Sony today confirmed that its next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5, and will launch in time for Holiday 2020.
Sony also said that a new controller 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, "Sony said in a blog post.
To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, Sony is 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 Sony calls 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 an experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller.
Wired got a hands-on preview with a prototype PS5 controller, which it notes looked “an awful lot like the PS4’s DualShock 4,” although Sony isn’t confirming if it’ll call it the DualShock 5 just yet. Wired also confirmed that the PS5’s controller will finally be making the jump to USB-C, as well as other refinements like a larger battery and improved speakers.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan and PS5 system architect Mark Cerny gave some additional details about the upcoming hardware. “There is ray-tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware,” Cerny said, clarifying the company’s original announcement of ray-tracing support and allaying concerns that Sony might resort to software tricks to manage it.
The Wired interview also confirms that the PS5 will use standard 100GB Blu-ray discs but all games will have to be installed to the internal SSD this time around.
Also new on the PS5 is a “completely revamped user interface,” that will show off far more detailed social features on the home screen. Sony promises that you’ll be able to see specific features of a game, like a single-player level or multiplayer match, directly from the home screen, instead of first having to launch the game and then navigate in.
Earlier this year, Sony revealed that the PS5 will be powered by an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line and a custom GPU based on AMD’s Radeon Navi hardware. It will also support “3D audio”, 8K gaming (as well as for 4K gaming at 120Hz), a much lower power consumption option, PS4 backwards compatibility, and that ultra-fast SSD.