Sony Interactive Entertainment today confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is real, and dropped some tantalizing details about the upcoming console.
Sony’s next-gen console is officially called PlayStation 5. After months of teases and no presence at E3 2019, Sony today confirmed the console’s title and revealed some interesting details about ray-tracing, the SSD, and the new controller.
Speaking with Wired, lead architect Mark Cerny confirmed that ray-tracing on PS5 won’t be software related as some had feared. Rather, the process will be handled on the GPU hardware. That’ll be handled by a GPU based on AMD’s Navi family, something that Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scarlett also uses.
Probably one of the most tantalizing features of the PS5 is its solid-state-drive. The drive allows for developers to eliminate duplicated content, which allows them to save space and time loading their games. Taking Marvel’s Spider-Man as an example, Cerny says that data was duplicated up to 400 times on PS4. Cerny also teased the ability to install just parts of a game. For example, installing Call of Duty’s multiplayer component, but not the single player campaign. Physically bought games still require installs, but at least players can take heart in knowing that the PS5 will launch with a built-in 4K Blu-Ray drive.
The DualShock 4 is a great controller, but could still use some improvements. Impressively, Cerny also showed off what will one day, likely, be the DualShock 5 controller. For the controller, Sony is working on two major innovations; haptics and adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback replaces the ‘rumble’ technology found in Sony controllers since the original PlayStation. The goal behind the change is to provide players a broader range of feedback. To drive home this point, Cerny had Wired play a tech demo by Japan Studio that simulated running through sand, mud, and ice-themed levels.
Then there’s the adaptive triggers, which provide tactile sensation when using L2 and R2. Imagine drawing bowstring, firing a shotgun, or accelerating a car. Cerny showed off Gran Turismo Sport running on a PS5 devkit to showcase the adaptive triggers. Surprisingly, product manager Toshi Aoki said that these features almost made it into the DualShock 4 when they released the PS4 Pro. However, Sony ultimately decided against it.
As for other features the controller has plenty of other improvements. The controller supports USB Type-C for charging, has a larger capacity battery, and may even support an AI-controlled assistant. When discussing heft, Aoki says the controller will be lighter than the Xbox One controller with batteries in it.
PlayStation 5 is out holiday 2020. Expect to hear a lot more about the upcoming console in the coming months.