PlayStation 5 Is Official, Releasing Holiday 2020 With a New Controller and Hardware Accelerated Ray-Tracing

PlayStation 5 Is Official, Releasing Holiday 2020 With a New Controller and Hardware Accelerated Ray-Tracing

The name's confirmed, and we'll be seeing the console next year.

It was so unthinkable that the next PlayStation would be called anything other than the PlayStation 5 that you might have forgotten Sony hadn't committed to the name, but now that's changed. Today, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan confirmed that Sony's next-gen console is called the PlayStation 5 and will launch in Holiday 2020.

Ryan's announcement at the official PlayStation blog and a new article in Wired also shed more details on the PlayStation 5's upgraded hardware, user interface improvements, and the haptic feedback features of its new controller.

Wired's Peter Rubin spoke with Sony's system architect Mark Cerny to clarify some PS5 hardware details they originally discussed back in April 2019. Cerny previously said that the PS5 would support ray tracing but did not clarify if that entailed hardware acceleration-it does. "I believe [that] is the statement that people were looking for," Cerny told Wired. Cerny also provided more information on how the PS5's solid-state drive (SSD) can allow for improvements beyond loading speeds. According to Cerny, since the raw read speed of the SSD is faster, it reduces the need to duplicate certain data (think commonly used assets in an open-world game) within a game's files for the sake of faster loading. This could mean smaller game and patch sizes, or allow for "larger or more detailed" games.

Cerny also confirmed that the PS5 will feature a drive capable of 4K Blu-ray playback that will also read 100GB physical game disks. All PS5 games will need to be installed to the SSD, but Cerny says the system will allow "finer-grained access to the data"—Wired offers the example of being able to install either the single-player or multiplayer parts of a game separately.

Wired's article touches briefly on improvements to the PS5's UI, which was not shown during the preview. According to Cerny, "multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time" and "single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive," all visible through the UI without needing to boot a game first.

The preview did allow for some hands-on time with a prototype of the PS5's controller, which "looks an awful lot like" a DualShock 4 according to Wired (it's name has not been confirmed). Ryan confirms that Sony is replacing rumble with a new haptic feedback system and is adding "adaptive triggers" to the L2 and R2 buttons. The Wired preview describes the "astonishing effects" achieved in demos through a combination of haptics and "an improved speaker" in the controller, allowing for distinct and nuanced tactile feedback depending on the terrain the player is traversing. The resistance of the new triggers can be programmed by developers, allowing for differences in tension—the prime example Ryan and Wired's article both touch on is increasing the trigger tension as a bow and arrow is drawn back.

For more on what we've learned about the PS5 (so nice to type that with confirmation) so far, read about Sony's new power targets for the PS5's suspend mode, check out Sony's Spider-Man load time demo, and familiarize yourself with USG's guide to the PS5's specs and other details.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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