We’re entering an unusual time. Much like the cycle of a full moon, console launches get people talking, often drive them mad, but ultimately end in a beautiful display worth marveling. During the 2020 holiday season, Sony will begin the (long) process of phasing out the PS4 by releasing the sleek and shockingly white PS5. Still not sure what all the fuss is about with Sony’s next-gen console? Here are ten PS5 facts that should put things into perspective and get you aboard the PS5 hype train.
1. Built with a Lightning Fast SSD
More power means nothing if players have to sit around and wait through tedious loading screens. Sony built the PS5 with speed in mind and utilized a customized SSD to make load times virtually nonexistent. To create such a beast of a unit, PS5’s developers built a 12-channel memory controller from the ground up to send uncompressed data at speeds of up to 5.5GB/sec.
In short, it’s super fast, and you can bet that the next-gen PlayStation is saying goodbye to loading screens and long patch installs for good.
2. The DualShock Evolves
Like an old friend being moved across the country, it’s time to say goodbye to the DualShock. No worries, though, because a much cooler friend is taking his place. The DualSense is a polished, more advanced version of the classic DualShock. While the layout hasn’t changed too much, the PS5’s DualSense has some neat tricks up its sleeve.
One of the most significant innovations is the inclusion of haptic feedback. Unlike the DualShock’s rumble, the DualSense’s haptic feedback will allow players to feel the conditions on the screen. According to Sony, if a player is driving a car through mud, they’ll be able to feel the difference once they return to asphalt.
The DualSense will also feature adaptive L2 and R2 triggers that change resistance depending on the action they’re bound to and a built-in microphone. The controller will see the return of a central touchpad, a USB Type-C charging port, and an internal speaker.
3. It Will Have Expandable Storage
If you’re worried about running into the same storage issues seen with the PS4, Sony has some good news for you. According to Mark Cerny, the console’s chief architect, the PS5 will offer an option for expandable storage.
It won’t be a feature comprehensively available at launch as Sony is working on proprietary SSD storage, but it’s a great stride from having to use an external hard drive or completely swapping out the HDD of the PS4.
4. Capable of 120fps and 120Hz in 4K
There are a few things to keep in mind with this, but yes, the PS5 is fully capable of producing 120 frames per second with 120Hz in a 4K resolution. One major caveat is that developers must design their game to support this frame rate and resolution. Additionally, players will need to have a monitor or TV that can match these specs. Unfortunately, that means shelling out quite a bit of money for a display.
As if 4K weren’t stunning enough, the PS5 is also optimized to support 8K. Again, you’ll need quite a costly display to enjoy those visuals.
5. Offers Ray Tracing Support
To amplify the already beautiful graphics of the PS5, the console’s developers worked to include ray tracing. A game can look good, but its lighting can give it that touch of realism. Ray tracing does this by simulating individual rays of light to create shadows and reflections, just like how you’d see them in the real world. Ray tracing factors in how light interacts with specific surfaces so that it may be reflected, refracted, or even absorbed depending on the situation.
6. Backward Compatibility is Back
After berating Sony for not properly factoring previous generations into the development of the PS4, players are finally getting their wish. PS5 developers are working through the PS4 library to optimize games for the next-gen console. While there isn’t a final number on how many PS4 games will work on the PS5, Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s CEO, confirmed that more than 4,000 titles are being tested for backward compatibility.
7. It Features 3D Audio
The visuals of a game are only a fraction of the experience. To ensure PS5 games sound just as good as they look, Sony integrated Tempest 3D AudioTech into the next-gen console. With the Tempest Engine, developers will be able to make audio cues sound like they’re coming from different directions.
Let’s say you’re in an open room with three unique demons approaching from different sides. With Tempest, you’ll be able to pinpoint which direction a specific demon is coming from based on its audio. Much like virtual reality, 3D audio is an immersion tactic intended to fully engross players in the experience.
At launch, the PS5’s 3D audio will work best with standard headphones, but future updates may optimize it for televisions and surround sound systems.
8. PSVR is Back
Are you worried that your PSVR headset will be obsolete in the next generation? Don’t be. Sony confirmed that the PlayStation VR would be compatible with the PS5. This is in line with the push for backward compatibility with PS4 titles, but that doesn’t mean a PSVR 2 isn’t on the horizon.
As for if there will be new virtual reality titles, that’s yet to be detailed. None of the games featured during Sony’s “The Future of Gaming” reveal event were listed as being VR compatible.
9. The Accessories Get an Upgrade
The DualShock isn’t the only thing seeing improvements in the next generation. When the PS5 launches, so, too, will a new array of peripherals. Among them is an HD camera designed with dual-1080p lenses. As of the console’s reveal, Sony hasn’t confirmed if the camera is primarily for streaming purposes or to work with upgraded VR hardware.
Sony is also releasing the Pulse 3D, a wireless headset that works with the console’s 3D audio support. The cushioned earpieces and sleek design look like an upgrade from the PlayStation Gold wireless headset. PS5 owners will also benefit from a media remote, which has everything you’d expect from a modern media remote, including an option for voice commands.
10. There Will Be Two
The next generation of consoles will definitely have stores like GameStop working frantically behind-the-scenes to remain relevant.
Sony’s PS5 will have two versions available at launch to cater to different types of players. Those that love physical discs will want to opt for the standard version, built with a 4K Blu-ray drive. There will also be a disc-less Digital Edition for players that don’t want a collection of boxes. Outside of the Blu-ray drive, the consoles will be identical, and both will be able to play the same library of PS5 games.
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