(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

The PlayStation always offered the AV world more than just games. This has performed well over the years with DVD collection, Blu-rays, and 4K streaming. And what does the PlayStation 5 have to say when it launches? Would that be an 8K machine? Will it support optical media? When is the release date for PS5? So much does it cost for the PS5?

We covered all of the PS5 news when it was released and now after the latest official PS5 launch, we have more details than ever, which gave us our first look at the new consoles.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the PS5 console itself has now been unveiled, considering that the most recent case centred on sports. Make that consoles, in fact, because two versions of the PS5 are actually on the way: one with an optical disk drive and a ‘Digital Edition’ that doesn’t – and both will feature a dashboard that has a “100 per cent overhaul” from the PS4 user interface.

As with the ‘DualSense’ controller already announced, the PS5 controllers are incredibly stylish. In reality, we will argue that the most beautifully sculpted games machine ever built might be this one. The countless ideas produced by fanboys were too traditional, for once.

The event also revealed a number of new accessories, including a new wireless headset from Pulse 3D, a DualSense Charging Station where you can dock two controllers at once, and an HD camera that imitates the console ‘s look.

Of course with this being a games event, we now also know loads about the line-up of PS5 games. There are loads to get excited about, from an expanded and enhanced version of GTA 5 (yes, really), to yet another entry into the Resident Evil franchise and the hotly anticipated Horizon II.

We waited a long time to get to this point. PlayStation ‘s leading architect and console producer, Mark Cerny, had the PS5 info-ball rolling back in an interview in April 2019, and has since built on what we can expect from the October games console alongside Sony CEO Jim Ryan.

At the tech-heavy path to PS5 presentation in March 2020, we received another major PS5 data dump from Mark Cerny. Sony’s live streaming “deep dive” PS5 on the architecture of the PlayStation 5 concentrated heavily on the use of SSD storage and put some doubt about whether or not the PS5 would support Dolby Atmos. Below for more on that.

Back in October 2019, Sony officially announced some information, including the official name and rough release date, and at CES 2020, Sony revealed the new PS5 logo. The PS5 DualShock 5 controller, which we now believe to be the DualSense controller, has also been leaked by Sony.

So, where are we now standing, after the biggest PS5 case so far? Read on and absorb all the details currently available from PlayStation 5, and start saving for your next console.

PlayStation 5 release date

(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

Although a precise date has yet to be announced, Sony has confirmed that the release date for PS5 has Holiday 2020, setting up a battle royal for Christmas 2020 between the PS5 and the upcoming Xbox Series X. 

Previously, Cerny had only said in an interview with Wired that the PlayStation 5 would not be available before April 2020, but at CES 2020, the company finally announced the announcement of PS5 at the end of the year.

When are we going to get this official release date? Having spurned the chance to put us out of our misery at its June PS5 games case, it is now anyone’s guess, and maybe the unpredictable existence of a COVID-riddled globe is prompting Sony to keep its cards close to its chest until far closer to launch. That said, Sony claimed the coronavirus pandemic did not impact the anticipated late 2020 PS5 release date.

PlayStation 5 pre-orders and price

During the June games case, the PS5 price was not announced and is likely to remain under wraps until closer to the start. Yet we can make pricing conclusions based on a variety of factors-namely past console size, PlayStation representative statements, and a variety of leaks and rumours.

Of course, Sony obviously had priced in mind when selecting the two-console solution, offering a full-fat, disc-playing PS5 and a (presumably) more affordable “Digital Edition” disc-less. Maybe the goal is for the Digital Edition to fall below the £400/$400 marks, while the hard drive version would get closer to £499/$499.

Sony would surely not risk a launch price of more than £500/$500 … Or is it? With all that has been said and leaked, we have factored to take our best shot at the PS5 price as well as possible windows for PS5 pre-orders and deal bundles:

PlayStation 5 design: what does the PS5 look like?

We actually know what the PS5 looks like after months of wild rumours, leaks and renders, and it’s not as everyone expected. It will almost certainly prove divisive and can age fast, but at first glance we ‘re impressed.

So far, Sony has opted to display the PS5 almost exclusively in its vertical orientation (it can also be horizontally positioned), where its white shell looks like a high-collared catsuit with a gap that plunges beyond what others would find respectable and generates a ‘V’ to signify that this is the PlayStation console of the fifth generation.

That high, wide collar is separated from the machine’s black body by finned gaps, which are almost certainly designed to allow the hot air generated by the processing bits and parts of the console to escape. Instead of covering the functional part of the design, Sony chose to highlight it with some beautiful blue lighting. It is a shape and purpose that functions together as one.

Although the PS5 is much bigger than the Xbox Series X (and every other console on the list, for that matter), it’s slimmer for what it’s worth, even with the disk drive. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is much slimmer, and the slenderness and simplicity of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition make it clearly the better look of the two consoles, with the disk drive of the regular edition looking a little bulky, particularly when standing side by side. You may also conclude that the Digital Edition was first planned, with the disk drive eventually added with reluctance.

The configuration features two small slots or buttons (which may also be lights but were not illuminated during the reveal) at the bottom of the front of the console, plus a regular USB port (presumably 3.0-certified) and a USB-C further back. The machine’s rear has not yet been identified, so, for now, the sockets it’s got back remain a mystery.

Crucially, the final PS5 concept varies significantly from that of the numerous leaks we’ve seen in the last few months. A patent was registered as an electronic Sony system on 13 August and listed Sony Technical Director Yasuhiro Ootori as its creator. And below is a colourful and graphically rendered version of the black and white sketch that accompanied the patent, thanks to LetsGoDigital.

Will the PlayStation 5 have a 4K Blu-ray drive?

Indeed, 4 K Blu-rays will play on the PS5. Cerny initially only confirmed that the PS5 will have an optical disk drive but we now have confirmation that the PlayStation 5 standard disk drive will also play 4 K Blu-rays.

Will the PlayStation 5 support 8K video?

The PS5 can at least to a degree endorse 8 K footage. The PlayStation 5 will ship from the Radeon Navi family with an AMD Ryzen chip — a 7 nm chip on Zen 2 architecture — and a GPU. It’ll come with SSD capacity, too. The promise from this hardware trio is to grunt fast load times, huge bandwidth capabilities and graphics oodles.

PlayStation 5: DualSense controller

A new DualShock controller comes with a new PlayStation except for this time it does not. Sony has gone to the next level and developed the PS5 partnering DualSense controller.

It’s a sleek, modern-looking style with a two-tone finish in place of the DualShock regular single hue. Sony has promised the latest controller “can captivate all of your senses as you connect with the virtual worlds in PS5 games. DualSense ‘s technology, combined with PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, can give players a fresh sense of immersion.”

The added immersion is designed primarily to come across through a more refined sense of touch. Haptics has replaced the rumble technology to provide more practical input from a wider range. Players are now getting more nuanced feelings like the slow grittiness of driving a car through the mud. The trigger buttons L2 and R2 feature adaptive, programmable resistance so players can experience more or less stress through certain actions.

Of course, DualSense is wireless. So far, there’s no clarity as to how long you get from a single charge, but Sony has stressed it’s been trying to maintain good battery life.

PlayStation 5: SSD storage

According to the March 2020 PS5 update from Cerny, an internal SSD has been the game developers’ most requested feature and, as expected, that is exactly what the PS5 is confirmed to deliver. It provides 100x faster load speeds compared to an HDD, according to Cerny, which means no load screens, ultra-fast streaming and ultra-fast boot speeds too..

The streaming is obviously so quick in real terms that a game can load all the graphics and textures behind an online player faster than the player can do.

The SSD for the PS5 is a custom model with an 825 GB size. That’s big, but not quite massive, particularly given how much room next-gen games are likely to take on.

Fortunately, you can extend the capacity of the console, but doing so is quite complicated.

PlayStation 5: accessories

In addition to announcing the PS5 console design itself, Sony used its June PlayStation event to announce a range of PS5 accessories.

The most interesting thing about the bunch is without a doubt the Pulse 3D headset, which we expect Sony to push as the primary way to enjoy the new 3D audio from the PS5. It does not look dissimilar in design terms to the new Platinum Wireless Headset, but with much more matt white on board. Given how good the last couple of Sony’s gaming headsets were, we have high hopes for this new model.

Sony also made a reassuringly large deal of its new Media Remote that looks designed to make it all the more intuitive to use the PS5 as a 4 K Blu-ray player and video streamer.

We have now already seen the DualSense Charging Station (for simultaneous docking and charging of two controllers) and the HD Camera, and more devices will definitely be revealed closer to launch.

PlayStation 5 VR: will the PS5 be PSVR compatible?

Definitely much. Mark Cerny’s comments point to Sony’s even bigger VR-push with the PS5. The VR technology is set to be built hard into the GPU ‘s construction. He did not say, however, that a PlayStation VR2 headset would be released to go with the PS5.

Given that PSVR is not as resolute as other headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, it would make sense to introduce with the new console a powerful and impressive next-generation headset.

One fascinating twist is that Sony might be working on multiplayer games with a 3D hologram controller for the PS5. To give the illusion of a hologram floating in mid-air, a light emitter with an eye tracker may project an image directly to the retina of the consumer. Just what pictures Sony has in mind is something else, but in your pants, you might want to rethink online gaming.

Which PlayStation 5 games have been announced?

After a huge amount of guesswork and uncertainty, we now have names for a whole bunch of games coming into PS5. Here’s a list of confirmed games during the June PS5 event:

Astro’s Playroom (Japan Studio)

Demon’s Souls (Bluepoint Games / Japan Studio)

Destruction All-Stars (Lucid Games / XDEV)

Gran Turismo 7 (Polyphony Digital)

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games)

Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales (Insomniac Games)

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)

Returnal (Housemarque / XDEV)

Sackboy A Big Adventure (Sumo Digital / XDEV)

Bugsnax (Young Horses)

Death loop (Bethesda)

Ghostwire (Tokyo (Bethesda)

Godfall (Gearbox Publishing / Counterplay Games)   

Goodbye Volcano High (KO-OP)

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online (Rockstar Games)

Hitman 3 (IO Interactive)

JETT : The Far Shore (Superbrothers)

Kena: Bridge of the Spirits (Ember Lab)

Little Devil Inside (Neostream Interactive)

NBA 2K21 (2K, Visual Concepts)

Oddworld Soulstorm (Oddworld Inhabitants™)

Pragmata (Capcom)

Project Athia (Square Enix/Luminous Productions)

Resident Evil Village (Capcom)

Solar Ash (Annapurna Interactive / Heart Machine)

Stray (Annapurna / Blue Twelve Studio)

Tribes of Midgard (Gearbox Publishing / Norsfell)

The Pathless (Annapurna Interactive / Giant Squid)

Most of these games are either exclusive to PS5 or will appear on PS5 before any other console, although it should be noted that the only one we know will be released on the same day as the console is Astro’s Playroom, which will be bundled in.

PlayStation 5 gaming

It is believed that Sony will also increase its focus on the subscription-based cloud gaming platform PlayStation Now and its Remote Play feature.

Microsoft and Sony recently announced they are working together on cloud computing technologies, which will give PlayStation Now almost certainly a boost. The platform has been incomplete until now as far as top gaming titles go and there have been problems with lag and disconnects.

Sony looks to 5 G technology to help out with Remote Play when playing on the move. Currently, the service allows players to stream games from their consoles to other devices such as laptops, mobiles and the PS Vita handheld. That could be bundled into as part of an all-new online platform, however.

Another fascinating aspect of the proposal on communication is that it might link players up to a voice assistant. Rumours are that Sony is working on a service that can provide in-game assistance including game objects whereabouts as well as tips and hints. It will be much more effective when implemented with the right contextual signals than a separate internet search.

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