D, accelerated by custom Tempest Engine hardware; for headphones only at launch, supplemented by virtual surround for speaker audio|
|New controller features||Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector|
|VR support||Yes, compatible with PSVR headset|
|Console streaming||Yes (Remote Play)|
|Backward compatibility||PS4 games|
|Notable launch game(s)||Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Godfall, Gods and Monsters, Observer: System Redux, Rainbow Six Siege, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Watch Dogs: Legion|
|Subscription tie-in||PS Now|
|Release date||Holiday 2020|
What games will be available?
Thus far, we know of over 30 games that Sony has highlighted as part of its dribble of information; it showed 25 as part of the June event. There are only a few exclusives as far as we know, with Project Athia and Returnal most recently added to a list that includes Godfall.