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PlayStation 5: Price, release date, specs, games and details
The next generation of Sony's popular game console is set to be released in late 2020.
What's in this guide?
- PS5 Specs
- Where can I buy the Playstation 5
- What's new?
- PlayStation 5 vs. PlayStation 5 Digital Edition
- How much will the PlayStation 5 cost?
- How is the PS5 design?
- Experience: DualSense controller, UI and VR
- Performance and specs
- What games are on the PlayStation 5?
- PlayStation 5 peripherals
- What is Suspended Gameplay and how is it helping climate change?
- How soon will the PS5 be out of stock?
Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 5 console comes in two models: premium and digital. The anticipated release date for the PS5 is mid-November 2020, setting up a rival for the Xbox Series X for the holidays. Its bespoke CPU, GPU and SSD storage solution, virtual reality support and exclusive games will make it a hot big-ticket item this upcoming holiday season.
Where can I buy the Playstation 5
The PS5 released both the digital and physical disc edition on the 12th November. Currently the console goes in and out of stock online from retailers with stock selling out within hours each time it’s restocked. We’ve got you covered with up to date information on stock availability, sales and current pricing at Finder.
The DualShock controller, which has been with us in various iterations since 1995, has changed its name to DualSense. A new Pulse 3D headset will accompany the console as well as a new, as yet unnamed, HD camera.
PlayStation 5 vs. PlayStation 5 Digital Edition
The initial reveal included two versions of the system: PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. It appears that the only difference between the two consoles is the Blu-ray disc drive for the PS5. However, there may be more concessions under the hood to help bring the cost down.
How much will the PlayStation 5 cost?
Sony didn’t include the cost of the PS5 in its press release, however, looking at the price of the initial price of PS4 over $400, we can expect something higher. According to a Bloomburg reporting, prices could go up because of a rise of price in Microsoft manufacturing cost could be around $470. The premium model is expected to retail for $499 ($399 for the digital model), according to a user on Twitter.
The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is a hint that gamers may be in for quite an investment with the top tier PS5 device. Sony may feel like it needs an entry-level machine at a lesser price point for those who can’t find the cash for the top tier machine.
However, Sony can’t risk going too high with its cost. When it launched the PS3 at $600, consumers turned their back on the console in favor of the Xbox 360. There’s also little doubt that purse strings will be pulled tighter than usual this holiday with many suffering job uncertainty or loss as a result of the coronavirus economic downturn.
Thankfully, Sony is releasing its console in a direct head-to-head with the Xbox Series X. This competition could drive down the price of both consoles.
With that all in mind, we’re hopeful that the PlayStation 5 premium edition will hover around the same price point as the PS4 at launch.
How is the PS5 design?
- Bold new look
- Designed to stand vertically, but can sit horizontally
- Type-A and Type-C USB ports
- UHD 4K Blu-ray disc drive on premium model only
It’s going to take some time for Sony fans to adjust to the bold new design of the PlayStation 5. Whether you stand it vertically or horizontally, it’s a spectacle. The curved inner box is sandwiched between two angled sails, resulting in something that is ultra-modern.
But is it too much?
The Internet was harsh in its initial reaction, with many commentators complaining of its ugly design. You have to credit Sony for its bravery to try something new. And the design certainly stands in stark contrast to the pillar-from-the-gods look of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
The new DualSense controller, the Pulse 3D headset, the HD Camera, a sleek new Media Remote and a DualSense Charger dock have all been revealed. As a collective, the feel of the new console is easier to swallow, and you do start to get a better idea of the vision.
Experience: DualSense controller, UI and VR
- DualSense offers haptic feedback and adaptive triggers
- Controller has a built-in mic and headphone jack
- Touchpad retained and Share button evolved into Create
- Will support PlayStation VR headset and games
The DualShock controller has been a staple of the PlayStation playing experience for 25 years, but it’s officially dead. It is being replaced by the DualSense for the PlayStation 5, which has a refined shape that is said to accommodate a larger range of hands sizes. Ogres and kids will be happy.
Sony believes the name DualSense is more indicative of how the controller behaves, thanks to two big additions.
The first is Haptic Feedback, which is the next level in rumble tech. Rather than just being an effect, the vibrations you feel through the controller will more accurately reflect the gameplay.
The second is Adaptive Triggers, where the pressure required to pull a trigger is reflective of the gameplay. For example, pulling back the string of a bow gets harder as you progress.
Motion controls are retained, but the colored bar that ran along the front of the DualShock 4 has been axed. The Share button has been renamed Create, and we can only speculate as to why, but surely it involves activating a live stream direct from the controller.
Elsewhere, a microphone, speaker and headphone jack are all included on the DualSense, suggesting the controller will be flexible enough to offer audio solutions on its own or work with a headset of your choice.
At the time of writing, the UI has not been revealed. We also haven’t received any information on potential changes to the PlayStation Plus membership program. Certainly, this is an area where Sony falls behind Microsoft, given its competitor’s Game Pass and xCloud offerings.
In better news, the PS5 will support the PSVR headset.
Will PS4 controllers work on the PS5?
Especially in the coronavirus economy, many gamers will have fingers crossed in hope of their DualShock 4 controllers from the PS4 era working on the PS5. Microsoft has announced that the Xbox will allow for such flexibility, but Sony has yet to confirm a similar service for the PlayStation 5.
That said, the signs are promising. We know that the VR headset will be compatible with the PS5, which means the PlayStation Move controllers will be, too. They’re even older than the DualShock 4! As such, it would seem likely that the DualShock 4 controller will work with the PS5, especially as it connects simply via Bluetooth.
There just might be some experiences, or games, that may not work as advertised given they’re optimised for the features of the new DualSense controller.
Performance and specs
- 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU
- Custom AMD RDNA 2-based GPU
- 10.28 teraflops of power
- Support for ray-tracing
- 825GB SSD with 5.5GB per second read speed
- 8K capable, 4K at 120fps and 3D audio enabled
On paper, the PS5 is on a level with the best consumer PCs on the market. It would also appear to be slightly behind the Xbox Series X in raw guts.
However, that’s not the full story. Rather than take off-the-shelf components, Sony has worked to customize not only the way the PS5’s power behaves but also the speed of its SSD storage. These two tweaks are said to make the PS5 a lot more powerful than it looks on paper and there is a stream of developers coming forward to crow as much.
But there are still reasons to be wary. The 825GB internal SSD is woefully small, even less than the PS4 when it came out in 2013. Games take up a lot of space — sometimes upwards of 100GB, especially after patches and DLC. So, you’ll only be able to have a handful of games accessible at any one time.
In the PS4 era, you’d just buy an external SSD to compensate. I have three hanging out of my PS4; it looks horrible. But Sony has made it clear that if you want your game to behave well and look great, it needs to be installed on that internal SSD as it’s so unique. This sounds like grounds for a lot of frustrating storage management and multiple downloads.
Before the release of the PS3, the console was clearly more powerful than the Xbox 360. It also had a customised processor capable of using the hardware in extraordinary new ways. Problem was, it was too convoluted for developers working on multiformat games, who struggled to bring the game across from PC to the system.
The end result was delayed releases for PS3 of multiformat games, and even then, they still suffered performance issues not found on other formats. You’d hope Sony would have learned its lesson and such issues won’t beset the PS5, but it’s certainly something to consider.
What games are on the PlayStation 5?
- New Gran Turismo, Spider-Man, Horizon, LittleBigPlanet and Ratchet and Clank games
- Backwards compatible with the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games
- Japanese studios supporting the PS5
- Motion control and virtual reality game support
Sony has a big battle on its hands to win hearts during the release window of the PS5. The Xbox Series X will launch all guns blazing with Halo Infinite, the next iteration in one of the biggest franchises of all time. It’s a genuine system seller. Furthermore, it’s backing that up with Forza Motorsport 8, too. It’s a huge one-two punch of blockbuster brands.
Sony’s initial game reveal event threw one marquee brand into the fight: a sequel to mega-hit Marvel’s Spider-Man, called Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. As one of the PS4’s biggest selling games, it’s no slouch, but it’s also no Halo.
Elsewhere in the initial announcement, we did see a host of big-name franchises come to the party with blockbuster sequels. New games in the Gran Turismo, Horizon, LittleBigPlanet (via Sackboy: A Big Adventure), Ratchet and Clank and Astro series are great news, but they’re not looking like they will be there for launch.
In better news, third-party support from leading Japanese studios looks good. Square Enix (Project Athia), Tango Gameworks (Ghostwire: Tokyo) and Capcom (Pragmata, Resident Evil 8: Village) are all on board, although these titles have no release dates either and are multiformat. A revamped version of GTA V was also heavily leaned on during the PS5 reveal, but remakes won’t sell consoles.
The initial reveal also stayed clear of VR, suggesting that while compatible, it won’t be a significant focus of the launch. Which is a shame given VR is a huge point of difference for the PS5. Also still in the wind is word on PlayStation Plus. Will there still be free games? Will PlayStation 5 be getting its version of Microsoft’s Game Pass?
That all said, there are still over 80 games in the pipeline for PS5.
Will the PS5 offer backwards compatibility?
“The PS5 has been designed to play PS4 games. We’re going through the process with the publishers and developers testing that rather exhaustive library of over 4,000 games. We’re happy with the progress that’s been made.” – PlayStation CEO, Jim Ryan
Yes, the PS5 is backwards compatible. Unlike the PS4, the feature will be available at launch; however, not every PS4 game will be backwards compatible initially, with more titles drip-fed over time. Sony has declared that it will focus first on the Top 100 PS4 games as ranked by playtime.
Ultimately, though, the vast majority of video games made for the PS4 will also work on the PlayStation 5. In fact, Sony has put an edict on developers that any game released after July 12 for the PS4 must work at launch on the PS5. Sony says that PS4 games running on PS5 will benefit from “a boosted frequency” and “higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions.”
Remember that some developers are working on PS5-specific versions of their games. Examples include Fortnite, Cyberpunk 2077 and Dirt 5.
PlayStation 5 peripherals
- New Pulse 3D headset
- DualSense charger
- New HD Camera
While there is still plenty more to learn, we have got an insight into some of the key peripherals that will accompany the PS5 into the market. All of them follow nicely in the wake of the core console’s design, with sleek, white aesthetics.
The Pulse 3D headset will provide a solution for those hoping to enjoy the top-end 3D audio the PS5 supports. Similar to Dolby Atmos, 3D Audio is a next-gen technology that looks to recreate the way sound moves, bounces and refracts on its journey through an environment. The headset should capture that, and with dual noise-canceling mics, is well suited to online play. From what we can see, it will connect via USB dongle, too, so no cords.
The HD Camera is oddly named to the point where we wonder if it’s a working title. The PlayStation Eye has been the go-to branding for this peripheral in the past and still fits.
While its most obvious use will be for VR gaming, we wonder if it will also tie-in to the new Create button on the controller. A Sony representative told us it can be used “for gamers to broadcast themselves along with their epic gameplay” suggesting it’s streaming inspired. Its dual 1080p lenses are certainly impressive. Plus we like that it can be mounted on top of your TV screen like a webcam.
Less exciting, but still welcomed, is the Media Remote. It’s most interesting feature is a microphone for voice control. This suggests some sort of virtual assistant will reside in the user-interface. Will it be an established voice like Google Assistant or something bespoke to Sony?
We’re also happy to see a dedicated charging dock that can hold two DualSense controllers at once. The lack of available USB ports for charging – especially after you connect VR and external HDs – was the bane of the PS4 era, and hopefully, this will be its solution.
What is Suspended Gameplay and how is it helping climate change?
You may not be aware that Sony has long been partnered with Playing for the Planet, an initiative charged with aligning video gaming with the goals of the UN Environment committee. As part of that, Sony has been working first on the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and now with the PS5, to implement hardware that can reduce power consumption.
“We have made substantial commitments and efforts to reduce the power consumption of the PS4 by utilizing efficient technologies such as System-on-a-Chip architecture, integrating a high-performance graphics processor, die shrink, power scaling, as well as energy saving modes such as Suspend-to-RAM.” – Jim Ryan, Sony CEO
For the PS4 generation, Sony claims its efforts have reduced carbon emissions by over 16 million metric tonnes.
For the PlayStation 5, Sony has revealed that its new Suspended Gameplay feature will make the console even less power-hungry than the PS4. The company has not detailed how this feature will work, but it would be fair to assume that when a game is paused, the console will not stay running at full operational power, but will instead micro-sleep in some way.
Sony has said that for every 1,000,000 players that implement this feature, the equivalent carbon emissions of 1,000 homes will be saved. Considering it will also save players money, it would seem like a no-brainer.
How soon will the PS5 be out of stock?
It would be a weird question in any other year, but in 2020, it has become unique in the shopping scene. The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the gaming industry. Not only were many of the console production facilities, or more accurately the production facilities for the many parts within a console, impacted, but so too were the teams working on the launch itself.
While it has not been officially confirmed, there has been a steady stream of rumors suggesting that stock levels for the PS5 (and the Xbox Series X) could be limited in the initial months. If demand is high, we may see shortages deep into 2021.
With that in mind, if you’re committed to getting a PS5 on launch day, then you should seriously consider preordering.
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