We round up everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far, including the recent hands-on video featuring the new DualSense controller - along with the latest rumours about pricing and the possibility of the PS5 featuring swappable plates.
When is the PS5 release date?
Sony has confirmed holiday 2020 as the official release window for the PS5.
As we suspected it would, this release date puts it directly in line to compete with Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Series X, which is due for release in the run-up to Christmas 2020. The battle of the next-gen consoles is coming.
While Sony hasn't revealed exactly when during the 'Holiday 2020' release we should expect to see the console, multiple leakers have consistently claimed that the PS5 will be released on 20 November 2020 in North America, and will cost $499.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) will launch PlayStation®5 (PS5™) in several countries in the holiday season of 2020 and will make PlayStation®5 (PS5™) available in North America on November 20, 2020 at a recommended retail price (RRP) of $499 pic.twitter.com/fe4jKlHmrH— PlayStation (@PSErebus) November 19, 2019
The alleged price and release date both sound realistic, and the Twitter user has a track record after correctly predicting the original The Last of Us 2 release date, but it's worth taking this with a pinch of salt.
This same date was seen on an Amazon France listing for the console that allegedly appeared on the site briefly on 15 June before being taken down, but Amazon has since told Techradar that "The screenshot showing a PS5 product page... is a fake and is not coming from our website." So don't put too much stock in this one:
Adding further support for that date, Twitter user IronManPS5 also suggests a 20 November date for the launch, though adds that the console will launch in Japan a week earlier, on 14 November.
PlayStation 5 will be available in North America and Europe on November 20, 2020 at a recommended retail price (RRP) of $499, €499 and £449 pic.twitter.com/YoiDaGiIJo— Iron Man (@IronManPS5) June 18, 2020
On the other hand there is separate evidence of an October launch for the console. That comes from a job listing posted by Sony for a role in Japan, shared by the usually reliably tipster Nibel. This seems unexpectedly early to us though, so we'd put more stock in the November rumour.
A Bloomberg report from early August claims that Sony's "next announcement" is due this month, so it sounds like the company might be ready to reveal the console's release date soon - or even its price.
How much will the PS5 cost?
Without knowing exactly what's on offer, it's impossible to accurately predict how much the PS5 will cost. Going by the RRP of the PS4 (£229) and PS4 Pro (£349), we can only assume Sony will aim around the £400-500 mark, which aligns with rumoured prices.
A complicating factor is that we know there'll be both a PS5 and a PS5 Digital Edition, with the latter likely to cost less since it lacks the 4K Blu-ray disk drive, similar to Microsoft's Xbox One S: All-Digital Edition.
The PSErebus leak above included a price of $499 for the console, which we now assume to mean the regular console, not the Digital Edition.
The Amazon France listing mentioned above included separate pricing for the two models though, with €499.99 for the regular edition of the console and €399.99 for the Digital Edition, which matches up to that leak well - but since Amazon itself has discredited that leak this is most likely just an educated guess from a fan.
Amazon UK also listed the console pricing by accident, though before the Digital Edition was known about, offering a 2TB model of the PS5 for £599.99. That's more expensive than we would have guessed, even for the standard edition, so we wonder if it means there will be both 1TB and 2TB versions of the hardware.
Store listings are notoriously unreliable for pricing though - they often simply use placeholders - so don't put too much stock in either of these price leaks.
How to pre-order the PS5
We may not know when the PS5 will launch or how much it will cost right now, but rumours are rife that we're going to find out soon. Widespread rumours claimed pre-orders would begin on 13 July - that didn't happen, but the real date could well be imminent.
As always, take that with a pinch of salt, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Amazon and Currys are both letting UK shoppers register interest in the console - so you'll get an email when pre-orders begin - and it's probably worth signing up to both so that you're first in line when pre-orders do go live.
It helps that Sony has at least confirmed that we'll get some notice of pre-orders when they do start. PlayStation head of worldwide marketing Eric Lempel told Geoff Keighley that Sony will let fans “know when pre-orders will happen."
"It’s not going to happen with a minute’s notice," he added. "We’re going to, at some point, let you know when you can pre-order a PlayStation 5 so please don’t feel like you have to go run and line up anywhere until you receive official notice on how that will work.”
Redditor u/Kgarvey spotted that if you did into the source code on PlayStation Direct - Sony's relatively recent US hardware store - you can spot an error message that indicates Sony will be limiting PS5 pre-orders to one per household:
"You can only purchase one version of the PS5™ Console: Disc or Digital. You have already added one PS5™ console to your cart."
Of course, this limit may only be for PlayStation Direct, and not apply to other retailers - and even if it does, there won't be anything to stop you from ordering one console each from multiple retailers when pre-orders do kick off.
What does the PS5 look like?
Pretty slick, to be honest! The PS5 ditches the all-black finish of the PS4 (and most previous PlayStations) for a snazzy white finish, with black insides and some blue LEDs to seal the deal.
It boasts curved edges and a stand designed to sit vertically, though it's also capable of lying horizontally which is a relief. That means it should fit comfortably in most TV stands, unlike Microsoft's blocky Xbox Series X design.
And as we've mentioned before, there are two versions, one with a disc drive and one without, and unsurprisingly the latter is a little smaller. Both feature both USB-A and USB-C ports mounted on the front.
Oh, and want a neat little touch? Watch the video again closely, and look out for the textured white bits on the inside edge - they're inlaid with the four PlayStation button symbols.
If you're not a fan of the white colour scheme of the PS5, you may be in luck: a leaked photo of the faceplate suggests that it may be swappable, allowing PS5 gamers to switch up the look without buying an entirely new console. It was popular with the Xbox 360, so it's entirely possible that the long-forgotten feature could make a resurgence with the next-gen console.
What about the controller?
The controller is one area where we do have something concrete, as in April 2020 Sony officially unveiled the PS5 controller, the DualSense:
Aside from the striking black-and-white colour scheme there are a few things to note straight away. First up, the face buttons have lost their colour-coding, so you'll have to get good at remembering which shape goes where. The light bar - rumoured to be getting cut from the new pad - is in fact still here, but now sits to either side of the touch-sensitive pad in the controller's centre.
The Share button has been renamed the Create button, and Sony has teased it could have better integration with streaming or social media services for sharing content. There's also an integrated microphone, removing the need for a dedicated headset (though we imagine the quality won't match a proper headset), and USB-C charging is a welcome 2020 touch.
As for the actual controls, things are mostly the same. Adaptive triggers on L2 and R2 are the big upgrade, which when paired with improved haptic feedback will allow you to feel the tension of pulling back a bowstring, in Sony's example.
In July journalist Geoff Keighley got the chance to try the DualSense out for himself while playing Astro's Playroom - a free game that will come bundled with the PS5 - so check the full video out below to see the DualSense in action and get his thoughts on the design and the new adaptive triggers.
What are the PS5 specs and features?
- 7nm 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU
- Radeon Navi GPU with ray-tracing support
- 825GB SSD storage
- 16GB GDDR6 RAM
The PS5 will feature a CPU and GPU made by AMD with the aim of powering up to [email protected] gameplay experiences.
The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen series, and will contain 8-cores on the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture - which sounds very similar to the next Xbox's CPU, also based on Zen 2.
The company has emphasised that this is a chipset designed in collaboration with AMD, and that the collaboration goes both ways, meaning that AMD may release a consumer PC CPU or GPU using some of the features found in the PS4 - but that this is a direct result of the two companies working together, not a matter of Sony simply using an off-the-shelf component.
The GPU will be a variation on Radeon’s Navi family and will support ray tracing, a graphics technology that allows the path of light to be rendered more realistically within a game - allowing for accurate reflections in water and deeper, more responsive shadows.
Ray tracing technology was originally debuted by Nvidia with the launch of its RTX cards at Gamescom 2018, and you can see its effects in the video below.
Though some had speculated that ray tracing would be done via a software-level fix, system architect Mark Cerny debunked this theory in an interview with Wired, stating "There is ray tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware."
The hardware improvement that has been most widely requested by developers and players alike is an SSD (solid-state drive). As games get bigger and graphics get better, more and more is required from the hardware that stores the games.
The PS5 will come with an SSD that will read data at 5.5Gb/s, which Cerny says will in practice result in load times 100 times faster than the PS4. That means almost instant game loads and fast travel, along with freeing developers up from game design that loops players around winding paths to avoid loading too many textures at once.
The console is even expected to include a feature that lets devs 'deeplink' to specific parts of a game so that you can load them direct from the console menu without loading everything else. That means you could jump straight into a specific level, race, or multiplayer mode without ever having to go through the game's own menus.
That faster SSD will also free up RAM, as more assets will be loadable directly from the SSD. That means RAM will be used to greater effect, with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM available in the console.
Sony has also confirmed that the console will be upgradeable with internal M.2 SSD storage. That's friendlier than Microsoft's reliance on custom expandable storage cards, but there is a catch: only certain M.2 drives will be the right size and speed to work in the console, with Sony warning that it may not have a list of compatible drives ready until after the console's launch.
The game installation process will also be improved, making it more configurable for users. For example, if your game comes with both a single-player and multi-player campaign, you'll have the option on whether you want to install just one or the other to save space on your console. You can also delete these campaigns after you've used them, keeping the core game data but deleting what you don't need.
In terms of multiplayer, the PS5 will have game servers which will allow players to see joinable games in real-time, as opposed to having to boot up each individual game like on the PS4. Single-player games meanwhile will include information on mission rewards in the UI - should you wish to view it.
The new AMD chip will also contain a custom unit for a 3D audio, allowing for much more immersive audio as you’ll be able to hear sounds distinctly from all directions using what Sony is calling the Tempest Engine, designed together with AMD based on GPU tech.
The idea is essentially to create more powerful virtual surround sound that will work for any sound system - not just licensed Dolby Atmos peripherals - though the company warned this is a work-in-progress, with headphone support ready now, but work on stereo and true surround systems still ongoing. The quality will also depend heavily on the exact makeup of your ear, so Sony will offer a choice of five sound profiles at launch and a test to help you pick the best one for you.
The PS5 will also be backwards-compatible so you’ll be able to play PS4 titles on the next-gen console, with the core chipset designed to be capable of simulating the PS4's own core, factoring in the architectural differences between the two. Basically that means you'll be able to play most PS4 games on the PS5, though as always some may not work fully, and in fact Sony will soon require that PS4 games submitted for certification work fully on the PS5 too.
You'll even be able to use your existing DualShock 4 to play those backwards-compatible titles, but the controller won't work with PS5 games. You will be able to pair it with the PS5 and use it to play PS4 titles on the new hardware, but PS5 software will require the new pad.
If all that wasn't enough, a September 2019 patent seems to showcase an AI-powered voice assistant branded as PlayStation Assist that gamers can use to get in-game help without having to pause the game and Google it.
As per the patent, the voice assistant should be able to dynamically respond to queries and provide users with "gaming assistance", allowing the system to show you where to find a nearby medkit or help you solve a particularly confusing puzzle.
Considering the DualSense controller includes a built-in mic, we think this could be one of the killer features of the PS5 that Sony is yet to announce.
Will the PS5 offer VR support?
Sony has confirmed that VR will be a focal part of its next-generation console, which won’t come as a huge surprise. However, we don’t have any firm details on what exactly the strategy will look like as Sony is keeping it firmly under wraps for the time being.
The current PSVR headset will be compatible with the next-generation console, so you won’t need to buy a new one, as will the existing PS Move and PS Aim controllers.
However, we would be surprised if a newer generation headset didn’t appear at some point to make use of the new level of hardware see on the upcoming console. For more on a potential next-gen headset, take a look at the latest PSVR 2 news.
What PS5 games have been confirmed?
Following Sony's hour-long gameplay reveal on 11 June, plus some games confirmed elsewhere, we now have a massive list of titles confirmed to be coming to PS5.
- GTA 5 Remastered
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Gran Turismo 7
- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
- Project Athia
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Destruction AllStars
- Astro's Playroom (pre-installed on the console)
- Demon's Souls Remastered
- Horizon 2: Forbidden West
- Ghostwire Tokyo
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits
- Goodbye Volcano High
- Oddworld: Soulstorm
- Solar Ash
- Hitman III
- Little Devil Inside
- NBA 2K21
- Destiny 2
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Observer: System Redux
- Hellblade 2
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- Resident Evil VIII
- Tribes of Midgard
- The Pathless
- Madden 21
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Far Cry 6
We even know what PS5 games will look like on your shelf, thanks to the leak of what looks to be official box art from the upcoming Spider-Man: Miles Morales spin-off.
Things haven't changed too much, but the PS4's blue banner at the top of game boxes has now been swapped out for white to match the console's new finish: