On June 11, 2020 Japanese technology titan Sony finally unveiled their next generation PlayStation – the PlayStation 5 game console – to almost universal praise and acclaim.
It’s been almost 8 years since the PlayStation 4 was released and rumors have been swirling for at least two years about a next-generation console getting ready for launch, a console that could go toe to toe with Microsoft’s brand-new Xbox (of which we know a lot less about right now).
The console revealed event had rescheduled from a week prior, but enthusiasm definitely hadn’t waned because of this delay. Hundreds of thousands of people tuned into the online revealed as it was happening and millions have watched the footage worldwide already.
Below we dig a little deeper into everything we now know about the PS five and what it means for the future of gaming going forward.
Radical New Form Factor
When Sony revealed what the new PlayStation was going to look like (something that had been the subject of a lot of rumors and speculation in the lead up to this unveiling) the internet absolutely erupted, recognizing this as one of the most futuristic looking new consoles for sure.
The original PlayStation was a pretty basic gray color with the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3, and the PlayStation 4 all maintaining a pretty minimalistic aesthetic with a black color scheme that the company hasn’t shied away from for nearly 30 years.
They decided to turn things upside down completely, inverting the color scheme of the new PlayStation and choosing a snow white aesthetic with black accents and purple lighting that really give this a future forward kind of look.
The controller has been radically redesigned as well, moving away from the traditional look of the dual shock controller that has been pretty standard for PlayStation devices since the first console was released. The buttons are still the same, the analog sticks are still the same, but there’s a more rounded and more futuristic look to the controller – complete with mappable buttons on the back and a more useful touch interface on the firm the controller, too.
Power and Performance
The new look for this next generation PlayStation is the only radical change going on from the folks at Sony.
For starters, there are going to be two different versions of the PlayStation available for sale at launch. There’s going to be a PlayStation with an internal disk drive that can play Blu-ray discs (games as well as shows) but there’s also going to be a new PlayStation that is “digital only” – a so-called Digital Edition – that does away with the optical drive entirely.
Physical media has been under siege for a while now, ever since the folks at Apple decided that they weren’t going to include physical drives on their laptops any longer a handful of years ago. This change looks to be the final knife in the back of physical media, as videogame consoles were really one of the last bastions of this format.
Under the hood you’re going to see proprietary processors, memory modules, and modified gaming cards that all have been engineered to unlock as much power and performance out of the new PlayStation as humanly possible.
Sony already announced that this gaming console isn’t just going to be able to handle native 4K resolutions with all of their games at launch but will also be 8-K ready as well.
On top of that, developers have talked about how this PlayStation is going to be able to leverage ray tracing technology, new audio solutions that provide for a more immersive experience, and a whole host of major graphical upgrades that are going to allow this console to rival modern gaming PCs.
Storage is going to be handled by solid-state drives instead of traditional hard drive options, with a couple of different storage solutions available at launch. Most believe that the new PlayStation is going to launch with a terabyte hard drive as its entry-level option, with the ability to add more storage or replace that with potentially up to 8 TB of storage – plenty of room for next-generation games and media alike.
There have been a lot of industry insiders calming over patents that Sony has pursued just the last 24 months, and the most interesting ones maybe the inclusion of what looks like “mystery cartridges” that could very well be an expandable and adaptable storage solution specifically intended for use with the PlayStation.
This could be a revolutionary new way to handle console storage from here on out and it’s just another reason so many people are considering this new PlayStation to be a trailblazer.
Virtual reality technology was a cornerstone of what the folks at Sony want the PlayStation to be known for as well. They have worked with and partnered with a lot of top-tier developers in the VR space to come up with a plan of action that allows different developers to leverage all the hardware under the hood of the new PlayStation to create new, exciting, and immersive VR experiences unlike anything else out there.
Sony also announced that there are going to be literally dozens of games available at launch, many of them AAA titles – some of them brand-new titles not launched on the previous PlayStation generation – that make this a really exciting option straight out of the gate.
We are still waiting on more information about the backwards compatibility of the new PlayStation with the previous version, more information about videogame streaming services and solutions that might eliminate having to install games on your hardware completely, and a whole host of other nitty-gritty details regarding the PlayStation – details we are sure to get the next few weeks and months in the lead up to launch – but things are already looking amazing.
Release and Pricing
The only thing that Sony didn’t mention during their revealed was a rock solid and hard date for the PlayStation to actually be launched.
All we know for sure (straight from the folks at Sony) is that the PlayStation is coming during the holiday season of 2020, that the novel coronavirus pandemic has not altered these expectations whatsoever, and that the odds are very good that we are going to have another holiday season where the PlayStation goes toe to toe with the next-generation Xbox.
Sony expects that they are going to be able to sell about 6 million units or so by March 2021 and already are willing to the planning and strategy behind a major marketing and advertising push to get these consoles out into the hands of gamers.
At the same time, Sony has been clear about the fact that they aren’t going to have quite as many new PlayStations available for sale as some would expect and it’s likely that they are going to sell out pretty quickly.
A price point hasn’t been hammered down just yet, either, but most in the gaming industry are recommending that anyone interested in getting their hands on a PlayStation right out of the gate putting a preorder to guarantee that they are able to get one at launch. If you miss out you could be waiting months until you have a chance to upgrade to this next generation of Sony hardware.