The PS5 has been revealed in all of its glory, and as well as getting a good look at the console and its Digital Edition, we’ve also been treated to a peek at some of the fantastic PS5 games coming to the platform – including hotly-anticipated exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7.
That doesn’t mean we know everything about the console by any means – for example, we still don’t have an official PS5 price, or a PS5 release date, even though there are plenty of leaks pointing to answers for both. But when everything is considered, the picture we have of the PS5 family of consoles is actually rather complete.
For example, we now have a complete, official understanding of the PS5’s design, as well as what many PS5 accessories look like.
We also have a near complete list of PS5 specs, with the PlayStation 5’s system architecture officially revealed in numerous deep dives with the console’s lead system architect Mark Cerny.
We also have information on PS5 backwards compatibility and the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller.
And we’ve also now got the official PlayStation 5 trailer in 4K resolution, too, meaning that the system can be viewed up close in detail.
Finally, T3 has also put together a fantastic PS5 pre-order guide, which has in-depth information about which retailers are taking PlayStation 5 pre-orders, and when gamers can sign up to make sure they lock their order in securely.
Simply use the nearby menu to jump directly to the part of the PS5 guide you want, or scroll down for the big picture.
PS5 release date
Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is going to arrive in the Holiday 2020 window, with all bets currently being placed for a November launch, alongside Microsoft’s Xbox Series X – just in time for the holiday shopping season. There were rumours of an October 2020 release but they were quickly shot down by Sony.
While Sony has unveiled the PS5 and its all-digital sibling, there’s still no word on how much it’s going to set you back – and if it’s going to be worth the investment.
A recent rumour puts the price of the PS5 at $499/ £449/ €499, and the PS5 Digital Edition at $399/ £349/ €399. The same leaker also listed prices for the PS5’s peripherals, claiming that the DualSense will retail for $59.99/ £54.99/ €59.99; the charging cradle will be priced at $29.99/ £24.99/ €29.99; the HD camera will come in at $59.99/ £54.99/ €59.99; the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset will cost $159/ £129/ €179; and the PS5 remote will set you back $29.99/ £24.99/ €29.99.
The PlayStation 4 originally debuted for £349.99/$399.99 and when it was reinvented as the PS4 Slim it began selling for £259.99/$299.99 and up.
The more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro, on the other hand, launched with a price of £349.99/$399.99, matching the original PS4 on that score – though you can now get all kinds of bundle offers and discounts on various flavours of the PS4 console.
All three of those PS4 consoles have enjoyed strong sales to date, with the PS4 earning the title of second-best selling console of all time, behind the PS2.
Go back a bit further, though, and gamers will no-doubt remember that the Sony PS3 originally went on sale in the U.S. at a whopping $600, and at an equally steep £425 in the UK, which at the time was even more expensive than it sounds today.
And, to be very clear, that console did not sell well out of the gate, not at all. But it gets worse Danish retailer føtex currently has the console listed for 6,989 Danish krone, which is around $1043/ £837. That’s more than double the rumoured price, and is incredibly expensive!
However, we’ve had several readers contact us to mention Danish gamers pay premiums for technology, meaning the price may not be reflective of the final product. As such, the big question is whether Sony can hit the £449.99/$499.99 price point or lower with the PlayStation 5.
We’d say it’s more likely that the final PS5 price will be £449.99, rising to £499.99 with a game included, though Sony will of course want to keep the hardware as affordable as it can for gamers and protect that huge install base lead it currently has.
In the PlayStation 5 specs reveal below, first broadcast in March 2020, lead system architect Mark Cerny took to the stage and spoke about console design. The end result was a thoroughly comprehensive breakdown of the PS5’s innards, but it was mostly geared towards developers.
While we weren’t treated to a look at the console at the time, the game creation possibilities of the tech Cerny debuted set tongues wagging. Below, you can find a comprehensive breakdown of the most important PS5 technical details.
CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
GPU architecture: Custom RDNA 2
Memory interface: 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s
Internal storage: Custom 825GB SSD
IO throughput: 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed)
Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot
External storage: USB HDD support (PS4 games only)
Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive
The number one ask by developers with PS5 was a solid state drive, and Sony delivered. Reducing “dead time”, such loading screens and corridor level designs, to zero is important for Cerny’s team, and the solid state drive is able to deliver. 1GB is roughly 20 seconds to load from a hard disc drive, according to Cerny. This is why load times on PS4 can be rough, while 2GB can reportedly be loaded in 0.27 seconds on an SSD. This means there will be no loading screens. For proof, the PS4 Spider-Man game loaded approximately eighteen times faster on PS5.
The primary reason for an ultra fast SSD, though, isn’t just about loading times. It is about giving developers freedom when creating games — you don’t want loading screens getting in the way of awesome virtual worlds. You also have hard limits imposed on the player in the game, who can’t move faster than the HDD dictates.
SSD’s improve game patch installs, too. The SSD on the PS5 is, according to Cerny, 100x faster. There is Custom Flash Controller in the PS5 to help this, to ensure no bottlenecks. Priority requests are very important in games, and this controller helps deliver these. 5.5GB/s is the bandwidth the PS5 is capable of — nice!
The Sony PS5 is going to support external hard disc drives. Cerny also confirms that the Sony PS5 will support modular M2 SSD drives, meaning people can increase their storage. These SSDs need to be as fast as the stock PS5 SSD though to work (making this Samsung SSD a day one purchase), so 5.5GB/s. M2 PCIe 4.0 SSDs are coming that support up to 7GB/s. However, Cerny says don’t buy an M2 drive until later in the year to ensure compatibility.
PS5 graphics and audio
Graphical Processing Units, or GPUs are up next. The PS5 GPU needs to be backwards-compatible with PlayStation 4 games, which it can do thanks to some awesome work from AMD. It is a custom RDNA 2 chip from AMD, which is optimised for performance. We have our own needs for PlayStation, says Cerny, and AMD helped with this when working on PS5.
The PS5’s custom chips has the logic and feature set that the PS4 and PS4 Pro used, meaning that backwards compatibility is definitely in the new console.They tested the top 100 games played on PS4 by play time and they all ran perfectly on PS5. That’s great news!
The PS5 has a new Geometry Engine and inter-section engine, which is all about the PS5’s ray tracing abilities. Cerny says ray tracing will be available, enhancing audio, global illumination, shadows, reflections and more.
Speaking of audio, Cerny is all about the importance of audio in games. The goals for audio on PS5 was to create a great audio experience for all gamers, using presence and locality to place you in the game using volume changes and phase shifts.
The PS5 is packing a custom 3D audio unit. Tempest 3D AudioTech is the official name for the idea, and the hardware is called the Tempest Engine.
It has SPU-like architecture and GPU parallelism, meaning it can deal with complex audio processing and, crucially, can generate 3D audio affects for all gamers, regardless of how they are listening (headphones, soundbar, TV speakers etc).
PS5 power and cooling
For PS4 they tried to model for a worst case scenario in terms of heat and power draw. This works if the console is quiet and cool while playing, and doesn’t if it is hot and loud.
On PS5 Sony has gone a different direction. It has a variable frequency strategy, which means the CPU and GPU are permanently run in boost mode, but the frequency changes. This means the power draw doesn’t change, so the PS5 is always running at maximum capacity: as such, Sony doesn’t need to guess at the worst case scenario in terms of power draw in games going forward.
However, Cerny only made a very brief reference to the cooling system, leading some rumours to suggests the system’s problems is one of the reasons for the announcement delay.
The GPU is capped at 2.23 GHz, which translates as 10.3 teraflops of gaming power. The CPU on the PS5 is capped at 3.5GHz.
PS5 Unreal Engine 5 demo
So we can take what we’ve learned here and apply it to real life, Epic Games released a small clip of an unnamed tech demo using the Unreal Engine 5, which is coming in 2021.
What you’re about to see is this demonstration of gameplay running real-time on the PS5, giving a glimpse of what might be possible for next-gen consoles:
Cool, huh? The new Nanite geometry system allows for “sub-pixel geometry”, providing incredible detail to be rendered almost imperceptible to the human eye. Just like real life. Combined with the confirmed support for up to 8K graphics, and it’s clear the PS5 is going to look incredible.
“We wanted to empower creators to create photorealistic scenes indistinguishable from reality” says Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.
The sub-zero pixel detail means fine detail is imperceptible until your avatar moves closer in real-time, with the PS5’s massive solid-state drive able to provide all that information straight away rather than loading it separately.
The “Lumen” system, which is said to create accurate bounce lighting, also creates an additional element of realism, aided by that incredible ray-tracing.
This was a real broadside blow to Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, which got lambasted for hosting a much-hyped “gameplay trailer” stream mostly consisting of in-engine cinematics. Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney reassuring gamers this was how next-gen consoles would look in action felt like a subtle jab to Microsoft.
PS5 DualSense controller
In April, Sony unveiled its new DualSense controller, a curved, ergonomic replacement to the classic DualShock design. We got a even better look at the peripheral and all of the PS5’s other accessories after Sony uploaded 360 degree videos of each of them to its website.
One of the controller’s big USPs is the haptic feedback technology, which allows the triggers to become more or less resistant depending on which in-game tasks you’re using it for. The improvements have impressed developers, some of whom have made the bold statement that the DualSense could be the best controller in history. Elsewhere, the controller has been made lighter and the rechargeable battery will be able to go for longer.
The Share button (which Microsoft will be introducing to its next gen Xbox Wireless Controller) has been scrapped in favour of a “Create” button. No details have been released on what the Create functionality actually does, but most pundits report it’ll be an extension of the Share feature, perhaps with in-built editing tools for social gamers and streamers to take advantage of.
A built-in microphone completes the new features, allowing you to chat to your contacts without a headset. However, it’s suggested the battery will drain considerably while using the built-in mic and speaker for prolonged periods. The net is awash with great-looking mods for the new gamepads, but after seeing Sony’s new design direction for the first time here, we’re anxious to get a look at the accompanying console.
Although this controller is two-tone, an alleged leaked image of a black DualSense controller has popped up, fuelling rumours of a PS5 black edition. But with no confirmed source, it’s best to take that with a pinch of salt.
PS5 Digital Edition
We’ve known for a long time now that Sony didn’t intend to launch just one version of the PlayStation 5 console, and now we know that alongside the main console, which comes with a 4K optical disc drive for physical media, there is going to be the PS5 Digital Edition.
The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition resembles the main PS5 in terms of design but does not have an optical disc drive installed, requiring gamers to buy titles online via the official PlayStation 5 store.
Whether or not the PS5 Digital Edition has the exact same gaming hardware as the full console remains to be seen, as too how much this console will cost. Clearly, without the disc drive it will be cheaper, but how cheap it will be is an interesting discussion point.
With gamers only able to buy and play games via the PlayStation 5 Store, the ability to buy games second hand will be taken away. This will mean gamers will have to pay full price for their games and, naturally, that will affect how people see the value of the Digital Edition’s price point.
We’re guessing the digital-only PS5 will retail for $100 / £100 less than the full console, with a $399 / £399 price point mooted.
PS5 backwards compatibility
Mark Cerny confirmed that the PS5 will be able to run “almost all” of the “top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime”, confirming the new console will be backwards compatible to some extent. This means you won’t have to throw out all your PS4 discs when your shiny new console turns up. However, it’s based on PS5 not being able to incorporate the entirety of the PS4 architecture, so the games that won’t run on the new console remain a mystery.
Gamers were a little worried at the news of the possible limitations, but the latest leak suggests that all PS4 games will work on the console. The bad news is that the DS4 controller – which we’ve been told would be compatible with the PS5 – won’t actually work with PS5 games, so it’s not all good news.
Let’s not forget game streaming and online play either either. All the indications are that PlayStation Now will get an upgrade with the PS5, and that streaming games over-the-web is likely to at least be a part of the PlayStation 5 experience, no matter which model of the console you end up going for.
We’re also hearing that there might be a feature called PlayStation Assist, which uses artificial intelligence to guide you out of tight spots whenever you get stuck. That should make gaming less frustrating for some of us, at least.
Polish game publisher CD Projekt Red has already said it’s working on games with an eye on the next generation of consoles, with Cyberpunk 2077 likely to be one of the first titles to hit the PS5, which is why we included it in our list PS5 games we’re looking forward to play.
E3 has given us a host of other upcoming titles that are likely to make it to Sony’s next-generation games console: The Elder Scrolls 6, the intriguing-sounding Starfield, and Beyond Good & Evil 2.
Flagship games don’t come much bigger than the Grand Theft Auto series, and Rockstar has confirmed that GTA V – which released in 2013 during the PS3 era, and subsequently made its way to current gen consoles – is also coming to the PS5.
Whatever games we see, they’re likely to break new ground in terms of realism and detail, thanks to the extra power of the PS5 and advances in software design. Those in the know say we’re not far off having games that look as good as the best Hollywood blockbusters, and that get rendered in real time.
There’s good news for cross-platform compatibility too: Sony exec Shawn Layden has said that we’re heading into a post-console world, where devices from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are more tightly integrated than ever before.
17 August, 2020 – Following up on the news from August 14 (see below) comes yet more evidence to suggest that the PS5 ‘fake 4k’ commentary was false.
As T3 reports, PS5 developer Teamkill Media was confronted by a Twitter user who suggested that its game, Quantum Error, was struggling to hit 4K 30fps on PS5.
Luckily, Teamkill Media was in no mood for fake news, and immediately put the BS to bed by responding to the tweeter in the most clinical way possible.
Not sure where this quote comes from but, it didn’t come from us.Quantum Error currently is running at 4K 65-70 FPS unoptimized. We will be hitting our goal of 4K 60 FPS.And there will be much more than just corridors lol! 🤣August 13, 2020
As can be seen in the tweet, Teamkill Media state that their game, far from struggling to run at 4K 30fps, is actually already running at 4K 65-70 fps unoptimized. The team then deliver the coup de grâce on the unsubstantiated comment by stating equivocally that “we will be hitting our goal of 4K 60 fps”.
The team behind PS5 game Quantum Error thought the suggestion that they were struggling to hit 4K 30 fps so ludicrous that they actually whip out the Rolling on the Floor Laughing Emoji. 🤣
Seems like another nail just got banged into the coffin on the PS5 ‘fake 4K’ rumor, which while welcome isn’t surprising at all. The idea that Sony’s powerhouse PlayStation 5 console was going to struggle to hit 4K 60fps was laughable and, while we think here at T3 that not every game will come with that option, we’re very confident that the majority will.
After all, if a smaller third-party studio can hit 4k 60 fps in an unoptimized game, then just imagine what an in-house or major third party studio can do. After all, technically the PS5 supports up to 120fps in terms of frame rates, and 8K in terms of resolution.
14 August, 2020 – An unsubstantiated leak, which led to many reports online, has been debunked by gamers on Reddit.
The leak had suggested that the PS5 could struggle to run games at a native 4K resolution, and instead needed to rely on upscaling to produce a ‘fake 4k”.
Naturally, as you would expect, this immediately caused concern among gamers, who had been looking forward to a next-gen system capable of serious pixel-pushing power.
Thankfully, savvy gamers on a Reddit post entitled “PS5 has shown gameplay running at Native 4k” proceeded to take down the unsubstantiated leak and prove that it was at best false and at worst, as some gamer’s stated their beliefs to be, a fear, uncertainty and doubt tactic.
Here at T3, while we don’t think resolution alone is the be all and end all in gaming graphics (with things like frame and refresh rates, as well as special effects like real time ray tracing more important to immersion), we are glad this leak has proved false and, as before, can’t wait to get our hands on the PlayStation 5.
Hopefully we will hear more about the PS5’s official 4K credentials, soon, as the promise of playing Horizon Forbidden West at 4K and/or with real time ray tracing enabled is truly mouth watering.
13 August, 2020 – Great news for PlayStation fans has come courtesy of a brand new leak surrounding the PS5’s new DualSense controller. The news, as reported by T3, reveals that a big upgrade is on the cards, both in terms of battery life and feature set.
According to the leaker, who claims they work for a company that makes and supplies accessories for Sony consoles, states that right now the firm is carrying out testing on the DualSense and, as such, they have been able to verify that the battery capacity if significantly larger than the DualShock 4 controller.
In the info revealing tweet, which also showed pictures of the controller up close and in the hand, the leakster said that “the battery capacity is 1560mA, much more than the PS4 one”, and an image of the controller’s power spec reveals “1560mAh” also.
For comparison, the DualShock 4’s battery capacity was 800mAh, so what we appear to be looking at here is a doubling of capacity.
That doubling of capacity will no doubt largely be down to the enhanced features and performance that Sony has already officially unveiled.
Not only is the wireless DualSense controller coming with haptic feedback tech, which delivers “a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud”, but also new lighting and audio systems, too.
Here at T3 we think the DualSense controller looks stunning, and seemingly blends the best parts of the DualShock 4 into a softer, fuller gamepad that looks to be comfier to hold and aesthetically much more pleasing. Indeed, it looks very similar to the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro, which on review T3 said was “a stunning, feature-packed gaming weapon”.
12 August, 2020 – A massive development that may have a huge impact on the success of the PS5 isn’t actually to do with the PlayStation 5 at all. That’s because Microsoft’s biggest launch-exclusive game, Halo Infinite, has been delayed into 2021.
This is a massive deal as that means the Xbox Series X isn’t going to have its strongest exclusive for the console’s launch this year, which now looks like it is going to have to fight the PS5 with a notably reduced arsenal of games.
According to the report, the developers of Halo Infinite, 343 Industries, felt that “it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday”.
For PS5 gamers themselves this is obviously water off a ducks back – they are well covered with a plethora of exclusive PS5 games to look forward to. But, for Microsoft, this will no doubt be a major blow in its next-gen battle plans.
Microsoft is heading into the next generation as massive underdogs, being outsold by a factor of more than two to one last generation, and Sony sitting pretty with a massive install base lead. If anything over 50 per cent of PS4 owners upgrade to PS5, then Sony is already in the next-gen driving seat, and right now hunger among PlayStation gamers seems ravenous for the PlayStation 5.
It appeared that in order to stand a chance of fighting back against the PS5 asendency, Microsoft needed to fly out of the blocks in the next-gen, with a stellar launch window delivering hardware and games that made PlayStation gamers switch allegiance, as well as winning over the younger generation of players.
With no Halo Infinite, though, that stellar launch looks further away from happening than ever before, and Sony will be increasingly seeing the path clear to another decisive console generation victory.
There are plenty of other rumours swirling about the Sony PlayStation 5. We’ve touched on virtual reality already, and it’s highly probable that Sony is working on version 2 of its PlayStation VR headset – this time though, all the necessary hardware should be built into the PS5, so you won’t need an extra box between headset and console.
Let’s not forget, too, that Mark Cerny himself has confirmed that the original PSVR headset will be compatible with the PS5.
There’s talk that the PlayStation Now streaming service is in line for an update at the same time as the PlayStation 5 arrives, but as yet we’re not sure everyone has the broadband capacity to stream 4K games into their living rooms.
- Sony PS5 could launch alongside a PlayStation holographic display
Based on comments made by a former PlayStation boss, we’re going to see physical discs remain part of the console experience for the next generation of hardware. According to the CEO of Ubisoft, we’re going to see one more generation of traditional consoles before everything switches to the cloud.
That doesn’t mean Sony won’t dabble in it though – it’s partnered with an unlikely ally in Microsoft to work on next-generation streaming services. Expect a ‘Netflix-for-games’ platform to be among your options when the PS5 comes out. A cloud-based new PSP is also rumoured to debut as a companion console.
However, considering that Sony is currently exploring and developing blockchain technology, a technology that has gaming applications, the PS5 could also usher in a new age of second hand digital game sales and trades. The idea that a gamer could lend or trade a digitally purchased game licence is really exciting to us here at T3, and could finally help the industry move on from physical media.
PS5: Xbox Series X beater?
Now that, for many gamers, is the million dollar question. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that Xbox Series X will “set the benchmark for console gaming”, and normally when you set a benchmark that means you have the most powerful set of results.
Key there, though, is just how the benchmark is set. Is it pure hardware numbers ripped from proprietary, in-house testing software? Is it how smooth games run in terms of framerate, or how crisp they are displayed in terms of resolution? Or, for example, is it how slick and game-filled they are in terms of ecosystem? Or how easy it is for developers to tap into that hardware (let’s not forget how the Sega Saturn’s difficult architecture contributed to its fast downfall).
Because, this is the thing, raw specs does not win a console generation. Console generations are won by games, and more specifically where gamers play their games. This is what Sony in the outgoing generation absolutely nailed it and, weirdly for a company that once did this perfectly with the Xbox 360, Microsoft completely dropped the ball with the Xbox One.
The PS4 range of consoles has gone on to sell twice as many systems as the Xbox One family of consoles because it focused on delivering games, games, and more games to its users. Sony’s focus on games and huge library of titles, specifically exclusives, during the PS4 era was absolutely first rate, and this meant that despite the Xbox One X technically being the king of consoles in terms of hardware specs and capabilities, overall Xbox still lost out to PlayStation.
Remember that push by Microsoft about Live TV and Kinect control, about how the Xbox One was going to be the hardware powerhouse media centre that would sit at the heart of all gamers’ setups? It didn’t matter one jot when it came to the crunch, and that crunch was what games could be played on the system, and how much it would cost to play them.
As such, while we think it fair to say that the Xbox Series X will, from what we’ve heard in the next-gen console rumour mill, will technically have the most impressive specs of the next-gen consoles, the difference will actually be very minor and, in the grand scheme of things, won’t make that much difference anyway.
The PS5 should find it very easy to get the Xbox Series X beaten during both console’s launch windows purely due to install base transference, and it should also carry a little momentum, too, from PlayStation VR, which even to this day Xbox cannot counter. Long-term, though, whether or not the PlayStation 5 wins the next-gen console war against Xbox Series X will largely be determined on ecosystem offerings, as well as how well all traditional console makers fend of the advance of new game-streaming services like Google Stadia.