Sony enters the new generation after having sold more than 113 million PlayStation 4s and accruing 45.9 million subscribers to PlayStation Plus, a position that puts its new console in pole position.
Sony has decided to tackle the new generation with two PS5 models: a standard one with an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc reader for 499 dollars and a digital one without an optical drive for 399 dollars.
The price, release date and design of PS5 were data that we took a long time to learn, an opacity that cost Sony more than one criticism during the summer. Until then the company had revealed several technical aspects of its new console, which on paper is inferior to Xbox Series X, but when Sony began its roll out the enthusiasm for PS5 soared.
PS5 equips an AMD signed and custom APU that hides a 3.5 GHz (variable frequency) octa-core Zen 2 processor and a 2.23 GHz (variable frequency) RDNA 2 architecture GPU that offers 10.3 teraflops performance and features with ray tracing support via hardware. They come with 16 GB GDDR6 with a bandwidth of 448 GB / s and an SSD with a capacity of 825 GB that has been designed by Sony itself and that is capable of moving data (raw) at 5.5 GB / s.
Of all the PS5 hardware the most prominent element is the SSD. Sony has made the flag of its ultra-fast storage unit and during the technical presentation The Road to PS5 the architect Mark Cerny explained its construction and how they hope it will change the way of developing the games. At the same conference, Cerny also highlighted the Tempest Engine, a technology that promises to evolve the way games are heard. The architect confessed that he was thinking about improving this aspect since the launch of PS4.
However, the SSD has a handicap, it offers 667 GB of non-expandable space until an update is released. With games occupying between 50 and more than 100 GB, it can be crowded if the player is demanding. Other possible drawbacks are not being able to store PS5 games on an external hard drive (this will be fixed), not giving native support for 1440p resolution (maybe it will come later as well) and only allowing you to make a backup of saved games using PS Plus.
What’s new in PS5 starts with its hardware and ends with the controller. After 25 years with the DualShock, Sony has put the batteries and taken a step forward with DualSense, a peripheral that bets on incorporating haptic response, a technology that promises to provide a much broader response to increase immersion. Additionally, the controller features adaptive programmable resistance triggers, a touch panel, and a Create button (based on the Share button) for sharing and streaming content with the world. They say that whoever tries it is delighted.
PS5 has been designed to offer games at 4K resolution, but whether they are native or not seems like a secondary element thanks to checkerboarding, a technique that has worked very well on PS4 Pro. It remains to be seen that players will be able to differentiate between a game at around 1900p uploaded at 4K via checkerboarding and another at 2160p (4K). In this sense, Sony seems to prioritize 60 FPS and it is clear that the movement is demonstrated by walking and the potential of its console is exhibited by the games, not the numbers.
PlayStation Studios, the name under which all Sony’s internal studios meet, has been put on a gala to welcome the new console. Unlike the Xbox Series, PS5 will be surrounded by several first-party titles, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales (which includes Spider-Man Remastered with the Ultimate Edition), Demon’s Souls and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. The only handicap of the titles for PS5 developed or published by PlayStation Studios is their price, which can reach up to 79.99 dollars.
With PS5 the news also comes to PlayStation Plus, incorporating the PlayStation Plus Collection, a benefit that offers access to a powerful lineup of games from the past generation such as Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XV, God of War and Persona 5. Another advantage of subscription on PS5 is the official game aid.
We also have news in backward compatibility, Sony making a great effort to make almost the entire PS4 catalog compatible with PS5, comfortably fulfilling its objective.
Looking ahead, PS5 players already know what to expect, having the full power of PlayStation Studios at their service, a network of development teams that has delivered some of the best games of the generation we just left behind. At the moment we already have confirmed for 2021 Gran Turismo 7, Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok.