Welp, it’s official: the next PlayStation is just about a year away. Today Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will be coming out before the 2020 holiday season. That’ll be seven years after the PlayStation 4 came out, giving it the same lifespan as the PlayStation 3.
I gotta say, as a professional videogame person, I’m probably gonna have to get rid of a PlayStation or two to make room for this new one.
Peter Rubin has some more details in an exclusive over at Wired. Sony’s new box will have a solid-state drive, which will increase load times and allow designers to save space on their game discs; a CPU and GPU made by AMD (adapted from the Ryzen and Navi lines, respectively); and hardware capable of supporting the graphics technology known as ray tracing, which will allow designers to build games with more realistic lighting effects. You can also expect a revised user interface that Sony claims will include more information than the PlayStation 4’s UI, allowing players to see what levels or missions they’re on in a game before loading it up.
Rubin goes into more detail about the system’s new controller, a modified version of the familiar DualShock design that has improved haptic feedback. (That means when the controller gives you a physical response in time with the game—think of the rumble sensation that’s been standard in videogames since the Nintendo 64 in the late ‘90s.) The PlayStation 5’s controller will have a much more sensitive and customizable approach—as Rubin explains, the controller has “highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.” That will let game designers fine tune the degree of the feedback you feel while holding a controller, and also the magnitude of feedback felt at different points throughout the controller. The controller also boasts “adaptive triggers” which can provide different levels of tension and pressure to recreate the physical sensation of whatever action you’re trying to perform on screen. Rubin gives examples of how these two features work in demos that he played, noting that the feedback regularly changes based on the kind of surface his on-screen character is walking on, with distinct sensations across mud, sand and ice. If the final product that ships to retail retains these features, it sounds like the PlayStation 5’s controller might be a killer app in and of itself.
Go read Rubin’s article for more details, and also check out the post at PlayStation’s blog.