The launch of PlayStation 5 is full of unknowns. The Japanese company has not yet made a statement about it, but there are already movements in the industry that leave us clues as to how it could be: the date, the technical characteristics and the first PS5 games.
These are all the data we know about the new console, based on official statements, testimonials from analysts and Sony’s patent registry, which gives us clues about how PlayStation 5 is and what to expect from the next generation. Take these estimates very carefully, and review the sources, since almost everything is to be confirmed and could change in the official announcement.
We already know that Sony will not make hardware announcements during E3 2018 .
Release date of PS5
The official PS5 announcement is getting closer, and all the estimates suggest that we will see the new Sony console in 2020 . Why do we affirm this? In the first place for the statements on PS5 by analyst Mat Piscatella : “What I foresee is 2020. The data suggest that there is no need to launch it before, but I have been surprised on other occasions, so I have as much interest as any other.”
He has not been the only one, Michael Pachter already anticipated that ” Sony will not come out with new hardware in 2018. We could have a PS5 in 2019 or 2020, and an Xbox Two in 2020, and then we will continue to receive new consoles every three years, and their software will be compatible with the systems published before them … I think that’s going to be the pattern. “
Sony itself has stoked rumors about the PlayStation 5 date, saying that the PS4 life cycle has already begun its decline, and confirming Pachter’s estimates, announcing that it will not present new hardware during E3 2018. You can read in more detail the statements in which John Tsuyoshi Kodera, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has ensured that PlayStation 4 is entering the final phase of its life cycle .
But it should not be forgotten that Shuhei Yoshida, the head of PlayStation , made a statement in 2016 saying that it was possible that a PS5 never came to appear . He meant that from PS4 PRO, could be adopted a system of new machines, with an improved architecture, that were appearing every so often, imitating the model of smartphones such as iPhone or Samsung Galaxy .
Technical characteristics of PS5
In a realistic estimate, we do not expect a big graphic leap in the next generation of consoles (as has been happening since the move to 3D with PlayStation, Saturn and N64). However, the performance of the current consoles has peaked, and apart from the visual improvement, we need machines that are capable of managing better open and persistent environments, greater stability in online gaming, and a standard of resolution and FPS.
Considering the capabilities of the current console and the penetration of the new 4K TVs, we can assume that it will be able to display games in UHD resolution (3840×2160) with HDR and at a rate of 60 FPS. But this is only a standard, the key will be in its new processor, the GPU unit, dedicated to graphics, and RAM.
PS4 already marked a way forward with the use of GDDR 5 memory, and it seems that a 2020 machine should have at least 16 GB of GDDR6. Of course, the bandwidth is very important, so that there are no “bottlenecks” that limit the amount of information. It should be around 500 GB per second. The connection of PS5 would be again HDMI 2.1 (allows 4K and HDR) and digital optics for surround sound 7.1 and, put to order, Dolby Atmos.
Regarding the processor, the Digital Foundry portal ensures that a programmer from the Advanced Technology Group division of Sony is currently working with AMD’s Ryzen technology . This filtration matches the filtered PS5 specifications that SemiAccurate made public. According to this medium, the future console will feature an AMD architecture and an 8-core Zen microprocessor. As far as the graphic chip is concerned, it would have a manufacturing process of 7nm and correspond to the new Navi architecture.
The architecture of the new console is ready to optimize the use of virtual reality devices, although it is not clear if it will continue to take advantage of PSVR, so it requires an additional port for the PSEye camera or we will be facing a new model 2.0, which does not need an additional processing unit.
Technology in the cloud
According to the statements of Hajime Tabata, both PS5 and Microsoft rival (dubbed Xbox Two) would have much of its technology based on the cloud. The director of Final Fantasy XV believes that the video game industry will follow in the footsteps of music, film and series to become a streaming service . In this way, the user would pay a subscription fee to access the games they want. Tabata is aware that this model may not work the same in all corners of the world for Internet connections, but believes that it is a change that will occur in a short time.
Microsoft has already taken a step in this direction with the launch of Xbox Game Pass, and it is very likely that other entertainment providers such as Netflix or Amazon have immediate plans in this regard: offer a streaming game service through subscription, such as It is already done with audiovisual content.
It seems that PS5 will also rely on the procedural (or procedural) creation of the elements of its videogames. It is a technology that facilitates the generation of great environments, and that became popular with the creation of the planets of No Man’s Sky. So says the founder of Simul Software (a program that generates atmospheric behavior and has been used in many titles of various companies) Roderick Kennedy.
Backward compatibility of PS5
On March 6, the German portal Play3 echoed the registration of a new patent by Sony . It seems that the procedure would allow the new machine to be compatible with games from the previous consoles . However, this is not a confirmation. The patent does not allow to know if PS5 is able to read the discs of PS4, PS3, PS2 and PlayStation , or if it is only PlayStation 4 games.
Since the first model of PS3, which was retro compatible, the company has left aside the users of previous consoles. While it is true that services such as PS Now allow more than 600 games to play by streaming from all the PlayStation consoles , this is not exactly backwards compatibility, since you have to pay again for those games that we already have and it is not necessary to have the original disc .
For now, we can only ensure that the technology exists, and that it is in the hands of the company to decide whether PS5 will allow playing titles of the previous consoles , either with the original disc, by downloading or streaming.
The first PlayStation 5 games
Without a machine on the horizon, it is difficult to know which game catalog PS5 will have. But we already know some “bridge” developments that will appear in both generations. This is the case of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED (the creators of The Witcher saga), which would appear on both PS4 and the successor. Here you can read the statements that confirm the presence of Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 .
The price of PS5
It is impossible to anticipate how much PlayStation 5 will cost . We can attend the price of the components, PC Gaming with similar power and the logical cost reduction that occurs over time, but above all it is a market decision. If Sony does not want to lose the advantage it has reached with PS4 (in sales) on Xbox One, it should remain at the psychological ceiling of 500 euros .
If, as we mentioned above, it is an “update” of the hardware, according to Yoshida, it can not be far from the cost of PS4 PRO (399 euros). It must also be borne in mind that the sales of the PRO model remain well below the standard model, so the user does not seem willing to pay a very high price for the increase in power.
But all this depends on many factors, such as the international market, the commitment to physical or only digital support and the adoption of new technology, such as 4K televisions. It is also possible to launch more expensive “premium” models, simultaneous to the standard, more economical. This happened, for example with Wii U (with two models with different storage capacity) or with PS Vita (with the WiFi model and 3G).