50 Reasons To Be Excited About PS5
Official PlayStation Magazine - UK Edition|Christmas 2019
Around 12 months from now you’ll be booting-up your fifth-generation PlayStation, but what can you expect it to do? We’ve rounded up the latest details, speculated on what’s to come, and quizzed some of the industry’s devs on what they expect. It’s time to get excited, because PlayStation 5 is almost here…

01 IT ’S PLAYSTATION 5!

“I’m proud to share that our next-generation console will be called PlayStation 5,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. He added in a Wired article: “It’s nice to be able to say it, like a giant burden has been lifted from my shoulders.” Before now we had to call it ‘Sony’s next console’ just in case Sony lost its collective marketing mind and called the system PS-Next or PlayStation Ultra – but, of course, it was always going to be PlayStation 5.

02 INCREDIBLE DETAIL

The solid state drive’s loading approach (see p6) means we’ll get more detailed worlds. An SSD treats data differently to a traditional HDD, where devs need to duplicate data to make it more ‘searchable’. On an SSD devs needn’t duplicate assets – trees, lampposts, and the like – so there’s extra space. That room should lead to more detailed worlds, particularly with a new CPU powering everything.

03 NEW CPU

PS5 will be powered by an AMD Ryzen custom chip, a Zen2, with eight cores / 16 threads. “Generating a whole world and hundreds of levels requires all the horsepower we can get,” says Joris Dormans, game director of upcoming procedural beauty Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy. “A faster CPU and faster memory will dramatically decrease generation times, enabling us to procedurally generate even more complex worlds and gameplay.”

04 NEW DISCS

Not only will PS5’s games come on 100GB discs, inserted into an optical drive, the drive will play 4K Blu-ray.

05 IT ’S OUT WINTER 2020

“We’ll be launching in time for Holiday 2020,” said Jim Ryan confidently. Traditionally that could mean a November release, but there’s one question: is this the US, Japan, or UK release date? We’ll take it at face value and assume we’ll be playing on our PS5 by Christmas 2020.

06 FAST LOADING

The traditional hard drive, as featured in our PS4s, is being replaced by a solid state drive. These SSDs are fast but costly, but the results show why the new tech is worth shelling out for. We’ve already seen it demoed using Marvel’s Spider-Man running on a PS5 dev kit. On PS4 Spider-Man takes 8.10 seconds to load, whereas on PS5 that time is reduced to 0.8 seconds. You won’t even have time to take a sip of your tea before starting!

07 WHAT ’S THE COST

An SSD? That sounds expensive. No wonder the estimated cost of a PS5 has ranged from £399 to £699. We think Sony is looking to the lower end, probably with a 500GB SSD, because the system’s part-loading setup will mean you won’t be relying on your shiny new PS5 to store and read entire games. What would you pay for one? We polled our readers…

08 BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE

As 4K drives are backwards-compatible with DVD and CD formats as well as Blu-ray, PS5 should be an all-round system. While we hear 100% PS4 backwards compatibility is still being finalised for launch, Koei Tecmo’s Kazuhiro Echigoya says playing old games on PS5 will offer owners a “low risk when shifting to this new hardware”.

09 DEEPER IMMERSION

The days of CPUs and GPUs performing restricted tasks are over. The GPU in PS5 is so powerful it will stretch beyond ‘graphics’ jobs. As EA chief studio officer Laura Miele told Wired: “We’re seeing the GPU be able to power machine learning for all sorts of really interesting advancements in the gameplay and other tools.”

10 PART LOADING

According to system architect Mark Cerny the speed and structure of an SSD will mean we can install and delete individual parts of a game. “Rather than treating games like a big block of data,” Cerny told Wired, “we’re allowing finer-grained access to the data.” This could be the option to install just the single-player or multiplayer parts, it could mean we’ll install areas of an open-world map as we play.

11 SOUNDS APP

Audio will be more important, and we predict many devs will create bespoke sound apps to make the most of the console’s new features. Unique interactive audio could be a game-changer.

12 NEW GAMES

You love PlayStation games like God Of War but you’re coming to PS5 for new experiences. There are rumours of a new Uncharted game from San Diego Studio and an unannounced PS VR experience, plus Fumito Ueda’s new game is in the works – and who could turn down an SSD-Ryzenpowered Last Guardian-alike?

13 NEW PAD

PS5 is getting a new DualShock controller packed with tech to make the next gen more tactile. A speaker is included, but this pad’s job is to make the worlds we play feel real – walking on sand will have a different feel to ice or rock as the sensation of an act resonates through the sticks, triggers, and pad’s body.

14 HAPTIC FEEDBACK

The big news is this next-gen pad will feature haptic feedback. As SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan explained on the PlayStation blog: “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.”

15 ADAPTIVE TRIGGERS

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