Sony Reveals First PlayStation 5 Details

Sony Reveals First PlayStation 5 Details

Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 looks like it might be a mother of a console, a report from Wired indicated this morning. Featuring a solid state drive and—yes!—backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 5 seems big and bad, although it won’t arrive this year (maybe in 2020, as Kotaku previously reported).

As is expected, the PlayStation 5 will have more powerful specs to match the increased graphics and storage needs for next-gen games. The most exciting bit of news from today’s report is that the PlayStation 5 will have a solid state drive (SSD), a piece of technology that can dramatically speed up loading times between zones in games and rendering time for game environments. Sony did not reveal the SSD’s specs or manufacturer. PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny did say, however, that its raw bandwidth should exceed that of what’s currently available for PCs. According to Wired:

To demonstrate, Cerny fires up a PS4 Pro playing Spider-Man, a 2018 PS4 exclusive that he worked on alongside Insomniac Games. . . On the TV, Spidey stands in a small plaza. Cerny presses a button on the controller, initiating a fast-travel interstitial screen. When Spidey reappears in a totally different spot in Manhattan, 15 seconds have elapsed. Then Cerny does the same thing on a next-gen devkit connected to a different TV. (The devkit, an early “low-speed” version, is concealed in a big silver tower, with no visible componentry.) What took 15 seconds now takes less than one: 0.8 seconds, to be exact. . .

On the next-gen console, the camera speeds uptown like it’s mounted to a fighter jet. Periodically, Cerny pauses the action to prove that the surrounding environment remains perfectly crisp.

If you’re wondering about the PlayStation 5’s CPU and GPU, we heard those details, too:

PlayStation’s next-generation console ticks all those boxes, starting with an AMD chip at the heart of the device. (Warning: some alphabet soup follows.) The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. While ray tracing is a staple of Hollywood visual effects and is beginning to worm its way into $US10,000 ($13,992) high-end processors, no game console has been able to manage it.

Audio improvements will be a big focus, Wired continued. While “ray tracing” is primarily used for graphics, Cerny notes it can have audio benefits. ““It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment,” he said. It might help players hear small, subtle sounds coming from sneaking-around enemies, for example. “With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it,” said Cerny.

Cerny didn’t give more details about PlayStation 5’s VR capabilities, but did note that “VR is very important to us,” adding that the current PSVR headset will work with the upcoming console.

Sony execs are avoiding calling it the “PlayStation 5, instead preferring “next-gen console,” even though every prior model followed the same naming pattern. The PlayStation 4 was released in 2013, seven years after the launch of the PlayStation 3. Should the PlayStation 5 release in 2020, as we’ve reported, then it too will wind up having been Sony’s lead console for seven years.

While Google, Microsoft and, to an extent, Sony have all promoted game-streaming services of late, concrete details confirming the new Sony console reaffirm that the model of owning a box to play games isn’t going away any time soon.

You can read the full report here.


  • His talk about the SSD sounds interesting;
    At the moment, Sony won’t cop to exact details about the SSD—who makes it, whether it utilizes the new PCIe 4.0 standard—but Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs.
    but, no mention on the space on the thing… A super fast drive would be great but it won’t help much if it can barely fit 2 or 3 games on it.

    • Given that consumers can buy 1tb SSD in the US for 100$, Sony when purchasing in bulk will be able to get them much much cheaper.

    • I am thinking it’ll be a SSHD hybrid drive, maybe a 500gb SSD mixed in with a 2-3tb hdd.

      • Which are for all intents and purposes not much better than hdd when it comes to games.

        • If the intent and purpose is to speed up access to frequently used data, then it is much better. Very much so. 500GB of SSD, caching pretty much all of your recent gaming activity, means that recently played games will be running at full SSD speed.

          • It won’t cache gaming data, it will cache platform assets in order to free up ram. So it will have next to no effect on load times.

          • Why would a hybrid drive not cache gaming data? Aren’t platform assets part of that data? How does the drive make a distinction between different types of data?

          • It prioritizes the most accessed data which will always be system specific data, games might take up a small amount, but as someone with two sshd’s I find them really terrible at performance for games and much better as a master drive as a cheap alternative to ssd’ with an os mounted.

          • That makes sense if you have a cache size of around 8-16GB, typical for most SSHD drives. But if we’re talking about 500GB of cache, I think you’ll find it’s a different beast altogether.

          • @DeeK Where are you getting 500gb cache? That is crazy larger than anything on the consumer market. Mine are 30-something gb and those are 1tb each.

          • Nothing on the market. Hypothetical device based on the parent comment: SSHD hybrid drive, 500GB SSD with 2-3TB HDD. Being an SSHD drive, the 500GB SSD part is certainly a cache.

          • @DeeK I would probably be skeptical of that part. That is a massive jump on the current standard.

          • Well, we are talking about a console that doesn’t exist yet. May as well speculate on drives that don’t exist either. 😉

          • I run a 2.5inch 250gb SSD as a cache for a 4tb mechanical drive with a games library. Cache is managed by software i.e. PrimoCache. Makes loading times off the mechanical drive heaps better.

            Hypothetically they could use say a largish 500gb M.2 SSD (which would take up very little physical space) to cache a larger storage drive rather than a hybrid drive on it’s own.

          • With you on this one, “has SSD” claim is a bit crap. I know I sure wouldn’t want to be installing my 50gb worth of prerendered cutscenes onto an SSD. If Sony are smart enough to break down their games into a static partition and a frequently used partition, and deliver it to the respective drives on the system, then I’ll be impressed. Imagine that kind of functionality would fall to the developer though.

            Better yet, they could build into their console some kind of smart tiering system that automatically shuffles frequently accessed data to an SSD partition with the remainder to a mechanical array… but that is the stuff for datacenters, not home consoles.

            Also, can’t wait for the horror stories of consoles dying after their internal-only SSD reaches maximum writes 🙁

          • @jerichosainte Pretty unlikely considering procedures for repair and replacement. Even if they went for a second bay for a slave drive I doubt the system would automatically cache the master. They are trying to save money, not blow out their price by becoming a mid tier pc.

    • …Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs…until it releases for PCs, probably before the PS5.

      • True. It’s coming out in the future, the drive they will use doesn’t exist yet, of course no one has a faster one.

    • I mean it probably is gonna be expensive, but the question will be how many they can produce and whether it will be enough to see them get insane discounts on parts. The gaming community has expanded a lot since the last generation started.

      My guess is we are looking at around $800 to $1000. If they have honestly been in full development for over two years (we know that they have at least been putting ideas together for four) then its possible manufacturing pipeline might be really refined.

      • Just because those lines of CPU and GPU are launching in July. Historically consoles use much older hardware but I guess (and hope) the gap is closing.

        I’d rather spend $1000 now as opposed to 600-700 on day one and another 600-700 for the refresh a few years down the line.

        • They are launching for consumers as that time, large scale contracts mean that a gaming platform would get preferential treatment.

          Its entirely possible considering the One X took a massive dump on Sony’s pride of having the shiniest bits of tech around. My bet is that they aim to take a real hit to profits for a while in exchange for as strong of a start as they can get on the next gen.

    • I don’t think it will come out next year. The Pro has pushed the generation gap higher.
      2021. That’s my guess for the release year.

  • SSD, 8K support, Ray tracing and implied possibility that Deathstranding will be released on PS3 & PS5?
    Interesting though not unexpected.

    Sounds pretty crazy so far.

  • Specs are all in line with what we are expecting. SSD prices have probably gotten cheap enough as well that they can do this, although one does wonder if it will be a caching affair or not.

    As long as its user upgradeable I don’t really care however.

  • Sony’s track record with thumping the competition in terms of first party titles will ensure I’m on board with this.

    • Eh, with all the studios MS just brought on board, I wouldn’t really worry next gen.

      I’ll still be buying a PS5, but I’ll also be buying whatever else is available.

      • The question is whether they are going to be given time to properly develop their titles or whether they will be pushed for launch titles.

    • One generation track record? Yeah, that’s a hell of a track record alright 😀 lol. The 360 won the last battle in every way, Xbone lost this one thank in large part to a severe lack of exclusive titles, but the backwards compatibility and actually good controllers are a huge selling point. The next bout they might bounce back, that’s just how it is, we never know how it’ll turn out generation to generation, it’s historically unpredictable.

  • I’m glad the current psvr headset will work with it. While the resolution is low, more processing power from the console would hopefully mean games don’t have to look like tech demos or be severely limited.

  • hopefully DLC is included in Backwards compatibility and even ps5 version 2 and so on keep it – might be able to skip on buying a PS4 completely

  • My guess is if the PS5 does come out next year as told by Mark Cerny I’m positive it will be very expensive.

  • Lets hope Sony finally decides to play well with others and allow cross play and saves. Honestly, for me, everything else is gravy. Having used both consoles, PS4 is head and shoulders far more brilliant in every possible way, but in terms of back compatibility and playing well with others are its only downside, it seems like they have got half of it right.

    • You do realise they already have yeah?
      You also realise that it was never on Sony to push a magic button and have crossplay materialise for everything right?

      Some people just got sucked in to the narrative that Sony wasn’t playing nice with others, all because MS and Nintendo allowed a few games to have crossplay.
      Now that Sony has allowed the same for those games it’s become exactly what it was always going to be, a slow process on game by game case.

      As it is MS and Nintendo have already backed down a lot on the crossplay rhetoric because it was always about putting Sony under a negative light for being a holdout and providing themselves a unique selling point.
      Now that it’s starting to happen it’s suddenly not in their best interest to pursue it so aggressively anymore because giving people a choice of platforms isn’t great if theirs isn’t that platform being chosen and we are right back to exclusives being the deciding factor.

      • Really, so I can cross play Overwatch or Borderlands and Destiny with my Xbox family? No idea how i missed that. Groan. The only game I can think of that is cross play is FFXIV.

        Obviously it is not only Sony that is holding it back, but at the same time the technology isnt being pursued enough by games devs because they know Sony IS going to hold back. So its not worth pursuing. A Chicken and the egg thing.

        Right now exclusives are one of the major deciding factors, FOR SOME, but it is also about features to others, why else would PS4 still be out selling Xbox given it is no longer the most powerful console? Cross play can still be about retaining customers, EG I want a PS4 to be my sole platform, but in order to play with my family, I am being driven to not play on PS4, so every time a game comes out, the choice is now which platform do I buy it on. Yet if crossplay was a thing ALL my games would be PS4 100%.

        So their inability to play well with others does still cost them customers.

        • I just said there’s no magic button that Sony flicks to make all your games crossplay, you need to ask the developers, not blindly assume it’s just Sony.
          Destiny is an easy one, it doesn’t have crossplay because Bungie hasn’t pursued it, pure and simple.
          They have voiced their interest but it’s clearly not a priority for them right now, it’s not something achieved with a wave of a wand, it takes time, money and other resources not currently allocated to their development timelines and definetly not something anyone would whack in to the middle of their schedule without in depth research and internal discussion.

          There is no merit to the claim that devs are avoiding it because of Sony, as I said, it was always going to be a slow process and by opening up to it Sony has showed how empty the marketing ploy was in the first place because it’s still something that is in its infancy and hasn’t even begun to crawl even with everyone on board.

          • not blindly assume it’s just Sony.

            I never said it was, but there is no denying they have been instrumental in holding off on its implementation.

            Destiny is an easy one, it doesn’t have crossplay because Bungie hasn’t pursued it, pure and simple.

            You dont know that for sure. That is what they have told us. that doesnt mean that is the ultimate truth. And as i pointed out before it is not a case that it is all the devs fault or Sony, a little from each side, and depending on the game, it can be more or less from either side.

            There is no denying Sony has been stand been very reluctant with cross stuff, there have been many examples of it recently, while the rest of gaming seems to be embracing it, and some gamers most definitely crave it, but no gamers devs are going to waste time on developing those systems when they know there is a company refusing to embrace it. Hence my chicken and the egg comment.

          • Of course Sony was the holdout but the point is they’ve revealed how little that resistance actually amounted to in the end.

            Look at it this way….all of this has happened in less than a year.
            MS and Ninty, both with their own long standing anti crossplay policies, teamed up to announce they would now support it, using a single title that had already built itself on potential of crossplay, Epic had already done the work.
            No mention of how or when this was going to manifest at the level they boasted or that realistically it wasn’t going to happen over night, just that the evil Sony was holding everything up.
            Within only a few months Sony announced it would begin to support crossplay, that’s June to September 2018, three short months. (I know, it feels like it’s been raging for much longer)
            When you look at the tiny time frame and the overall progress since then from all parties it becomes clear that the others were being just as cautious and slow moving, they just avoided the criticisms by sucking everyone in and pointing fingers at Sony who was ultimately more realistic and honest about the whole thing.
            (They replied to the original announcement by saying they had no plans but were open to it if it’s what people actually wanted)

            I admit I got caught up in the rhetoric too but standing here at the other end with so little done and everyone at the table, it’s hard to ignore that we had smoke blown up our arses.

            I would wager the biggest thing holding back developers is that it’s still a very alien concept when talking about the kinds of business and development models they already employ.
            Saying it’s better for game populations and player engagement is true but I think we all know that games as a business are far more complex than the simple PR they throw at us.
            The technology is there but the risk vs reward is still a major unknown.

            As for Bungie, saying they are looking in to it is more likely to mean they are waiting to see how it plays out while weighing up the various options and pros and cons before making jumping in head first.

            You can look up all the crossplay compatible games available at the moment, there’s quite a few and mostly indies at the moment.

            Sorry, I’ve been writing this response over the whole afternoon while looking after a year old, knee high cyclone so I know it’s all over the place and a little rambly.
            I’m all for putting pressure on the big 3 to begin crossplay I just think the evidence shows it’s fairly irresponsible to still be looking at Sony as the ones holding back the bright future the other two never had any intention of delivering beyond a lot of bluster and blaming.
            I think it’s time we put the hard questions on all of them, including asking why MS (+ Nintendo) chose to so badly misrepresent the entire situation.

          • Frankly I just don’t see how crossplay is a difficult thing to manage because simply put, all the game does is connect to a dedicated server.

            We’ve had dedicated servers since at least Quakeworld.

            The only reason I could foresee crossplay being an issue is if there is a fundamental difference in the game. For example if on one platform the timing was linked to the fps (such as Dark Souls) but on another platform the timing was desynced from the fps.

            I don’t know of any game that has large discrepancies across platforms (it really would be odd for that to exist) but if a game did then I would understand that crossplay is a problem beyond a basic connection to a common server.

          • Oh I agree, I support crossplay and some of it is fairly straight forward, games like Fortnite have managed to show its possible, over time, rolled out bit by bit and developed with crossplay at its core.
            I imagine some of the big devs and publishers would love to get an insight in to what that all entailed, warts and all.
            (Clearly it’s worked in their favour on the surface but we also know Epic has more money than they know what to do with at the moment, far more than most big players are willing to throw at their own games)

            We do still see a number of differences between platforms, even with some of the bigger titles, including bugs unique to each platform and updates that roll out anywhere from days to weeks apart due to development issues, quality testing and differences in how the consoles handle their internal processes.
            Another problem I can see is that major online titles tend to have connection and server issues on release and take some time to stabilise, attempting crossplay at that stage is just asking for even more trouble and I would think it’s more appealing for devs to keep things seperate and prioritise the foundations over the bridge.

            Admittedly these aren’t huge problems but it is all very untested for the bean counters and their current business and development models, I think that’s why we’ve seen most opt for smaller dual platform runs, not only for some experience in the field but also to get a broad idea of the positives and negatives over time.
            I think we can agree that once they have nutted out the risk and rewards and can guarantee clear financial benefits, we will see a lot more studios and distributors pushing for the option because profits talk and bullshit gets tweeted.

            All I’m trying to say is that it won’t happen overnight but it will happen, we all (some, most) just got caught up in a bit of misleading marketing that has given folks a bit of an unrealistic view of how things are actually travelling.

    • You forgot the awful playstation controllers. When I do get a PS4 to play the exclusives this year or next, I’ll be buying a custom Xbone type controller for it just so that I don’t have to suffer that playstation crap like I did with PS3.

      • I have been using the same PS4 controller since PRO came out, still ZERO problems with it, in six months i have been through two Xbox game controllers. One of my family has had to get seven repaired in two years. How crazy is that?

        It has better build quality, more comfortable, and track pad thing can be so helpful in many games.

  • and—yes!—backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4I would have been extremely surprised if they didn’t since the PS4 adopted an x86 architecture which means unless they (stupidly) decide to go for a fancy in house architecture like with PS1 – 3 there’s no reason games shouldn’t be able to run on the newer hardware.

    I don’t know how I feel about it. With the PS4 I was flip-flopping between just getting a good PC or sticking with consoles and these days with everything coming out on everything it’s an even tougher decision to stick with yet another console over a PC I can rebuild and upgrade.

    • I have the same problem – bought an Xbox One X, mostly play AAA games. Still end up spending a lot of time playing on my PC though, mostly because 60 FPS is great. That said the 4K consoles have been very impressive.

    • You will probably find that the PS5 will get pro editions as well and that Sony/MS may even further extend the premium console concept.

      AMD’s hunger for business/market share makes them very amenable to shorter console lifecycles and premium hardware consoles. Sony/Microsoft would be silly not to take advantage of that.

  • Backwards compatibility and SSD make this a no brainer for me. Sure I could drop an SSD into my existing PS4, but I’m glad now I can forget about getting a PS4 Pro and happily wait for this.

    • I could drop an SSD into my existing PS4

      You can, but it’s completely not worth it. The gains aren’t anything like you see when doing the same thing on a PC.
      The PS4’s hard drives [both external AND internal] are interfaced over USB, which is a pretty big bottleneck itself. Combined with the fact that all games are optimised for the lowest-common-denominator, that being the 5400rpm spinning disk which is in 99.9999% of all systems, means that loading times are marginally better in a few titles and nothing more.

      It looks like the new system is going in a different direction, so I’m looking forward to improved disk access times.

      • Good advice! I do have a slight concern about the announcement (despite the final paragraph of the article) that the new console will have a SSD drive to facilitate online gaming, rather than being there to store my game library, but I’m not technically proficient enough to know at this stage. Time will tell I guess.

        • Yeah, I have to remind myself that this is all extremely early news. I agree with your concerns about the actual nature of the storage. Given what was said, it’s not just a SATA device with SSD storage, but likely something right on the PCI bus like NVMe. These devices are expensive if you’re looking at large amounts. Games continue to get bigger, and I’m at the 1TB+ range for my PS4 library, and that’s not even everything installed.

          What I’m wondering is if they do their own version of a hybrid drive. [existing SATA hybrid drives are complete trash, btw, lol, but I’m having an idea of say 100GB of super fast NVMe storage which is used for caching, with a spinning disk drive providing the bulk storage still. Spinning disks can still be quite speedy for sequential reads, so putting the data in the correct format, you could conceivably pull each game from the spinning disk onto the cache drive each time you launch it then run it from there.
          I dunno, unless sony have managed to wrangle up the bulk-deal of a lifetime on solid state storage, I don’t see it having 500GB+ of fast storage unless it has a huge price tag attached [and we all saw how well that went with the PS3 launch…]

  • I’m thinking about AUD650 at launch. Sounds like Sony is throwing everything at this. Makes sense given given what happen this generation. Can’t wait for the banal teraflop and resolution wars.


    • Er, I mean… I should probably wait a year after its release for the 2nd-edition run that produces more horsepower and quality of life enhancements in a smaller form package.


  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but the thing missing that I’m most interested in is whether it’ll have a Blu-Ray drive, whether Ultra HD or regular. A lot of my PS4 games are disk based, so without the drive, backwards compatibility will only be half useful to me.

    • The Wired article confirms physical media, and I assume it will be a UHD drive. They’ll be cheap enough by then and, assuming everything will be targeting 4K resolution as the baseline, they’ll probably need the additional storage compared to standard BluRay.

    • Since the xbox s & x have UHD drives, it pretty obvious that Sony will follow suit as to not give Microsoft another exclusive feature next gen.

  • Looks interesting so far, needs the games though. Sony finally learning that backwards compatibility should be a thing, hopefully they won’t do a PS2 and turn that off in the second round of PS5s that get released. Microsoft started the last gen on a really bad foot, but they’ve turned it round to be more ‘for the gamers’ than Sony have in the last year or so I’d say with backwards compatibility and game pass as well.

    • I think Sony have always known backwards compatibility is a thing. It’s just that, now, it’s very easy for them to offer it due to similar hardware design, so compatibility is just pure software.

    • Sony didn’t go with backward compatibility because they claimed it wasn’t as important to gamers as new and interesting titles, they saw it as more effort than it was worth in the long run.

      While it pissed me off and had me calling them short sighted, it’s really hard to fault them when they still managed to dominate the market so thoroughly.
      I hate to admit it but they were clearly right, It’s certainly something I want badly but it pains me to admit I haven’t really missed it this gen.

      I’m thinking it’s just going to be much easier than it was previously, they don’t have to do much if any work between the PS4 and PS5 and we get to finally reap the benefits of that.

  • I’m just…consoled out. I had a run for a while there. Had an Atari 2600, a Master System, then a Megadrive (while hanging onto my C64), sold the Megadrive and got a guitar (originally planned on getting a Neo-Geo, but my plans changed), swung back into consoles years later when my partner bought me an X360 when the big hard drive version came out, had some ups, some downs, often wandered back to PC, then ended up with a PS4, which I used a bit, wandered back to the PC again. Now it gathers dust. Can’t remember where I put the X360. Wouldn’t mind dusting it off and using it again just to play Skate 3 (because my PS4 won’t do anything backwards-compatible) and to play Forza (although the latest one is on PC), but I just…I don’t know. I think I’m done.
    The next generation of consoles would have to blow me away completely and provide a real alternative to my PC to really grab me. It’s not as if my PC is uber-magnifico by comparison to what’s out there now, but it runs everything better than my PS4 and has all those added advantages that my consoles just don’t have.

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