Sony has finally broken the ice with its recent announcement that the PS5 is officially in production. Slated for a release in late 2020, they have confirmed some information we already knew, revealed some previously unknown things, and effectively started the hype train.
So what do we now know, and what does the current gaming environment and trajectory mean for likely further developments?
What we Know
The biggest two announced features of the PS5 surround the hard drives and the controllers.
Far from the traditional hard drives which PlayStations have included since PS3, the new generation of drives will rely on solid-state memory. This means significantly faster read and write times, which should mitigate many of the problems we have today with growing load delay. Leaked footage from a backward-compatible Spider-Man game, released on PS4, shows enormous reductions in loading times as an example of this new potential.
This might, however, raise some concerns with game installs. Some games released recently have install sizes of well over 100 gigabytes. If this trend continues, we have to wonder exactly how many games we might be able to have installed before deletion becomes necessary.
Fortunately, Sony has touched on this issue. A possible fix for this, they say, comes from a different approach as made possible by SSD speeds. When playing single-player, this will be able to be installed and loaded in real-time. After this, the unneeded data would be automatically deleted, keeping only the core components on deck at all times.
The controller, as much as we have often seen its additions as gimmicks, is also poised for some interesting changes. Improved rumble is one claim, but what we really look forward to is the feature of adaptive triggers.
This concept involves the idea of changing the resistance of the triggers, rather than having one overarching setting. Something like pulling back a bowstring would feel different than pulling a trigger or revving an engine, with this new technology.
As accuracy with fine analog is still a challenge many of us struggle with, this should prove one of the better developments in controller design history.
Given recent developments by Sony, the biggest and most likely change coming with this next console is a more open infrastructure. Although they lagged at first, Sony has now recently reneged on their attitude towards cross-platform play, which suggests further attention in this area to come.
By beginning with this focus, we expect a much greater emphasis not just on cross-platform gaming, but also the surrounding infrastructure. Websites and services which deal with eSports, such as CSGO betting, for example, would benefit enormously from this extended cooperation. Better appreciation here would allow players to more easily keep updated on games and insider changes, making for a healthier overall environment, from dedicated longtime fans and newcomers both.
As we approach the launch date, expect many more features of the PS5, including the ever-important launch-cost, to be announced. Just for safety’s sake, we would recommend saving now. If the rumors of increased backward compatibility are true, the launch period is going to be full of many of us catching up on old favorites, so have your work excuses handy.