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
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: GOLLUM
Is this adventure PS5’s precious? We speak to Daedalic Entertainment to discover Gollum’s secrets – and perhaps some of Sméagol’s
A classic returns on PS5
KENA: BRIDGE OF SPIRITS
Rotten to the core, in the best way possible
Bartek Kmita reveals People Can Fly’s shooter secrets
Revelio! Enjoying life in the Wizarding World
An RPG where you’re up against the clock
FINAL FANTASY XVI
The future of the JRPG is crystallising
Game director Dinga Bakaba reveals why we’ll have time to kill in 2021
Watch this space
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Every Star Wars movie has been rebuilt brick by brick
NETFLIX SCORES STREAMING RIGHTS TO NEW TOP SONY FILMS
Netflix further beefed up its film catalog on Thursday in a multi-year deal that will make it the new streaming home to Sony Pictures’ top releases in the U.S.
AIRPODS MAX: OPULENT AUDIO THAT SHOULDN'T COST SO MUCH
APPLE’S HIGH-END HEADPHONES LOOK, SOUND, AND FEEL GREAT, BUT THE PRICE ISN’T RIGHT.
Aukey DRS1 4K Dash Cam: Nice 4K UHD video, easy to install and use
Simple, superhigh resolution, and easy on the wallet.
Sony WH-1000XM4 $348
AT FIRST GLANCE, you might not get the sense that these headphones contain some serious power under the hood, as this power is hidden under an elegant and sleek body. Its smooth matte monocolored finish pushes the idea that Sony wanted sophistication with substance.
Home electronics – Buy Once, Cry Once
PART 2. In my previous column (Buy Once, Cry Once), I considered areas in your A/V budget where you should consider splurging when building a system. The categories I listed—projection screens, amplifiers, speakers—are ones that can provide years of enjoyment, but don’t see regular or major upgrades. I also covered categories like subwoofers that have a real impact on a system’s overall performance, and ones like pre-wiring that can strongly affect a system’s future serviceability.
Whether you fall into the “all well-designed amps sound the same when used within their limits” camp or the “amp selection is critical” army of true believers, it’s arguable that prior to the turn of the millennium amps designed for high-performance audio had fallen into a rut.
The Next Generation
The big car companies refresh their lineups on a pretty regular schedule. Honda, for example, brings out all-new versions of its models every four to five years, and it makes smaller upgrades and improvements in the years between the big changes.
Remember the rear-projection TV (RPTV)? RPTVs were big, boxy contraptions housing a projector that beamed an image at the rear of a screen mounted on the set’s front surface.
Light painting in my safe zone
My series of light paintings is a collection that has been taken during the quarantine.
Meet the New Boss
VPL-VW885ES, a 4K LCOS projector with a laser light engine