Recently every gaming website and YouTuber has had something to say about the rumor that Sony could launch the next-generation at the end of this year. PlayStation 5 coming in 2018? Not likely. But what truth sparked this curiosity which slowly grew out of control? Why do people think this, and what can we learn from the situation?
Yes, we at RealGamerNewZ have also been hearing about the so-called “PS5 Dev Kits” that a few big league developers have anonymously been leaking about in the elite journalism circles. From our own research it has become clear that Sony has sent out next-gen “PlayStation 5” pre-dev kits which are aimed at helping big studios prepare games that may be easily adapted to the next PlayStation hardware generation at a later date when full dev kits are ready (probably 1.5 years from now). Target release looks to be November 2020 based on our sources in the industry with a 2 year window for development of any brand new game projects being started right now and a 6 month period for pre-dev kit transfer to final version dev kits of the device.
It is currently unknown whether or not Sony will title this system PlayStation 5 with past trademark activity by the gaming giant leading us to believe PS4 Ultra and PlayStation 4K were also considered for naming the device. That being said, it does appear that Sony has decided to move forward with the brand as a PlayStation 5 device releasing due to the power of the trademark in marketing terms as well as the less than ideal sales of PS4 Pro and Xbox ONE X devices. Although they did sell well as optional, luxury items in the current console generation – it would probably be a mistake for the public to accidentally confuse a PS5 as just another “optional” device rather than a massive leap in generations.
So what exactly is PlayStation 5?
Some of the more outlandish rumors that are hard to believe include PlayStation 5 not requiring a display device but instead projecting its own hologram display from within the console itself. While it is true that Sony has the patented technology and factories to pull something like this off, it’s extremely unlikely that the end price would be something consumers could afford at this time. More likely a small and simple example of this technology could end up making it to the final version of the PlayStation 5 controller if we are lucky. Even that probably won’t happen in 2020 though, if ever…
Some may think this is too soon, and won’t be different enough from the PS4 Pro. Some might be worried that Sony has finally risen back to the top after the catastrophe that was the first half of PS3’s lifespan. However, we have strong reason to believe that using the new x86-64 architecture (AMD APU) the PS4 has been set up for all PS4 games to easily pop in and play on the PS5 system. PlayStation 5 will be able to play all PS4 games and PS5 users will still be able to play those games with their friends who only own a PS4 or PS4 Pro. Ultimate backwards compatibility could be eventually achieved for PS3, PS2, PS1, Vita, and PSP games through PlayStation NOW reducing its price and bundling with PS+, but that’s a story for another day.
So why’s PS5 better than PS4?
One of the sacrifices that was made in order to achieve this high level of compatibility with modern game development tools, and establish a forwards compatibility system for the future, is that PS4 and PS4 Pro only use AMD APU technology. That means the graphics processing power and computational processing power are both tied to the same chip. Unlike most PC Gaming setups, the PS4 does not have a dedicated graphics card. This is even true about PS4 Pro, Xbox ONE, and Xbox ONE X. PlayStation 5 is said to have its own ‘discreet’ graphics card.
By the time 2020 rolls around this could mean something like the equivelance of an NVIDIA GTX 1070 in power, or as little as a 1050Ti. Either way, significant improvement will be felt by all players since the PlayStation 5 will not have to share its RAM with processing and graphics the way PS4 does. Instead a completely separate set of vRAM will be dedicated to the graphics while many cores and memory banks can still be allocated from CPU and system RAM parts as well. That would be an exponential leap in power.
PlayStation 3 and PS4 had barely any compelling games at launch so it makes sense for developers to have something nice and early this time around. The final dev kits will ship later when Sony finalizes their plans. The Pre-Dev Kits will allow for games to be worked on while waiting then slightly adjusted with final dev kit in order for PS5 to have significant launch lineup unlike PS3 and PS4 which mostly saw rushed third party ports from projects meant for mobile, PC, or PS3. There is also a chance for an early launch in November 2019 but its unlikely since Sony is #1 and has no competition right now and PS4 still selling so well. Additionally, PS4 still hasn’t released in many countries which cannot afford it at current prices. PlayStation 5 will exist alongside an extended life for PS4 of course and other countries will get PS4 who previously didn’t have it and were focusing their marketing on PS3 still.
Recently Mark Cerny, the architecture designer of the PlayStation 4, was spotted making the rounds at well known video game studios in order to find out what developers and publishers expect from a next-generation platform by Sony. This is similar to the development feedback that was sought out by Mark on behalf of Sony’s engineering team during the hardware revisions made to PS4 right before launch.
Again, while this may be causing a panic with some gamers and news websites, it’s likely that this time Sony is trying to do things less rushed and in a way that provides way more time for game companies to plan out and develop their next-generation games therefore enabling PlayStation 5 to launch with a killer line-up of must-have games. This paired with the ultimate PS4 backwards compatibility, a dedicated graphics card (hopefully from Nvidia chipsets), and a potentially improved digital rental service would remove any question as to why PlayStation 5 exists and is a must-have console for November 2020.