PlayStation 5: release date, specs, and everything we know

The release of the PlayStation 5 is right around the corner. After the huge success of the PlayStation 4, gamers worldwide can’t wait for the next generation of console gaming. In the past months, Sony has unveiled various details about the upcoming system, and there are still a lot of rumors surrounding the console as well. This article sums up all the facts and rumors concerning the PS5.

PlayStation 5 release date

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will be available during the holidays of 2020. A precise release date hasn’t been announced yet. It is also not clear if the coronavirus will impact Sony’s plans. According to the company, at the time of writing this isn’t the case. It is highly likely Sony will announce the precise release date somewhere in the upcoming months.

The PlayStation 4 launched on November 15, 2013, in North America, November 29, 2013, in Europe and February 22, 2014, in Japan, so perhaps Sony will choose to release the PlayStation 5 in November as well. It is also not clear yet if different regions will get different release dates.

PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5

Microsoft is also slated to release their console around the holidays of 2020. The Xbox Series X will therefore compete directly with the PlayStation 5.

Masayasu Ito, Sony’s executive vice president, claims the upcoming console generation will last around six or seven years. This is more or less in line with the lifespan of the PlayStation 4. As the PS5 releases in 2020, the console will have a lifespan that lasts roughly until 2027, when the next console might launch.

The design of the PlayStation 5

The appearance of the PlayStation 5 hasn’t been unveiled at the time of writing. Multiple game developers own development kits to make PlayStation 5 games though, and the appearance of the dev kit has leaked through photos. The dev kit comes in the shape of a giant V, the Roman number for five. The appearance of the development kit has no connection to the eventual appearance of the console itself, so it is impossible to predict how the PlayStation 5 will end up looking.

PlayStation 5 devkit

PlayStation 5 devkit

PlayStation 5 specifications

Sony has unveiled the definitive specifications of the PlayStation 5. They are as follows:

CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3,5GHz (variable frequency)
GPU: 10,28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2,23GHz (variable frequency)
GPU Architecture: Custom RDNA 2
Memory/Interface: 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
Memory Bandwith: 448GB/s
Internal Storage: Custom 825GB SSD
IO Throughput: 5,5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot
External Storage: USB HDD Support
Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

The PlayStation 5 has the same memory as the Xbox Series X, namely 16GB of GDDR6. The CPU is also similar - both consoles use custom Zen 2 Cores - but PS5 comes with a slightly lower clock speed (3,5 GHz compared to Series X’ 3,8 GHz). The GPU also has slightly lower clock speeds, but they are variable compared to the set clock speeds of the Xbox Series X, meaning developers can be more creative when assigning power to different facets. On PS5, AMD’s Smartshift-technology enables the CPU and GPU to spread out tension, so that they can be used more efficiently.

Just like on Xbox Series X, 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second should become standard on PlayStation 5.


Just like Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 has a Solid State Drive (SSD), which enables a much faster transfer of data – decreasing install times and load times greatly. The custom made SSD in the PS5 has 825 GB of storage space and can reach speeds of 5,5 GB. As an example, Sony showed the PS4-game Spider-Man running on PS5 hardware. Loading times decreased from 15 seconds to 0.8 seconds.

According to Sony, the SSD isn’t only faster, but also more efficient. Lots of assets that appear on various spots in games – like lanterns in a city – have to be duplicated on a normal hard drive, but on an SSD that isn’t the case, saving a lot of storage space.

Sony also supports additional third-party SSD’s for the PS5. However, they will have to be approved by Sony beforehand, to ensure the SSD is fast enough.

3D audio

The PlayStation 5 uses the Tempest 3D Audio engine for music and sound. This engine can simulate hundreds of in-game audio sources simultaneously. This way players can, for instance, make out different raindrops. This also ensures that players can precisely hear the source of a sound and know exactly where an enemy is situated. 3D audio will first be made available through headphones, but eventually, it will be made available through other audio sources as well.

8K and ray tracing

The PlayStation 5 supports 8K resolutions – although this depends on whether or not developers choose to utilize it for their games – as well as ray tracing. Ray tracing is already used in modern PC games with Nvidia GTX graphic cards. This enables a more realistic reflection of light on object surfaces, which in turn makes games look more realistic. Sony has confirmed ray tracing is supported by the hardware and isn’t software based.

The PlayStation 5 controller

The official PlayStation 5 controller – presumably called DualShock 5 – hasn’t been shown to the public yet. According to various sources, the controller will have adaptive triggers. This entails that the triggers on the controller will offer realistic resistance in different situations. For instance, this will let you feel the difference between shooting a gun and shooting an arrow with a bow.

The haptic feedback has also been given a makeover. This, in turn, will let you feel the difference when walking on various surfaces. The speaker in the controller has also been improved and a microphone has possibly been added. According to the French PlayStation website, the PlayStation 5-controller will also work with PlayStation 4.

A photo of a possible prototype of the controller has leaked. At first glance, it looks a lot like the DualShock 4. The controller is a bit bulkier and the touchpad is larger. While the photograph doesn’t show the triggers, rumors claim they are bigger than those on the DualShock 4. The DualShock 5 won’t have a light bar on top of the controller.

DualShock 5 prototype

DualShock 5 prototype

Sony also registered various patents for other possible features on the controller, like the option to track the heartbeat of the player and the moisture of the skin. It is not known if these patents will be used for the PlayStation 5 controller

Rumors about a self-learning algorithm

While not confirmed, it also seems possible the PlayStation 5 will use some sort of self-learning algorithm. In a video from YouTuber Skullzi, he unveils a patent from Sony that might be used in the upcoming console. This algorithm can analyze the playstyle and skill level of players. Based on this info, it can adjust the interface of games or give tips.

Installing games on PS5

Sony has implemented a technique in the PS5 that enables the installing of parts of games, instead of the entire game at once. This way, players can start playing before the entire game has been installed, or choose to only install the singleplayer or multiplayer mode, depending on preference.

Streaming on PS5

Streaming games is a technique that is gaining traction. One day, we might not even need physical consoles in our homes anymore. Games will run on a central server and can be streamed to any device. This is still some ways off though.

Sony has told Wired they want to be ‘cloud gaming pioneers’. Their vision for streaming games on PlayStation 5 will be unveiled before launch. There’s a big chance some sort of streaming service will launch at or shortly after the launch of the PS5.

Sony already has PlayStation Now and has confirmed this service will come to PS5. With PlayStation Now, players can stream over 700 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games to PS4 and PC – and somewhere in the future to PS5.

Sony and Microsoft announced a creative partnership in 2016 that ensures both companies will work together to improve and make use of the cloud options of Microsoft Azure, the server park of the Redmond based company. It is highly likely Sony’s future streaming platform(s) will be run on Azure servers.

Backwards compatibility on PS5

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will be able to play thousands of PlayStation 4 games. At launch, most of the PS4 games will be playable on the PS5, and a chunk of them will even look better. It is not yet known if PSOne, PS2 or PS3 games will be supported on PS5.

God of War

God of War

PlayStation 5 games

There are already some games announced for PlayStation 5, but these are mostly third party titles – Sony has yet to unveil the complete line up of the console. The following games have been confirmed for release on PlayStation 5:

Dying Light 2
Gods & Monsters
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Rainbow Six: Quarantine
Rainbow Six: Siege
The Elder Scrolls 6
Watch Dogs: Legion

While not announced, it is to be expected that the PS5 will host numerous exclusive games from Sony’s internal studios. Sequels to games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man and perhaps new chapters in the Uncharted or The Last of Us franchises seem like safe bets.

Of course, Sony consoles usually offer great third party support. New games in series like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto, and Battlefield are to be expected. Bluepoint Games – known for making various remakes on PS4 – already confirmed to be working on a ‘big’ PS5 game. Rumors point to a remake of Demon’s Souls, but this isn’t confirmed at this point.

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion

PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR, the virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4, has been a success: more than three million units have been sold worldwide. Sony has confirmed the PSVR will work on PlayStation 5. This also means that it’s highly likely that most PSVR games that are available on PS4, will be backwards compatible with PS5.

However, it is expected that Sony will eventually launch a new version of the PlayStation VR that makes use of the added power of the PlayStation 5. That way, framerates and resolutions can be upped. As of now, there is nothing known about a new version of PSVR.

Let’s Go Digital claims to have found a Sony patent that describes a new version of the PSVR. This version could end up being wireless, sporting three build-in camera’s and use new Move controllers.

PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR

Price of the PlayStation 5

Both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 4 Pro launched at $399. It is not known yet if the PlayStation 5 will launch at the same price point, or a higher price. Sony’s Mark Cerny has stated that the console will get an attractive price.

Considering the powerful technology inside the console, most speculate that the PS5 will be more expensive than $399, but by how much is not known.

So there you have it; you’re all up to date with everything known about the PlayStation 5. Hopefully, Sony will announce more details soon, like the launch date and price, as well as the upcoming games!

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