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PS5: Release date, price, specs, games and more

(Image credit: Sony)

The launch of Sony's PS5 is imminent, and both official news and major leaks have been flying fast as we get closer to the start of the next console generation. Sony has already confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is real and launching in Holiday 2020, and will boast serious specs including 8-core processors and zippy SSDs that all but eliminate load times.

But there's still plenty we don't know about Sony's upcoming console, including what its launch library will be, which accessories will be supported and what kind of other next-gen features to expect. Here's everything we know so far about the PS5, including its release date, confirmed specs, expected games and more.

PS5 cheat sheet: what you need to know

  • Release date: Holiday 2020
  • Price: TBD
  • Key Games: Godfall, Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, The Elder Scrolls VI; full PS4 backwards compatibility
  • Specs: 8-core AMD Zen CPU, AMD Navi GPU, custom SSD, 4K Blu-ray player
  • Key Features: Ultra-fast loading times, ray tracing, 4K visuals at 120Hz, haptic controller

Latest PS5 News and Rumors

  • A recent 4chan leak reposted on Reddit suggests that the PS5 may be revealed at a special February 5 event.
  • After skipping E3 2019, Sony is not attending E3 this year once again, meaning no PlayStation news out of the Los Angeles conference. It's widely assumed that Sony will have its own event planned for the PS5 announcement.
  • Sony has announced that the PS5 will have exclusive games at launch that won't be playable on the PS4. Is it just a cynical marketing ploy to drive sales, or a good way to prove the potential of the new console? Whatever you think, it's interesting that Microsoft's doing the opposite.

PS5 release date

According to Sony, the PlayStation 5 will officially launch in Holiday 2020. That will put it right up against Xbox's Project Scarlett.

Despite teasing the PS5 logo at CES 2020, Sony didn't have any further details to share about the console's specific release date. However, Sony's Jim Ryan did mention at the company's CES keynote that more information about the console will be announced at a later date.

We could get an official PS5 release date and price in just a few weeks. According to an anonymous 4chan post, Sony may be hosting a February 5 PS5 reveal event in which it will unveil the console's design, key features, games and release date.

PS5 price

The PS4 found big success by undercutting the Xbox One at launch with its $399 price tag, but the PS5 might not be quite as affordable. In his quarterly forecast (as reported by Twinfinite), Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda predicts that the system will launch for $499, which is $100 more than what the PS4 and PS4 Pro sold for at launch.

PS5 specs

(Image credit: Future)

The PS5 will be powered by a CPU based on AMD's third-generation, eight-core Ryzen processor, as well as a custom GPU based on the AMD Radeon Navi line. That graphics card will allow the PS5 to deliver ray tracing, which is an ultra-realistic lighting technology that was first made popular by Nvidia's RTX cards. As noted by TFT Central, the PS5 could even support Nvidia G-Sync, thanks to Nvidia opening up the technology to AMD GPUs.

According to a translated tweet from known hardware leaker Komachi Ensaka, the PS5's fast 2-GHz GPU could double the power of the Xbox One X, and deliver comparable performance to Nvidia's RTX 2080.

The system's CPU will allow for 3D audio, which promises to be more immersive than that of the PS4 whether you're playing with headphones or through your TV speakers. The PS5's massive power will also allow for resolutions of up to 8K (for reference, the PS4 Pro maxes out at 4K.) The PlayStation 5 will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player for physical discs.

Cerny noted that the system will feature a speedy SSD (solid state drive) for loading games faster. In a demonstration, Cerny showed off that the system's new SSD, a segment of Marvel's Spider-Man that normally took 15 seconds to load took under a second. Additionally, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will support physical discs. In a follow-up with Wired in October, Cerny also noted that the SSD may allow players to download specific portions of games, such as the story campaign or multiplayer suite.

Sony demonstrated even further just how powerful the system's new SSD will be at a corporate strategy meeting in May. In a statement sent out after the meeting, Sony noted that the next-gen PlayStation will deliver more immersive experiences via "dramatically increased graphics rendering speeds, achieved through the employment of further improved computational power and a customized ultra-fast, broadband SSD."

A video from the meeting posted by The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki shows the same Spider-Man load test that Cerny gave to Wired. In it, a new area can be shown loading in less than a second on the next-gen PlayStation, compared to 8 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

In an interview with Cnet in June 2019, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that the PS5 will support 4K visuals at a refresh rate of 120Hz, which could lead to extra-smooth graphics for folks with high-refresh-rate displays. In September 2019, Ryan noted on the PlayStation blog that the PS5 will have the ability to "suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4," which he says would save close to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes if one million users were to enable the feature.

A Sony patent discovered by gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad suggests that Sony is working on an AI voice assistant dubbed PlayStation Assist, which would allow you to get in-game help in real time by simply asking questions with your voice. This sounds like an expanded version of what Xbox offers with Alexa and Google Assistant, with Microsoft's console already allowing you to open apps and games via voice controls.

PS5 controller

In October 2019, Sony provided Wired with an exclusive look at the next DualShock, which is reportedly very similar in design to the DualShock 4. The new controller appears to have some sort of microphone (perhaps for the system's rumored voice assistant) and will sport haptic feedback for more immersive rumble.

In demonstrations for Wired, Sony showed off how the controller could make you feel the difference between track and dirt in a racing game, or the difference between trudging through sand and gliding on ice in a platformer. The new DualShock will also have adaptive triggers, which will allow you to better feel the tactile sensation of things such as firing a bow and arrow or driving off-road. 

PS5 Devkit Cleaning from r/PS5

In January 2020, images of Sony's purported DualShock 5 taken by someone who allegedly works as a cleaner for Sony's dev kit systems ware posted to Reddit. The prototype controller pictured in the images looks a bit chunkier than the current DualShock 4 (perhaps to accommodate the haptic features), with the same general button layout in addition to what looks like some sort of new connection point at the bottom.

PS5 design

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

A Sony patent discovered in August 2019 could give us a clue about the PS5's potential design. The patent images show what looks like a chunky game console, complete with a slew of USB ports, a disc drive, and a unique V-shaped chassis that could help keep the system cool. 

The folks at LetsGoDigital mocked up their own PS5 render based on the patent images, proving how the odd shape could actually turn out to be an attractive game console.

The folks at Gizmodo were sent images of the alleged PS5 dev kit, which are reportedly identical to the patent images that have been circulating for months. What's more, the report claims that both the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett will pack integrated cameras for hassle-free livestreaming. 

In late November, a Twitter user posted images of what appear to be the PS5 dev kit out in the wild, complete with the same large V-shaped design we've seen in previous renders and leaks. However, it's worth noting that developer hardware tends to look very different from the final product, and it seems very unlikely that the huge boxes shown in these images are retail PS5 units.

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X

When PS5 launches in Holiday 2020, it will be in direct competition with Microsoft's Xbox Series X. Both consoles seem to be targeting similar specs and performance ranges, with each system touting custom AMD Zen 2 processors, custom SSDs that all but eliminate load times and advanced RAM for supporting features such as ray tracing.

We already know that Series X will support features such as Variable Refresh Rate (making the console ideal for G-Sync and FreeSync gaming monitors), as well as Microsoft's own Variable Rate Shading technology, so we'll have to see if the PS5 will counter with similar tech.

Of the two consoles, only the Series X has a final, confirmed design, touting a tower-like shape that's built for maximum airflow and can be positioned both horizontally and vertically. Leaked PS5 dev kits have pointed to a chunky horizontal design, but we'll have to see how the final build shakes out.

And then there are the games. Xbox Series X will feature titles such as Halo Infinite and Hellblade II. While we don't have any confirmed first-party Sony PS5 games just yet, it's safe to assume the next God of War, Spider-Man and Horizon titles will live on the new console. Fortunately for PS4 and Xbox One owners, both PS5 and Series X will be backwards compatible. 

PS5 features: VR, cloud gaming and more

We already know that the PS5 will support the PlayStation VR headset, and could usher in a new version of the popular virtual reality accessory, possibly labeled PSVR 2. A new patent seems to indicate that the cameras on the PSVR 2 are going to replace the PlayStation Camera that came with the original PSVR. In theory, it should make your movements more accurate. On top of that, the cameras in the front of the headset will allow you to see what’s going on around you, so everything will seem transparent. The patent also indicates that the PSVR 2 might even be wireless as well.

But here's where things really get interesting: in May 2019, Sony and Microsoft announced a surprise partnership in which the two companies will share resources to further their own cloud gaming, AI and enterprise products. Does this mean the PS5 will have an improved version of PlayStation Now, or an entirely new cloud platform to compete with Google Stadia? We'll have to wait and see.

PS5 backwards compatibility

Yep! In the Wired interview, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will play PS4 games as well as support the current PlayStation VR headset.

However, the jury's still out on whether the PS5 will play games from older PlayStation generations, as was rumored several months ago.

PS5 games: The titles to expect

(Image credit: Sony)

Interestingly, Sony has said that the PS5 launch exclusives won't be playable on PS4. The Xbox Series X will not be doing this though, and instead will share its new games with the Xbox One and PC. There are arguments for both, but it looks like Sony is hoping to make its new console a little more desirable by making sure you can't get the brand new exclusives anywhere else.

We now know that the long awaited The Last of Us: Part II is coming to PS4 on May 29, 2020. And while PS4 games will work on PS5, we wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of enhanced edition for the new console, much like Sony delivered with The Last of Us: Remastered on PS4. 

As far as third-party games, Bethesda already confirmed that its upcoming Starfield game is a "next-generation" experience. Counterplay Games' upcoming action-RPG Godfall will also come to PS5 this year.

According to our friends at GamesRadar, Ubisoft confirmed in a conference call that upcoming titles such as Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters and Rainbow Six Quarantine will be optimized for PS5 and Xbox Scarlett.

We also wouldn't be shocked to see a version of The Elder Scrolls VI and Cyberpunk 2077 land on Sony's next-generation hardware. And since they release like clockwork, expect new Madden, NBA 2K and FIFA titles around the PS5's launch window.

Renowned remake studio Bluepoint Games (Shadow of the Colossus) told Wired in October that its "working on a big one" in regards to its upcoming PS5 game.