Written by Priyanshu Rastogi
Everything we know so far about the upcoming console from Sony
The next generation of consoles is almost upon us. Sony finally revealing the design of their next console has given us even more reason to get hyped when consoles, both from Microsoft and Sony, arrive this year. On June 11, 2020, Sony hosted a live-event (broadcasted on various platforms on the internet) very appropriately named Sony's Future of Gaming, where they revealed not one but two consoles, one with a Blu-ray disc drive and the other without one. In this article, I'll be rounding up all the confirmed details about the console so far and also present my views on certain aspects of it.
Sony made a drastic change to the design this year. Firstly, the new design does away with the classic all-black theme Sony has been rocking since the PlayStation 2. This new look is, as Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation, says “bold and daring”, and “forward-facing and future-facing”, which indeed it is.
My only concern with this design is that-
a) It might give people dealing with Asymmetriphobia a hard time.
b) The aforementioned design might be too ‘forward-facing’.
You see the PlayStation 4’s design was so simple and, bland— if I may— that no one cared about it. You could place it anywhere in your house, and people would be least bothered to look at it. But this new PS5 design is eye-catching, to say the least. It feels like a fancy device straight out of Star Trek. On top of that, the not-so-subtle white and black color scheme is sure to grab attention. All this is not to say, the design is bad. The problem is people might just get bored too soon. Sure it feels futuristic now, but three to four years from now, it might start to feel a bit gimmicky. It is partially like how iPhones from 2017 have started to feel old. All of this, at the end of the day, is just nitpicking. People don't care about the design as much they do about the games and the performance, and that is a sector PS5 is, as we will discuss later, completely fine in.
The controller is also a huge improvement over the DualShock 4 from the last generation, now being called DualSense controller. The design just like the console has been changed, with a more curved look around the side and the bottom, similar to how Xbox controllers have been. Other major improvements include the in-built microphone and speaker, so you don't have to plug in a headset every time you want to play co-op and multiplayer with friends, and haptic feedback and adaptive L2 and R2 triggers. What this essentially means is that L2 and R2 buttons will become more or less resistive depending on how they are mapped by the developer, for the game, which in my opinion is a brilliant immersion tactic and will positively impact the gameplay. Apart from that, DualSense gets a USB-C so you can charge the controller and your phone from the same charger (if you have a USB-C charger, that is).
Specifications are one of the most important aspects of a ‘gaming’ console. In this department, PS5 offers an 8-core AMD Zen 2 clocked at 3.5Ghz and a GPU, AMD RDNA 2 clocked at 10.3 teraflops, with also 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM. All of these are major upgrades over the last generation, especially in the GPU power (PS4 pro had a 4.2 teraflop GPU), but when you compare it to XBOX Series X, you see the specifications are slightly less impressive. XBOX offers a 12 teraflop GPU. In my opinion, the slightly inferior specifications shouldn't be the basis of the judgment of the graphical power of the PlayStation, because graphics also depend on how much games can use that extra power. This is all the more important in Sony's case because many of the games (and I'm talking about the good ones) are made by Sony-owned studios, therefore one would assume Sony would help their developers to get the most out of their system. Besides, Sony has emphasized a lot, since the PS4 generation, that they want to make developing games for their system easier, which would allow the developers to take full advantage of the consoles' power. The custom 825 GB SSD would also help better the loading time of the games, which Sony has stressed on a lot in their last conference. All of these factors would make a slight difference in graphical power with the XBOX negligible. Apart from all that, PS5 also has an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, which is also an improvement over the Blu-ray disc drive in the PS4 pro.
Sony's stronghold since the last generation has been its exclusive line of games. The only reason I believe Sony won the last ‘console war’ was because of the absolutely amazing games Sony-owned studios produce. With the likes of award-winning titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn (one of my personal favorites), The Last Of Us, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and God Of War, Sony absolutely dominated the console games market in the last generation. And it is obviously continuing the trend of releasing wonderful titles to lure the people to their system. In the June 11th conference, Sony announced sequels to some of its critically acclaimed PS4 exclusives, - Horizon Forbidden West (a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn), Spider-Man: Miles Morales (a spin-off of the original one), and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Apart from that, Sony also revealed a bunch of non-exclusives, including Hitman III, Gran Turismo 7, and Resident Evil 8.*
The above line-up already looks pretty star-studded and is quite frankly enough to compel many to buy the system. If Microsoft is going to stand a chance they need to bring in more exclusives under their umbrella or Sony is once again going to come away with more than double the number of sales of their consoles with respect to Microsoft’s.
PRICE AND RELEASE DATE
So, Sony did not reveal the price or give us the release date. Several speculators believe the PS5 (the disc-drive one) could be priced $500 which would be $100 more than what PS4 launched for. Other people believe it might be more than $500, which seems unlikely but is not totally out of question, after all, PS3 released at a price tag of $600 for the top model. The all-digital edition is believed to be a more budget-oriented option, with an expected price tag somewhere in the range of $300-400.
The release date for the console is expected to be somewhere in December, so expect it to start shipping worldwide by February or as late as May.
So far, both the consoles are turning out to be very interesting but Sony has definitely made a huge impact with the reveal conference and boosted the hype for the next generation all the more. Now all that's left to see is whether it lives up to one's expectations.
*See the full list of games revealed, by clicking here.