A few short months remain before PlayStation 5 ushers in the next-generation of console gaming.
Sony Interactive Entertainment unveiled the PS5’s bold new design alongside a roster of upcoming games that will complement the console’s launch in the fall, during a June 11 live stream event. Ever since then, news about the PS5 has slowly been trickling out, but one key detail about the gaming system still remains a mystery.
Sony has been extremely secretive about the PS5, opting to show off its design half a year after Microsoft had taken the wraps off of Xbox Series X. But the console's future has finally come into focus.
The most recent PS5 announcement revolved around 15 next-gen titles that will be released either right as the console launches in the fall or a year or two afterward. Sony has a stellar reputation for its PlayStation exclusives so it’ll be crucial for the company to maintain that reputation moving into this new era of gaming.
Sony has effectively dominated the current-gen console war against Microsoft. The company announced that the PS4 had become the second best-selling console of all time during an earnings report in October 2019, coming in just behind the PS2. In 2018, Sony hardware made up nearly half of all consoles in use according to a Strategy Analytics report late that year.
But there’s still a lot left to reveal before gamers decide what console they’ll buy this time around. When exactly will Sony release the PS5? How much will it cost? Will ship with full backward compatibility? Here’s everything we do know — and what we don’t.
When is the PS5 release date?
Sony has announced that the PS5 will launch ahead of the holiday season of 2020 but has yet to reveal an official release date, and as of March 18, the company maintains that will still happen.. The company has released the past two generations of PlayStation in November, which suggests the PS5 could follow the same timeline, barring any significant delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sony has stuck by its release date window but multiple analysts and supply chain reports have suggested that delay in PS5 production is likely. The console maker plans for most of the hardware manufacturing for the Series X to happen in China, which was an early focal point of the coronavirus outbreak. As governments and institutions around the world try to halt the spread of the disease that has already killed hundreds of thousands, quarantines have disrupted the workflows and schedules of all sorts of tech and gaming companies.
If Covid-19 doesn’t end up affecting Sony’s launch schedule, a late-November launch is most likely.
The PS4 launched in North American on November 15, 2013 and the PS3 hit shelves on November 17, 2006. Sony has stuck by its console launch date traditions for over a decade, but this year could shake that up.
How much will the PS5 cost?
The same day Grubb confirmed that Sony was planning a PS5 reveal in June, he tweeted that the company would not reveal the console’s price at the event. He told his followers he doesn’t expect the company to announce the PS5’s price tag until at least August, but gamers already have a good idea of what to expect.
The PS5 could come with an eye-watering price tag: A Bloomberg report in mid-February revealed that the manufacturing cost of the PS5 was estimated to be $450 per unit due to a shortage of materials needed for internal components.
That could drive up the new console’s price to $500 or even more if Sony wants to make sizable margins on its sales. A lofty price could spell doom for the console.
When Sony released the PS3 in 2006, it retailed at $499, substantially more than the Xbox 360, which also launched that year. The PS3’s price tag led to a lag in initial sales that even Jack Tretton, former console chief for the company, admitted were due to “missteps” regarding its price. Sony will be wary not to repeat the same mistake again.
But Sony’s grand plan for the PS5 will involve two consoles instead of just one.
There are two PS5 models
Sony revealed that it would launch a PS5 with a physical disc-drive and a PS5 Digital Edition with no disc drive that will require gamers to exclusively purchase and download digital copies of games.
The company has yet to announce if the two models will come with different specs or price tags, but expect more details as the 2020 holidays approach. Inverse expects for the Digital Edition to have more internal storage to let gamers install more games without having to delete other titles.
The Digital Edition might also be cheaper than the standard PS5. Microsoft released a digital-only version of the Xbox One in 2019 at a lower price. Sony could adopt a similar pricing strategy.
Can you pre-order the PS5 yet?
Customers won't be able to pre-order the PS5 until Sony has announced an official price for the console however major retails are already starting to hype up gamers. Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart each have their own PS5 landing page, which will most likely be where you'll need to navigate to lock down a pre-order if you're shopping on any of those site.
There's no word about when pre-orders will become available. PS4 pre-orders went live the same day Sony announced its price in 2013, so expect the same thing this time around.
Could there be a PS5 shortage?
There could be a limited amount of PS5 units when it's released due to shipping constraints because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bloomberg followed up its article about PS5 manufacturer's material shortage on July 15, reporting that Sony has told its supply chain to get 10 million PS5 units out the door by this year. But actually getting them on shelves might be the issue.
The PS5 is manufactured in China and it takes months for products to be produced and shipped to the U.S., which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, reported Bloomberg. Nintendo has been going through a Switch shortage for the majority of 2020 due to this very reason, so securing a pre-order early on might be necessary if you want to be playing the PS5 on launch day.
Will there be a PS5 Pro?
Sony did not say a word about the possibility of a PS5 Pro on June 11 but there has been some chatter that the company could launch a more powerful version of the console eventually.
This rumor resurfaced on March 2 on video games discussion forum NeoGAF where users VFXVeteran stated that they “heard” Sony is preparing two consoles to launch later in 2020.
“Sony is releasing [two] PS models. The base PS5 is 9 [teraflops].” they wrote. “Their other one is also top of the line to compete with [Xbox Series X] ... I also heard that the top of the line models will be expensive. No pricing but I would guess around $600. Also no dates on when the top models will come out for PS5. My guess is that they are going to release both models at the same time.”
VFXVeteran has been privately vetted by NeoGAF’s administrators as an “industry professional,” and high-profile developers have been known to participate in the website's forums in the past. But this isn’t the only evidence we have of a potential PS5 Pro.
Back in September 2019, Japanese games journalist Zenji Nishikawa posted a YouTube video stating that Sony had “acknowledged the interest in a high-end model and wants to give players what they want right from the beginning of the generation.” The report was translated by Wccftech in September 2019. Nishikawa has made accurate predictions regarding the Nintendo Switch Lite in the past, so that lends even further credibility to this rumor overall.
A two-pronged PS5 launch could help Sony overcome the aforementioned price concerts sparked by its supply chain component shortage.
Confirmed features and specs coming to PS5
Here are some of the most tantalizing PS5 specs and features that Sony have revealed so far, along with some information that is still missing:
- CPU — 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU — 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz (variable frequency) Custom RDNA 2
- Die Size — ???
- Process — ???
- Memory — 16 GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
- Memory Bandwidth — 448 GB/s
- Internal Storage — Custom 825GB SSD
- I/O Throughput — 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
- Expandable Storage — NVMe SSD Slot
- External Storage — USB HDD Support
- Optical Drive — 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
- Performance Target — ???
- Weight of Console — 10.54 lbs. notably heavier than the 6.17 lbs. PS4
Here are other standout features that were previously announced:
- Currently available PSVR hardware will be compatible with the PS5.
- Built-in haptic motors in the DualShock 5 will vibrate in various ways depending on the surfaces in a game as well as "adaptive triggers" that could give add resistance in required scenarios.
- The PS5 will let gamers install individual game modes, instead of forcing them to install an entire game. That means if you’re not interested in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare single-player campaign, you can choose to only install the multiplayer. (It's fair to assume you'd still have to buy the whole game though.)
- The PS5’s home screen will show gamers mission details, or if friends are currently squadded up online.
- It will support 8K resolution. That might not matter much right now, but it could be relevant a few years down the line when 8K TVs are more commonplace.
- Sony announced a slew of PS5 peripherals that will likely be sold separately including: the DualSense controller Charging Station, Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, a media remote, and an HD camera
Everything we know about PS5’s DualSense controller
The PS5’s new controller will drop the DualShock moniker of the four previous PlayStation controllers and be renamed the DualSense. The controller was designed to give gamers haptic feedback and comes with adaptive triggers so players get a better sense of touch and feel when playing a game.
Here’s a few more standout features:
- Its form and color scheme was completely redesigned. It’s much more rounded and its primary color is white, with hints of blue and black. The lightbar is now located on the sides of the central touchpad.
- It will come with a USB-C port for much quicker charging compared to the DualShock 4.
- The Share button was replaced with the Create button. Sony hasn’t explained how this new feature will work just yet.
- The controller comes with built-in microphones. So say goodbye to the PS4’s clip-on earbud.
New PSVR hardware could be on its way
There have been numerous patents suggesting Sony is working on a new generation of PSVR hardware for the PS5. A Bloomberg report published February 13 also stated that the company is developing a new headset that is “tentatively scheduled [for release] after the PS5 goes on sale.”
The final product could be completely wireless, come with all-new controllers, and offer high-end specs comparable to something like the HTC Vive at a more affordable price point. The PSVR 2 price could be a lot closer to that of Sony’s current VR headset, $299.
Confirmed and potential PS5 launch games
A strong list of PS5 exclusives and launch titles will be crucial to Sony’s success in the next-gen console war. Here are all of the titles gamers should expect and games that are unannounced but expected to eventually launch on the PS5.
- Horizon: Forbidden West
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart
- NBA 2K21
- Astro's Playroom
- Madden NFL 21
- Gran Turismo 7
- Hitman III
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Observer: System Redux
- God & Monsters
- Destiny 2: Beyond Light
- WRC 9
- Observer: System Redux
- Jett: The Far Shore
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Dirt 5
Unconfirmed, but anticipated
The Sony PlayStation 5 will be released sometime in late 2020.