Microsoft’s Xbox One X has overthrown the PS4 Pro as the most powerful home console on the planet. But could Sony be preparing up its own next-generation hardware in the form of the PS5? Very recently a group called PlayStation Voice sent out surveys to members of its closed community asking them what their expectations of the PS5 are. One community member posted the email they received and found themselves removed from the group for breaking its non-disclosure agreements.
According to PSU PlayStation Voice is a community run by third-party consumer insight agency, Join the Dots. Once information has been gathered, it’s fed back to clients, the client in this case presumably being Sony PlayStation.
Undoubtedly, this doesn’t tell us much about PS5 itself, other than that things are likely to be still in the very early stages. While it’s unlikely that Sony would use the information gathered from its communities to decide exactly which features will be included in the console, the ideas of fans can certainly spark a good deal of inspiration.
The Sony PS5 will exist. In fact, the PS5 probably exists in some form right now, and unless the world abruptly comes to a stop and life ceases to exist, the PS5 will be releasing from Sony in the future. But when could the PlayStation 5 potentially release, and what games could debut on the platform? In this PS5 guide, we’ll be rounding up all the PS5 rumors that have made their way out into the wild, as well as offering up our own speculation on the future of Sony’s home console. Details are thin on the ground, but here’s our take on the PS5, including a rough overview of the potential power of the PS5 and an educated guess at the PS5 release date. We also look at when we might hear something from Sony about the PS5 and consider the possibility of a PS5 Pro. If you’re looking for all the info on the PlayStation 5, this is the article for you. Assuming the PlayStation 5 is already in development to some degree over at Sony, when could the console theoretically release? If we’re going off claims made by industry analyst Michael Pachter, the PS5 release date could be as soon as 2020 (Pachter originally claimed 2019 but then revised the date).
All this is obviously theoretical, but it’s always interesting to hear what long-time industry analysts and experts have to say on the future of blockbuster home consoles like the PlayStation 5. We reckon 2019 is a little early for Sony to release the next PlayStation given the strong position it currently holds in the market, with 2020 making far more sense. If Sony is still riding high in 2019, maybe we’ll have to wait until 2021. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The PS4 Pro offers a provocative hint of what 4K gaming could be like. But the stark fact remains: it still doesn’t have the grunt to do native 4K consistently.
Its “checkerboard” technique of taking single pixels and using each to render four pixels in 4K resolution is clever and it can do native 4K output but it often has to sacrifice resolution to keep performance consistent.
Chris Kingsley, CTO and co-founder of developer Rebellion, dangles an even more ambitious technological carrot in front of a putative PS5: “Clearly new hardware should be able to support 4K TVs and possibly even 8K TVs at a push!”
Native 4K support, surely, will be a basic requirement of the PlayStation 5. And if Sony cracks that particular problem with alacrity, it could even mean that a PlayStation 5 will arrive sooner than anticipated.
Sony recently became the first console manufacturer to embrace virtual reality, thanks to the PlayStation VR, but if you examine PlayStation VR closely – and observe how it operates on the PS4 Pro – it invites conjecture about how a PS5 might take VR to a new level.
Currently, PlayStation VR operates at lower resolution than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – but, as it stands, even its current personification almost pushes the base PlayStation 4 beyond its limits. Running a PlayStation VR on a PS4 Pro brings improved frame-rates, which are very handy indeed in terms of the overall VR experience, but even the PS4 Pro can’t overwhelmed the resolution restraints set by the PlayStation VR headset.
So it’s a good wager that, presuming PlayStation VR is successful (and it already appears to be catching on) Sony will want to return to the market with a second, markedly higher-tech iteration: which would provide an obvious selling point for the PlayStation 5. Again, without any announcements, we can’t fully assess what the PlayStation 5 will look like from a hardware perspective. We can, however, take a look at the competition, and see how Sony will compete. Everyone would be pretty shocked if Sony didn’t exceed the power of the Xbox One X, which currently boasts 6 teraflops. While you might think this will push the price up beyond that $399 we mentioned, we are talking about a machine that’s probably 2-3 years away from releasing. At the end of 2020 8-10TF should easily be doable for that price point.
Convincingly, the PlayStation 5 will also include a more capable CPU as well as more memory as standard, and this should equate to higher potential frame rates for most games (Bungie cited poor CPU in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X for a lack of 60FPS), and better quality textures.
Outside of power, it’s virtually guaranteed that Sony will pull off something new and interesting with the controller for the PlayStation 5. While we have no idea as to what this could theoretically be, Sony does have a track record of iterating with each controller, examples of which being the controller speaker for the Dualshock 4 and the motion controls in the PS3’s Sixaxis. At the launch of the PS4 Pro, system architect Mark Cerny clarified this was not the start of a new console generation. “I believe in generations. Generations are a good thing. So, philosophically, we believe in them. We believe they continue, and this is a mid-generation release,” he is quoted by Gamasutra.
Sony was at pains to make sure consumers saw the PS4 Pro, a modest improvement over the base console, as a mid-cycle refresh.
Microsoft, meanwhile, sees the One X as the beginning of the end of console generations. Microsoft’s head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg, told Engadget “We think the future is without console generations.”
Both with very different viewpoints, but both doing something important: allowing players to carry over their game libraries. Sony made a misstep in a lack of PS4 backwards compatibility. Microsoft capitalised by offering extensive Xbox One backwards compatibility via consistent updates, with new games added almost weekly.
Both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, as they’re not fully fledged ‘next-gen’ consoles, play all current and future Xbox One and PS4 titles respectively, but with improvements over being played on base consoles.
The PlayStation 5 simply must offer backwards compatibility so that all PS4 games work on the machine.