With official confirmation from Sony that the PlayStation 5 is indeed the PlayStation 5 and that it will release Holiday 2020, we know a lot more about the next-generation console than we ever have before. We also have this information earlier than ever, more than a year ahead of release. If history is anything to go by, “Holiday 2020” actually means November 2020 to get the console out in time for the holiday shopping rush that will inevitably leave it sold out at most retailers. There are 13 months to go. 13 months of speculation, questions, announcements, reveals, and hype leading to the day that we plug our PS5 into HDMI 1 to begin a brand new generation.
Though we know a lot about the PlayStation 5, there are still a number of big questions that Sony needs to answer over the next year.
When is the PS5 reveal?
Technically the PS5 has already been revealed. We know about it. We know it’s coming. We know it’s name. We even know some pretty cool details about the tech that’s going into making next gen “next gen.” But Sony’s strategy isn’t going to be to really “reveal” the PS5 through a Wired exclusive. So when do we get the officialy unveiling? The full specs? The nitty gritty details? When do we get to see the first game confirmed as running on the next-gen platform? Remember the PS4 reveal event in 2013? I expect Sony to hold a big party for the next-gen console, especially considering that they’ve been absent from the stage at quite a few gaming events, including their own PSX which was sadly shortlived.
When is the PS5 release date?
Yes, Holiday 2020. But really, when does it release? Am I going to be waiting until mid-December before my hands slip into the comfort of a sweet DualShock 5, or does “holiday” extend all the way out to early November? I mean, Labor Day is a holiday, right? So perhaps we can make this a September birthday thing for me. I need to know where I need to
pencil pen permanent marker time into my calendar next year.
How much will the PS5 cost?
One of the biggest mistakes the PS3 made was launching at a staggering $600. For a home console, the outrageous launch price led to a sluggish start and arguably caused Sony to lose the generation. (Though admittedly they did manage a pretty strong comeback by the generation’s end.) Mark Cerny has already made some telling remarks about the PS5’s premium, and multiple tiers of console may present different pricing tiers, but is this going to be like the happy PS4 launch pricing announcement where I preordered immediately after hearing it, or am I going to have to take out a second mortgage on my house (and still preorder immediately)?
What does the PS5 look like?
Regardless of performance, there’s always the question about what the final box will look like. Tech form factor has long played a part in the gaming industry. We know that the PS5 dev kit has a pretty crazy look to it (perhaps for excessive venting/cooling. See my next question for more there), but it’s doubtful the PS5 will come to retail with such a radical sci-fi design. It’s unlikely the design is even finalized right now (the PS4’s wasn’t until after the reveal show), and I’m sure that will be one of the last carrots left dangling in the lead up to release. I just hope that from a size perspective, it can still fit inside my GAEMS case.
How loud is the PS5?
As I type this, I’m staring at the Destiny 2 orbit screen and wanting desperately to play (but I also had these burning questions! Oh the life of one who plays too many games…), and I can’t help but notice that ol’ Launchy—the name of my original launch PS4—sounds like I’ve got a 747 spinning up its engines right in my living room. The PS5 will pack a lot of premium technology into the box, and that’s not going to be cheap (see the pricing question above) or cool (like the temperature). Heat requires cooling. Cooling will probably necessitate fans—unless they opt for liquid cooling, which again, see price—and fans get loud. So is the PS5 going to have a decibel problem?
What does that new PS5 UI look like?
Along with announcing the name of the PS5 and the release date, Sony also talked to Wired about a brand new UI that will be more detailed, interactive and responsive, customized to players’ needs and allowing them to see more information about their games outside of the game itself. The biggest question here is what that revamped UI will look like. We went from the XMB on PS3 to whatever they are calling the PS4’s menu (which I like, even if it has a few flaws). Do they evolve that for the PS5? Completely revamp it? A big part of a functional UI is appearance and I want to know what I’m going to be looking at for the next seven or so years.
Will the PS5 UI be faster than the PS4?
Along with being loud, the PS4 suffers from a problem of slowdown on menus as it tries to handle too many tasks at once. It takes forever to load up the main menu, “please wait” is a recurring theme on my screen, and it’s generally plagued with hitches, skips and freezes. We know that the onboard SSD is going to make games faster, but will that also extend to the menus as the PS5 attempts to thread multiple tasks at once? The presumed answer is yes, but it’s an important part of the package I want them to pay attention to, especially given the new functionality it’s being given.
Will there be PS5 cross play and cross save?
Cross play and cross save are both huge topics of conversation right now. Gamers want barriers broken between platforms, and slowly but surely, players everywhere are being allowed to play on their platform of choice with friends elsewhere. Will that continue into the next-generation in big way, perhaps even having some of the fundamental considerations for cross play baked right into the hardware? I’d love to see platform-wide cross play become an industry standard.
Cross save is also a big one that I hope gets worked out. Destiny 2 features this system, allowing players to take their Guardians and progress across any platform lines seamlessly. If that becomes an industry standard, it could help the likes of Stadia become more of a great supplement to the platform, as opposed to a competitor. The thought of playing a game on my PS5, heading elsewhere, and then loading it up with all my progress saved on my phone via Stadia sounds like an amazing proposition.
What’s the PS5 cloud strategy?
Cloud gaming is all the rage, what with Stadia on the way, Microsoft Game Pass redefining where you can play, and PlayStation Now subtly giving people the “Netflix of games,” even if they haven’t done a great job of advertising or selling people on it. It inevitable that the PS5 will house some sort of native support for things like Remote Play, cloud gaming, and other online functions for playing while away from the console (or streaming games to the console), and I want to know what that strategy is.
How will PS5 PS Plus evolve the service?
Since PlayStation Plus started offering free games and discounts to members back on the PS3, it’s been a staple service and membership program for the Sony faithful. I’m currently paid up well into the PS5’s life, so what will I be getting for my money? Online play? More free games? Will Now get bundled in? Sony’s needed a revamp of the Plus service for some time now, and the launch of a new console is the perfect place to do it.
How will PS5 backwards compatibility work?
We know that there will be PS5 backwards compatibility in some form. What form that takes is still up in the air right now, as Sony is still ironing out all the details. Hopefully at the very least, it allows for the PS4’s digital library to come with us to PS5. There were a number of games I never finished or even started due to getting them late in the PS3’s life, right as the PS4 launched and my attention was drawn away.
I have a feeling that backwards compatibility will fully work with PS4 games, both digital and physical, and PS1-PS3 will be handled through the likes of PlayStation Now (like they currently are), but that’s one big talking point Sony is going to need to clear up as we transition to the new generation.
Will my PS4 saves transfer to PS5?
While we’re talking backwards compatibility, will my saves come with me? All right, it’s cool that I can drag all my PS4 games onto the PS5, but am I going to lose my progress if I do that? I imagine that if the console natively supports the game files, it will also support the saves, but Sony will also want to make this one of their talking points. Maybe not as a long-term feature, but it will certainly be an important factor in the early transition from one console to the next.
Will my PS4 accessories (DualShock 4, Move controllers, etc.) still work with PS5?
I’m bracing for the PS5 to cost a lot. Especially opting for whatever the top-tier version is when the console releases. And if the current price of DualShock 4s is anything to go by, I’m not expecting DualShock 5s to be cheap. I have a bunch of DualShock 4s that I’ve acquired over the years though, and it’d be just great if they functioned with the PS5.
I assume that some accessories will work just fine (Move controllers being one of those), as we know things like the current PSVR headset are confirmed to still work with the PS5, but more clarity on this point would be appreciated. I also want to know about compatibility of third-party accessories. Can I still use my Astro C40 controller? My LucidSound headset? Oh, and speaking of PSVR…
What’s the deal with PSVR2?
PSVR is now three years old, and technology is moving faster than a whip. Developers are squeezing all they can out of it, but the PSVR headset was one of the first consumer-grade headsets to hit the market and it’s starting to feel its age. It’s confirmed to work with the PS5, but a recent patent suggests Sony is working on PSVR2, or at least a revision of the headset. Will it launch alongside the console? Sometime later? Are there game it will support that won’t be supported by the original?
What does the DualShock 5 look like, and more importantly, how does it feel?
To this day, the DualShock 4 is one of my favorite features about the PS4. The first time I got my hands on that controller at E3 2103, I was in heaven. I already loved the DualShock controller design, and this next iteration was simply perfection. Can Sony perfect perfection? Lately I’ve been addicted to the licensed Astro C40 controller, a premium pro controller with a swath of great features, so if the DualShock 5 takes some design cues from that, I’d be more than thrilled. PlayStation’s controller design has always been iconic, and I want to know what the next icon looks like.
What is the PS5 launch lineup?
Let’s start talking games. There’s a bunch of really great ones coming out right here at the tail end of the PS4’s life (The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Final Fantasy VII Remake, etc.) but what does the end of 2020 look like. What are the first experiences we’ll have on our PlayStation 5s? Is Sony quietly stacking the deck for the early period of the new console, unleashing tons of amazing first-party games to showcase the new round of technology? What third party developers are working on next-generation releases targeting launch? Will any existing backwards compatible PS4 games get PS5 updates?
Do you have any unanswered questions about the PS5? What do you hope to hear from Sony over the next year?
Daily Reaction reacts daily to the video game industry. Have suggestions for the column or subjects you’d like us to react to? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out previous Daily Reactions for more dives beyond the headlines.