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With Google making huge strides to bring the future of gaming to the modern day with the announcement of their cloud-streaming console the Stadia and Microsoft said to be revealing its Xbox plans at June's E3 conference, Sony has decided to tease us with its next iteration of PlayStation console, too.
In an exclusive reveal with Wired magazine in the US, the world has been introduced to some early details of the PlayStation 5 – or, at least, the next iteration of the PlayStation.
And boy is there a lot to unpack: instant loading times, 8K graphics and backwards compatibility are all making us water at the mouth, but is it all achievable?
We've taken the time to gather all the details to discover how much this will all cost, when we will be seeing it – and if it'll be worth your time.
PlayStation 5 release date - When will we be seeing it?
Not for a very long time by the sounds of it. Architect and guiding mind behind much of Sony's console goals, Mark Cerny, was quick to dissuade excitement that we will be seeing a new PlayStation console in 2019.
So far, all that's available to developers and game studios is a dev-kit with early infrastructure to help them prepare for the next generation of games. We don't even have an official title for the next console – though we all lovingly refer to it as the PS5.
Odds are that Sony won't be changing the branding of the consoles to something new, but when you get to the fifth iteration of a console family stretching more than 30 years, it might be worth thinking about calling it something else.
Suffice to say that the next generation of Sony gaming is still firmly planted as 'next' and we wont be seeing any real rumblings of release dates any time soon, although with Death Stranding rumoured to be released on both, 2020 seems likely.
We believe this to be true because Sony's decided not to make a big impression at E3 this year, announcing they wont be delivering any keynotes during the conference. However, we reckon they will probably do their own announcement around the same time, so maybe we will be getting some news in June?
PlayStation 5 price - How much is it going to cost?
Money is always a difficult subject to broach with far-off technology, and costs of the new PS5 remain firmly in the 'unknown' category. During the Wired interview, Cerny remained stony-faced and tight-lipped about price, but we would have to imagine that a bit of kit that allows for 8K gaming would have to be pretty expensive.
The balance that Sony has is to make high-end gaming both accessible and premium while remaining competitive, with Google's Stadia hitting the market soon and Microsoft almost certain to announce their own next-gen console at E3.
Sony still holds all the marbles as the most popular console, but how expensive do they go?
Much of the discussion surrounding the PlayStation 5 revolves around a built-in solid-state drives (SSDs) that helps the console pull data from game files and present them on-screen to you more efficiently – in short, reducing loading times.
But given the reported power of the next-gen console, these SSDs and the inner workings of the console itself are equivalent or better than some of the most expensive PC set-ups available.
Add on to that the 8K capabilities, which is supposedly still at least a decade away from being the cultural norm, and you begin to see how costs could easily rack up into the stratosphere previously known as "PS3 levels".
Rumours persist of an unused (and unconfirmed) quote from the Wired interview with Cerny suggesting it won't cost as much as you might think, as Sony want gamers to actually be able to afford it.
PlayStation 5 specs - How powerful is it?
Okey dokey. Let's get into the complicated, nitty-gritty of the new console.
Before we go into this, you shouldn't expect a simple upgrade to the PS4 – this new console will be a significant shift in how games are presented to you and how you explore them, and it does seem like Sony is committed to providing a "true next-gen experience".
Having said that, there is a big upgrade on both the CPU and the GPU of the next PlayStation, meaning faster speeds, better graphics and more efficiency.
The CPU is derived from the 3rd gen AMD Ryzen series, which has an 8-core processor featuring the new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. This technical jargon roughly translates to "insanely powerful CPU". This is then pared with a custom Radeon Navi GPU which will reportedly handle the awesome-sounding ray tracing.
Ray tracing is a new piece of tech to come to gaming – though it is commonly used in movie VFX – and is a more realistic rendering of how light interacts with a 3D world. This means better reflections, lighting, and ambience – all things that make games look wicked.
Sony is also playing around with the AMD chip to change how audio works in gaming, allowing for more realistic interactions in-game for where sound-sources are in relation to the player.
Most importantly is the notion of improved loading screens. We're sure you've seen the videos whizzing round online showing Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4 pinging Spidey across the map in a mere 0.8 seconds rather than 15 seconds for the current PS4.
If this is actually the case and the PS4 can pull assets from the hard drive and push them onto your screen that quickly then it truly is a next-gen console. Whether it can actually do that consistently, particularly when rendering in 8K remains to be seen.
Exact details on the PlayStation 5 remain scarce, but we will be updating this article with all the latest news as and when we get them, so keep an eye on this page.
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