Playstation 5 is Sony’s next-generation console, and the details around its hardware have been filtering out slowly since they announced it. The Playstation 5 will be available for sale soon, and we’ll finally be able to see what the case looks like, how much room it’s going to take on your entertainment center, and how much it’s going to cost. We aren’t completely in the dark about what’s going on under the Playstation 5’s hood, and there is stuff to consider before investing the next generation of consoles. So let’s pop on out the blue-light blocking glasses, and go over what we know.
As far as graphical power, the PS5 will sport a custom 8-core AMD processor and a GPU based on the Radeon Navi chipset. The GPU will support 8k and ray tracing, which will take the load of lighting off the software end and let the GPU handle it, making reflections and specular lighting look more natural and make it easier for programmers to put in fancy lighting effects. It will also have a built-in SSD storage system, which will lower loading times for both the games and opening game saves. With all that hardware clunking around in there, it will be used to support Sony’s VR efforts, and as such, it will also be backward compatible, so you won’t have to toss all your old PS4 games should you switch over.
Sony is also doubling down on its Playstation Now service. Sony is touting the Playstation 5’s cloud processing abilities and that it will take their game streaming service to the next level. For some, this is great news because Playsation Now is the only way to play some of the PS3 libraries on the current generation Playstation. Sony even worked with Microsoft to bolster its ability to cloud stream games. It would be truly impressive if Sony could get its streaming infrastructure to the point where you could stream something with almost 1 to 1 input, making multiplayer first-person shooters and fighting games a viable experience for players. We don’t know that it WILL be able to do that, but it will be interesting to see if it can.
Sony isn’t content with just improving the console hardware, either. The PS5 controller will be getting a makeover, as well. The new controller will have haptic feedback which will replace its current rumble technology, which will make player feedback through the controller more immersive, and the trigger buttons will be more reactive to light or strong presses, giving developer’s the ability to program around that feature and make using the trigger buttons more dynamic. This will allow for more interesting ways to use those buttons in the future.
So with all these hardware improvements, it will be interesting to see what the price point of the console is when it is announced next year. Will the PS5 be in that sweet spot of around $400 on release, or will it be a bit more expensive than the original PS4? Part of Sony’s success with the current generation was its initial price point being cheaper than the Xbox One. The other sticking point is, while PS5 hardware is much more impressive than the PS4 Pro, it still isn’t top of the line when comparing it to PC gaming. Granted, PC gaming is a bit pricier, and system optimization can be a bit of a bear, but PC gamers have been enjoying 4k graphics and at least 90 FPS for the past few years. If you already have a large library of Playstation games and have the budget for a brand new console next year, the PS5 may be worth grabbing, but if you’re a PC gamer or an Xbox owner, the draw might not be enough to bring you to the PS5 party.