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Tech

PlayStation 5: What We Know About Specs, Backwards Compatibility, Games, Release Date, Price, Controller, And More

We’re only a few months into 2020, and we’re already getting a bunch of new details around Sony’s next-generation console, the PlayStation 5. Despite the recent coronavirus pandemic situation, the system is fast approaching its launch sometime during this year’s holiday season, and although there’s still plenty we don’t know about it, the latest facts are slowly clearing the fog around what we can expect. Last year, Sony began to reveal some of the first details about their next-gen plans with PS5, and we only expect that to continue in the months ahead, particularly with the official website now launched. [Update: Sony hosted a livestream to discuss PS5 details. It was a largely technical discussion, but we’ve updated the text below with the most relevant details that Sony shared.]

First, we know what the console’s official name will be: unsurprisingly, the console is indeed called the PlayStation 5, just as was to be expected. Additionally, we’ve learned what the logo looks like, and it’s equally unsurprising. During 2019, it was revealed that the PS5 will also have PS4 backwards compatibility and SSD storage, and it will support PSVR. The company has also outlined some green, energy-efficient initiatives it is planning for the next generation.

PS5 And PS4 News And Announcements

  • PS4's PlayStation Plus Free Games For April 2020 Revealed
  • PS5's Release Shouldn't Be Affected By Coronavirus, Sony Says
  • PS5 Specs: Sony Reveals CPU, GPU, SSD, TFLOPs Details And More
  • Everything We Know About PS5's Price, Specs, Games, And Release Window

If Sony follows the outline for how the PS4 was properly unveiled, we can expect it to host a special PlayStation Meeting event. There had been some speculation that such an event could take place in February but that didn’t happen. If or when such an event is held, that could be when we learn about things like a price and launch game lineup. However, when Sony intends to roll out new info, it won’t be at the venue you might expect. Just like last year’s E3, Sony planned to skip E3 2020 before it was canceled, and ditto for GDC 2020 due to coronavirus concerns.

Below you can find all the details known about Sony’s upcoming console. It’s likely we’ll hear more details–big or small–in the coming months, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as more gets confirmed.

  • PS5 Release Date
  • PS5 Price
  • Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?
  • PS5 Specs And Disc Drive
    • PlayStation 5 Specs
  • PS5 Controller
  • Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?
  • Will PS5 Support PSVR?
  • The Logo
  • Energy Efficiency
  • PS5 Games
  • PS5 UI
  • PS5 Release Date

    This is surely the question on everybody’s lips: when will the PS5 come out? Sony, as you’d expect, is tight-lipped on the matter, but it has confirmed a “holiday 2020” release window for the PlayStation 5. The company has been no more specific than that–Microsoft has also provided the same vague window–but historically, November has been a frequent month for console releases in the past.

    PS5 Price

    Again, Sony has not stated how much its new console will cost, but it did say that the PS5’s price will be attractive to gamers. “I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set,” said Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4 who’s currently working on its successor.

    Of course, you wouldn’t expect Sony to say anything different, but one gets the feeling the company has learned from the PS3’s exorbitant price tag–and the console’s subsequent struggles–and the PS4’s more reasonable cost and subsequent successes.

    Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?

    Cerny also confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles are built upon similar internal architectures. This will be welcome news for those who were disappointed by the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games.

    In terms of which games players can expect to play, the full list hasn’t been confirmed. However, Cerny noted that PS4’s 100 most played games will be playable on PS5 at launch and all will run even better than before. “Running PS4 and PS4 titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity,” Cerny said. “The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code just can’t handle it. Testing has to be done on a title by title basis. Results are excellent though. We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”

    He also discussed how backwards compatibility will be approached in the PS5 internally, and how the functionality will not be removed upon subsequent console iterations given the nature of their approach to designing the feature. “One way you can achieve backwards compatibility is to put the previous console’s chip set into the new console, like we did with some PlayStation 3s,” he said.”But that’s, of course, extremely expensive. A better way is to incorporate any differences in the previous console’s logic into the new console’s custom chip. Meaning that, even as the technology evolves, the logic and feature set that the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro titles rely on is still available in backwards compatibility mode. One advantage of this strategy is that, once backwards compatibility is in the console, it’s in. It’s not as if a cost down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3.”

    SIE president Jim Ryan told GameSpot sister site CNET backwards compatibility and cross-gen are important for the PS5 to help players have a seamless transition.

    “Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” he said. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”

    In yet more welcome news, PS4 games will even run faster than they do on your current console, in part because the PS5 will contain a solid state drive, as opposed to hard drives that current consoles ship with. Cerny has demonstrated a load screen from Insomniac’s Spider-Man taking less than a second on a PS5 development kit, compared with 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

    Sony showed off the faster loading times during an investor presentation in May. You can see the video below, which was captured by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.

    PS5 Specs And Disc Drive

    This is where Sony has been surprisingly forthright with new information. The company has confirmed the PlayStation 5 will contain an AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen. It’ll have eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip. The console will also support 8K gameplay, but this will of course be dependent upon TVs catching up.

    Graphics will be driven by a custom version of Radeon’s Navi line. This graphics chip will support ray-racing, something which is starting to become popular in movies and video games. Although it is traditionally thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this technique could also improve game audio. In fact, PS5 will fully support 3D audio.

    The aforementioned SSD is a big detail too, as it means games will load faster and be able to handle more objects on-screen at once than current HDD-driven consoles. Characters and cameras could move faster through game worlds, as environments could be loaded in much faster than they are at present. It will also lead to faster install times for games and patches.

    As one final detail, we know the PS5 will not go the route of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn’t include a disc drive. Instead, the PS5 will include a disc drive, so rest assured you’ll still be able to buy and play physical games. PS5 discs will have a capacity of 100 GB, and the console will also support 4K Blu-Rays.

    Sony has also confirmed that the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs. You can check the full specs below:

    PlayStation 5 Specs

    Component Spec
    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 Bandwidth 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

    PS5 Controller

    Sony has opened up on its vision for the PlayStation 5’s controller by saying: “One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

    “To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the ‘rumble’ technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

    “The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”

    In addition to the above comments from Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan, Sony has also separately confirmed to Wired that the controller “doesn’t have a name yet,” but contains an improved speaker, USB-C connectivity, and a larger-capacity battery.

    Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?

    The PS5 allows users to install non-Sony proprietary expandable storage, giving you the option to purchase off-the-shelf parts to slot into the system. According to a Digital Foundry report, “NVMe PC drives will work in PlayStation 5, [but] the only problem is that PC technology is significantly behind PS5 [and] Sony needs to validate them to ensure that they will work properly.”

    In Cerny’s talk discussing the PS5, he noted that Sony was testing expandable storage devices to ensure that they can physically fit into the PS5 and also deliver the required performance. The company has advised people not to purchase drives ahead of it revealing its recommendations, so don’t jump the gun just yet in your efforts to prepare yourself for the incoming launch. PS5-compatible SSD storage is expected to come “a bit past” launch, though.

    Will PS5 Support PSVR?

    The current PSVR will indeed be supported by PS5, as will the PlayStation Move controllers. “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy,” Cerny has stated, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.” The system architect stopped short of saying whether a new PSVR device will ever come out, however.

    The Logo

    It was believed that Sony’s briefing at CES 2020 could bring with it some PlayStation 5 news, but that only barely turned out to be the case. Sony’s Jim Ryan appeared on stage to share some impressive stats regarding the PS4 and to reveal the PlayStation 5 logo, which you can see below. It’s hardly surprising, maintaining the same style used for recent generations. Beyond that, Sony had nothing new to discuss about PS5 during the tech-focused event.

    Energy Efficiency

    Though Sony has been generally quiet about the PS5 since its announcement, it came forward to reveal just slightly more information in conjunction with the announcement of a United Nations initiative. The Playing for the Planet alliance aims to make the video game industry more environmentally friendly. To that end, Sony announced that the next generation of its hardware will use dramatically less power when placed into suspend/sleep mode. Just one million PS5 users turning on the energy-efficient feature would save enough electricity to power 1,000 US homes. The company is also conducting a carbon footprint assessment and looking into more energy-efficient data centers.

    PS5 Games

    We don’t yet know many confirmed games coming to PS5. It’s reasonable to presume annual titles like FIFA and Call of Duty would make the jump to PS5, though their developers haven’t stated anything concrete.

    Currently, the only confirmed PS5 game is Godfall, a loot-based melee action-RPG. It’s scheduled for late 2020, which more than likely makes it a PS5 launch game. However, time will tell!

    The other game possibly confirmed to be playable on PS5 is the Final Fantasy VII remake, after Square Enix’s president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said: “I believe that our teams have made it so that the game will support both the next generation and the current generation of consoles. I believe it is being developed so that it is going to be playable on both, so I’m not really concerned about that and I believe that the fans are also going to be able to enjoy it on both, including the next-generation of consoles.”

    However, it’s not clear whether Matsuda was referring to a dedicated PS5 edition of the game, or if he was simply referring to the PS4 version being playable on PS5 via backward compatibility. If it’s the latter, then we can technically count every PS4 game as playable on PS5.

    Finally, we know Bluepoint Games, the studio behind remakes such as Shadow of the Colossus and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, is working on a PS5 game that it says is a “big” one.

    PS5 UI

    PlayStation 5’s new user interface will allow you to see more details about friends’ games without opening the applications themselves. “Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games,” says Cerny, “We don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up. Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”

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News

GI Show – PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: What It All Means

On this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, I am joined by Ben Reeves, Alex Stadnik, and Leo Vader to chat about recent VR games Half-LIfe: Alyx and The Room VR: A Dark Matter. The big talker for the show, however, is discussing the battle between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and what we think all the hardware stats really mean. We finish with the always-entertaining and enlightening community emails.

We do this week’s show from our homes as we hunker down in quarantine, so please forgive us for any audio or video hiccups as we deliver content outside the studio.

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. 

You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

Left 4 Dead’s Future: 6:03
Half-Life: Alyx Review Discussion: 7:14
The Room VR: A Dark Matter: 24:58
PS5 Vs. Series X: 37:47
Community Emails: 59:03

The GI Show podcast is a weekly recap of exciting releases, exclusive details on upcoming games, and in-depth interviews with developers. Watch or listen to a new episode every Thursday!

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

GI Show – PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: What It All Means

On this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, I am joined by Ben Reeves, Alex Stadnik, and Leo Vader to chat about recent VR games Half-LIfe: Alyx and The Room VR: A Dark Matter. The big talker for the show, however, is discussing the battle between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and what we think all the hardware stats really mean. We finish with the always-entertaining and enlightening community emails.

We do this week’s show from our homes as we hunker down in quarantine, so please forgive us for any audio or video hiccups as we deliver content outside the studio.

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. 

You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

Left 4 Dead’s Future: 6:03
Half-Life: Alyx Review Discussion: 7:14
The Room VR: A Dark Matter: 24:58
PS5 Vs. Series X: 37:47
Community Emails: 59:03

The GI Show podcast is a weekly recap of exciting releases, exclusive details on upcoming games, and in-depth interviews with developers. Watch or listen to a new episode every Thursday!

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
PC

One Year Of PlayStation Plus Available For $38

For a limited time, PlayStation Plus, one of the best deals in gaming, is going for an extra-great price.

Over at Ebay, you can get a year of PS Plus on sale for $38. While the listing describes the product as a “subscription card,” this is an emailed code you’ll receive within 24 hours, according to the reviews. After receiving the code, you can then redeem it in the PlayStation Store. If you already have a membership, it’ll be extended by 12 months.

The listing mentions that there are “limited quantity available,” so make sure to take advantage of this deal while it lasts. A 12-month PS Plus subscription rarely drops below $40, so it’s worth snagging a code at this price when you see it.

PS Plus grants access to online multiplayer as well as free monthly games. This month, members can claim Shadow of the Colossus and Sonic Forces at no cost. March’s free PS Plus games are available until April 7.

Best Deals This Week

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  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Best Switch Accessories, Amiibo, Plushies, And More
  • New Baby Yoda Merch Revealed–See Everything Here

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Categories
News

Is Minecraft shutting down? Rumours sparks panic among players

Minecraft is one of the biggest games of the past decade, arguably the biggest game if we really wanted to put a fine point on it.

And let's be honest, the game has never been better, not least after introducing cross-play with PS4, Xbox and PC at the end of last year.

That's on top of the fact that only in October, at Minecraft's big Minecon event, Mojang and Microsoft revealed the next big Minecraft update coming to the game.

But the Minecraft Nether Update wasn't 2019's only big Minecraft news, because Minecraft Earth also launched, bringing a new form of augmented reality sandbox game to android and iOS devices.

So it seems especially odd to see rumours circulating this morning suggesting that the increasingly popular series was not just in trouble and but potentially shutting down in on December 21, 2020.

So do the millions of fans of the game around the globe have anything to worry about? Is Minecraft really shutting down? Here's everything you need to know to set you straight (don't worry, it's good news).

Is Minecraft shutting down in 2020?

Thankfully no, the developers Mojang have no intention to shut down the Minecraft servers in 2020

According to Polygon the rumours surrounding Minecraft shutting down appear to have originated from a prank site known as Channel45news.com.

"This prodigious rumor appears to come from prank site Channel45news.com, which published a “story” that was picked up by a major search engine and promoted alongside legitimate outlets in its news feed." Polygon explains.

The full post from the website reads:

"Mojang has announced on their Twitter that Minecraft will shut down their servers on December 21st, 2020. The founder, Markus Alexji Persson, known as “Notch,” says that he feels like 11 years was enough for the game’s period and it should say it’s farewells and leave the stores when the end of 2020 hits, according to his interview. Minecraft became a smash hit and took over Fortnite in half a month in popularity. It has been gaining more and more players the more days that passed on, and when the clock strikes midnight and when the day reaches the 21st of December of 2020, the game will say its goodbyes and thank them for the memories they gave and received for more than a decade."

However, we pray that most who bother to click on the site will not be fooled because there's a ruddy clown on the sidebar with a sign that reads "You got owned".

We doubt many will know, but the Channel45news domain is specifically designed to let users generate false headlines to be shared online.

Despite the clearly rubbish website enough people appear to have been duped into thinking the game was actually shutting in 2020 and shared the information in kind with others on social media.

But if you really want some clarity on the situation, Microsoft community manager Helen Zbihlyj has also tweeted to put any rumours to bed, telling readers:

“Minecraft is NOT stopping, Mojang is NOT closing.”

So there you have it. Minecraft isn't shutting down in 2020 .

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Categories
News

Overwatch Echo Release Date: When does Echo come out on PS4 and Xbox One?

Overwatch's latest hero, Echo, is the 32 to be added to the game and based on what Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has said, she will also be the last before Blizzard releases Overwatch 2.

Echo has been teased for going on two years ago and debuted at BlizzCon 2018 in a cinematic with McCree and Ashe..

The robot is a creation of robotics expert Mina Liao, who for those who dive deep into the game's lore, will know as one of the founding members of Overwatch.

At present, the only way players can experience Echo is through the Overwatch PTR, a public test realm where Blizzard can fine tune the character before the hero is released to the wider player base on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

However, having been released last week, Echo has already been nerfed once so it's clear that the devs might have their work cut out to make this evolutionary next step that bit more balenced.

With this in mind, many might be wondering, exactly when is Echo going to be released? Let's try to give you some guidance and work out when you'll be able to start playing as Echo on PS4 and Xbox One.

When is the Overwatch Echo character release date?

Some players believe that Echo could be released on March 23, based on cryptic 'date' shown in a previously tweeted image related to Echo.

You can see this in the tweet above.

Whilst it's quite possible that Echo could release on March 23, this would be rather unprecedented, with most new characters spending at the very least one week in PTR before being released.

However, a more realistic timescale suggests that the character could remain in testing on the PTR for at least three weeks.

Most recent heroes have required roughly three weeks of testing before hitting the main game.

It's also especially important to get Echo right, with the character being one of the more unique heroes we've seen added to the game.

Echo's ultimate is called Duplicate and effectively allows players to turn into an enemy hero for 15 seconds at full health.

This makes Echo an especially tough character to counter. Coupled with her flying abilities – which have already been nerfed once since releasing – we suspect there's going to need to be some careful tweaking to make the character balanced for a full release.

Realistically, we think it could be until April 9th before we see the character introduced into the full game.

Of course, should this change, or if Blizzard provides any further info, we'll be sure to update the page letting players know.

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Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

PlayStation 5 Specs Revealed: Console VR Gets Modern PC Power

Sony today revealed the specifications for the PlayStation 5. It will bring high end PC power to console VR, however, the GPU isn’t as powerful as the Xbox Series X.

In April last year, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will support the existing PlayStation VR headset. The company had also revealed that PS5 will run PS4 games- however today it was revealed that not all PS4 titles will be available at launch.

Specifications

The PlayStation 5 is a big leap in performance over the PS4 Pro, and in a completely different league to the base PS4, which launched seven years ago.

  PlayStation 4 PlayStation 4 Pro PlayStation 5
GPU: 1.8 TFLOPS (18x GCN2 CUs @ 0.8GHz) 4.2 TFLOPS (36x GCN2 CUs @ 0.9 GHz) 10.3 TFLOPS (36x RDNA2 CUs @ max 2.2GHz)
CPU: 28nm 8-core @ 1.6GHz 16nm 8-core @ 2.1GHz 7nm 8-core @3.5GHz
RAM: 8GB (176GB/s) 8GB (218 GB/s) 16GB (448 GB/s)
Storage: 500GB 5400RPM HDD (0.1 GB/s) 1TB 5400RPM HDD (0.1 GB/s) 825GB PCIe 4.0 SSD (8-9 GB/s)

The GPU is several generations ahead, almost six times as powerful as the PS4. This is due to AMD’s latest RDNA2 architecture, also used in Xbox Series X. Whereas many PC VR games had to have the resolution scaled down on PS4, this probably won’t be the case for the PS5 for at least a few years.

In PC terms, the GPU should perform very similarly to NVIDIA’s RTX 2070 Super.

The CPU clock speed has almost doubled. Developers should be able to utilize this to bring games with detailed physics simulations and more advanced AI to PlayStation VR. Could it be enough to bring over Half-Life: Alyx to PSVR? We hope so.

The CPU and GPU use a variable clock speed system, which allocates frequency between each based on the current workload. While this allows for GPU frequencies never before seen in a console, it also means that developers won’t be able to get maximum performance for both CPU and GPU simultaneously.

Developers also now have a lot more RAM to play with, and the memory bandwidth has roughly doubled. But the most significant improvement in this upcoming console generation is the move from mechanical hard drives to fast solid state drives- an almost 100x increase in storage performance.

Not only will this allow for loading times a fraction as long, but combined with the RAM improvements will enable much more detailed, and larger, open worlds.

New Technology

Of course, devices like consoles are more than just raw specs. New hardware features can also enhance what developers can do with the system:

  • Hardware Accelerated Ray Tracing (like NVIDIA RTX, this enables significantly more realistic lighting)
  • Tempest Audio Engine supports hundreds of spatialized audio sources
  • Geometry Engine provides hardware acceleration for tasks like occlusion culling
  • HDMI 2.1 w/ Variable Refresh Rate (up to 120Hz)

Comparing To Xbox Series X

According to Microsoft, Xbox Series X will not support VR at launch, and it isn’t their focus even in the long term.

The Xbox Series X does seem to be a slightly more powerful console overall, however:

  PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X
GPU: 10.3 TFLOPS (36x RDNA2 CUs @ 2.2GHz max) 12 TFLOPS (52x RDNA2 CUs @ 1.8GHz)
CPU: 7nm 8-core @3.5GHz 7nm 8-core @3.6GHz
RAM: 16GB (448 GB/s) 10GB (560 GB/s) + 6GB (336 GB/s)
Storage: 825GB NVMe SSD (8-9 GB/s) 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD (4.8 GB/s)
New Features: Tempest Audio Engine
Geometry Engine
Variable Rate Shading
Quick Resume

It’s possible that the Series X will cost more than the PS5. However, it’s also possible that the performance difference is due to the radically different form factors. Microsoft ditched the standard console design for a PC-like tower, whereas Sony may be looking to maintain roughly the same form factor.

Bridging The Gap To PC

Today, there are essentially three “tiers” of consumer VR graphical fidelity- PC (Rift / SteamVR), console (PSVR), and standalone (Oculus Quest).

The release of the PlayStation 5 should eliminate the gap between PC and console VR, allowing a larger audience to access high fidelity virtual worlds. If the price of the current PlayStation VR headset is reduced, we could see bundles as low as $700- significantly less than it would take to even build an equivalent PC, never mind the cost of the headset.

Of course, Sony is also working on a next generation PlayStation VR headset. While this almost certainly won’t launch alongside the PS5, we’re excited to see what specs that headset can have with the power of the new console.

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Categories
News

PlayStation 5 Will Be Backward Compatible With MOST PlayStation 4 Games

We’re all still reeling from Sony’s super dry and technobabble filled PS5 tech reveal stream, but there is one bit of news we learned that is a little concerning. According to lead console architect Mark Cerny, the PlayStation 5 will be compatible with “most” PS4 games. As a matter of fact, the top 100 most played PS4 titles will be ready to play at launch, implying that not everything is good to go on the system.

According to Cerny, some older game code “just can’t handle” the new specifications that the PS5 brings to the table. The console’s internal logic is similar to that of the PS4, but there’s a technical hurdle in just how much faster the new console is. Testing will be done on a “title-by-title basis,” but don’t expect all of your previously purchased games to run on day one.

This isn’t dissimilar to how upgrades to PC hardware and software over the years have rendered some games unplayable. When titles were written for specific graphics cards or CPUs, emulating them can be a tough task even on the most powerful of systems. Still, Sony shifted to a unified x86 architecture for the PS4 to avoid issues with future compatibility and is now claiming the opposite.

One other interesting bit we got from the stream concerns storage. On the PS4, users can hook up external hard drives and install games on them to alleviate storage problems. This is mainly for people with massive libraries as the PS4 allows users to swap the internal hard drive for a larger one. On PS5, a similar system will be in place and it seems like your old PS4 formatted drives will work without a hitch.

Still, that doesn’t help much with the lack of full backward compatibility support. Sony likely has its hands tied with regards to the technical specifications here, but this news is a massive disappointment. With Microsoft working tirelessly to ensure that the Xbox Series X will play all generations of Xbox consoles on a single device, Sony seems to be working in a totally different direction. I wouldn’t expected every PlayStation console to function, but at least the PS4.

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Categories
PS4

PlayStation 5 hardware specifications revealed

Nearly a year after Sony first began discussing its next-generation console, the company provided detailed information on the PlayStation 5’s system architecture in a dry technical presentation on Wednesday by Mark Cerny, lead system architect for both the PlayStation 4 and PS5. The livestreamed talk was accompanied by an in-depth Digital Foundry piece based on an interview with Cerny.

During the presentation, Cerny said the CPU will feature eight Zen 2 cores with a variable frequency up to 3.5 GHz, and the GPU will be “a custom AMD GPU based on their RDNA 2 technology.” The peak GPU performance will be 10.28 teraflops, based on 36 compute units running at up to 2.23 GHz.

While the technical capability of the PS5’s hardware falls short of the 12 teraflops of GPU performance that Microsoft is packing into the Xbox Series X, the next-gen consoles will not be defined solely by raw power output. For one thing, the PS5’s processing hardware is much more efficient than the PS4’s, so a single compute unit delivers more performance. Cerny said that the PS5’s 36 compute units are roughly equivalent to 56 PS4 compute units, since the PS5 compute units have 62% more transistors.

“The change to a variable-frequency approach will show significant gains for gamers,” said Cerny during the presentation.

Perhaps the most significant component of the PS5 is that the console’s internal storage will be a solid-state drive. In interviews last year, Cerny said that Sony has built custom software and connectivity for the console’s SSD to enable vast improvements in loading times and in generating game environments. Cerny confirmed that the drive, which will offer 825 GB of storage, will connect via the PCIe 4.0 interface.

PS5 owners will be able to expand the system’s internal storage by buying some off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs and installing them in an expansion bay in the console. However, there are caveats — Sony is undertaking a certification program, since the drives must meet or exceed the speed of the console’s internal SSD and must fit within the bay. The certification is “likely to be a bit past [the PS5 launch],” said Cerny, so don’t go buying any SSDs just yet.

PlayStation 5 hardware specifications

Feature Details
Feature Details
CPU eight AMD Zen 2 cores at up to 3.5 GHz
GPU 10.28 teraflops / 36 compute units at 2.23 GHz
GPU architecture custom AMD RDNA 2
Memory / interface 16 GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 448 GB/s
Internal storage custom 825 GB SSD
I/O throughput 5.5 GB/s (raw), typical 8-9 GB/s (compressed)
Expandable storage NVMe SSD slot
External storage USB hard drive support
Optical drive 4K Blu-ray

Cerny also focused on the PS5’s audio capabilities. Sony built a custom hardware unit for 3D audio that it calls Tempest 3D AudioTech. This was partly because of the company’s specific goals with audio, which precluded the use of existing object-based audio solutions such as Dolby Atmos. (Cerny also noted that Sony wanted the PS5’s 3D audio to be available to all users, not just those with headphones or sound systems with support for a licensed standard such as Dolby Atmos.)

“Headphone audio is the current gold standard for 3D audio on PlayStation 5,” said Cerny, adding that Sony is working on 3D audio via sound systems and virtual surround delivered through TV speakers. He added that because Tempest 3D AudioTech’s positional sound is based on a mechanism known as the head-related transfer function (HRTF) that is different for every human being — it’s like a fingerprint — the PS5 will allow users to choose between five different HRTF settings to get the best 3D audio experience.

The PS5 will offer hardware acceleration for real-time ray tracing via the same technology powering AMD’s upcoming PC graphics cards, Cerny said. Sony previously said the PS5 will support gaming in 4K resolution at up to 120 frames per second. And the console will be fully backward-compatible with PS4 games, although Sony has not yet provided details on how that will work. Cerny did say that Sony expects the PS5 will be able to run “almost all” of the 100 most popular PS4 games when the console launches this fall. And users can hook up a USB external hard drive to the PS5 and run PS4 games off of it.

Sony is planning to launch the PS5 in the 2020 holiday season, which is the same release window that Microsoft has given for the Xbox Series X.

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The Netherlands’ Bonami Game Museum has Begun Creating a PlayStation 5 Experience Zone

Later today Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) will be lifting the lid on its next-generation console, the PlayStation 5 (PS5). Even with the current world climate that has created plenty of excitement with fans eager to see what the new design looks like. While the launch isn’t taking place until the end of 2020, locations around the world are already making preparations, like the Bonami Game Museum which is building a PlayStation 5 Experience Zone.

With a few months to go until PlayStation 5 arrives the museum has really started preparations early with a massive wall decoration now up. It’ll further develop the area so visitors can enjoy the most up to date console gaming experience SIE will offer.

“Gamers are looking forward to the arrival of the PlayStation 5. Our museum will receive the PS5 as one of the first in the Netherlands. We are already preparing for this, so that visitors can experience the differences between the PS4 and PS5 for themselves. Naturally, we also have something fun in store for the Xbox enthusiasts, more about that later,” says John Groenewold, owner of the Bonami SpelComputer Museum, reports Let’s Go Digital.

Located in Zwolle, Bonami SpelComputer Museum has a range of retro gaming and modern consoles to offer visitors, possibly the largest videogame console collection in the Netherlands. From 90s classics like the Atari Jaguar or the Goldstar 3DO ( as well as older devices) to modern machines like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch, there’s something for every videogame fan. Virtual reality (VR) hardware is on hand with the museum owning an Oculus Rift – a Nintendo Virtual Boy is also part of the collection.

Let’s Go Digital also notes that BAAS, the Amsterdam PR agency for SIE Benelux, has said that the coronavirus (COVID-19): “has not yet delayed the launch of the PlayStation 5 for the time being.” Companies have reported supply chain issues arising from the fact that either everything is built in China or some components are. PlayStation 5 probably hasn’t gone into production just yet but there could be knock-on effects in the months to come.

As further details on PlayStation 5 and its support for PlayStation VR come to light, VRFocus will let you know.

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