When people began predicting the death of physical media, with BluRay expected to be the last of its kind, many predicted that the games console would follow along afterward.  Rather than crossing the technological equivalent of the River Styx into oblivion, Sony says “Not today!” and announces the PlayStation 5.

Sony has officially set a holiday season 2020 launch window for the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. This means an early November launch to allow Santa’s elves time to get them under your tree in time for Christmas.

President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan has spoken about the console on the PS big announcement was the redesign of the controllers with rumble-pack technology going, to be replaced with haptic feedback on the thin controller.

Adaptive triggers are being incorporated into the L2/R2 trigger buttons.  This means developers can pre-programme the resistance of triggers so that, for example, the pull of a rifle trigger feels different to a switch.

There’s also an improved built-in speaker, a larger-capacity battery, and a USB-C connector so you’ll have yet more leads in that special drawer at home.

They say while heavier than the PS4 controller it’s still lighter than the Xbox One equivalent.

“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… 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.”

There is also a Wired article about the new console’s design and aims. The PS5 will use a CPU based on AMD’s Ryzen line and a GPU based on its Navi family.  This is similar to Microsoft’s Project Scarlett.

System architect Mark Cerny has gone into more detail, confirming the console will support ray-tracing and it’s hardware, not software-based:

“There is ray-tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware.”

Now I have absolutely no idea what any of that means, but my gamer friends are jumping up and down and touching their winkies with excitement, so it must be good!

The games will use 100GB optical disks in a drive that doubles as a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, and it will be backward-compatible with PlayStation 4 games.  This is how Sony won the console wars twice before so it’s a good bet once again.

Game installation will be required like on the PS4, but with an SSD allowing for more configurable, or selective installation.  So no interest in Call Of Duty multiplayer?  Just install the campaign and don’t waste that time of space on what you don’t want!

The SSD is a big part of the developer kits as it should make game design simple and loading faster while allowing for more detailed games.  Cerny used the PS4 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man as an example saying it was not efficient as there are some pieces of data duplicated 400 times on the hard drive.

No word yet on price points or production runs.

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