Sony PlayStation 5: release date, launch games, controller and everything you need to know

The PS5 is arriving holiday season 2020 – keep up-to-date with the latest right here

Sony’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 5, will go toe-to-toe with the Xbox Series X when it arrives later this year. Sony has remained tight-lipped about the launch, but some details about the PS5 have been revealed over the past few months.

From the PS5’s specs discussed at the March reveal event to the unveiling of the DualSense controller, fans now have a better picture of what awaits them at the end of 2020.

Eager to know more? Scroll on to find out everything you need to know right now about Sony’s upcoming console.

What’s the latest news?

  • PS5 games conference reportedly planned for early June
  • Sony says it will reveal “compelling line-up of titles” for the PlayStation 5 soon
  • Epic Games showcases first PlayStation 5 gameplay footage with Unreal Engine 5 tech demo

What is the PlayStation 5?

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The PS5 is Sony’s next-gen console, which will replace the PS4 (2013), PS4 Slim (2016) and PS4 Pro (2016). It will be a direct competitor to Xbox’s very own next-gen console, the Xbox Series X.

When will PlayStation 5 be released?

Sony has not announced a firm date, only saying the PS5 will arrive during the 2020 “holiday” period in the US. Presumably, that means somewhere between October and December this year. This is the same window during which the Xbox Series X will launch. Historically, PlayStation launches have occurred in November, so we can expect the same for the PS5.

On May 13 in an earnings report, Sony added that “development is progressing with the launch of [the PlayStation 5] scheduled for the 2020 holiday season” despite challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

How much will PlayStation 5 cost?

Again, Sony has remained tight-lipped about pricing. Analyst predictions hint at somewhere in the range of US$499/£449/AU$749. Microsoft has not revealed the price for the Xbox Series X either.

What are the specs for PlayStation 5?

In March 2020, Sony held its first PS5 reveal livestream event – due to COVID-19 – where lead system architect Mark Cerny provided a deep dive into the console’s hardware. Without bogging you down too much with all the tech specs and jargon, here’s a glimpse of the important stuff.

  • SSD: The PS5 will include an SSD in its design, which will be much faster than its predecessor, which used a HDD. How much faster? Where the PS4’s HDD would load 1GB of data in 20 seconds, the PS5’s SSD will load 2GB in 0.27 seconds. During the event, Cerny said fast-travel in games will become “blink-and-you-miss-it” fast.
  • Expandable storage: The PS5 will come stocked with an 825GB SSD for storage. That’s already massive, but Cerny also said that the new console will be compatible with third-party SSDs. The PS5 will include a bay that can accommodate the drive. In comparison, the Xbox Series X makes use of proprietary SSDs, which can only be purchased from Microsoft.
  • Backwards compatibility: Thanks to its custom CPU and graphics processing unit, the PS5 will be able to handle backwards compatibility. Cerny said this feature was tested by developers on 100 of the most-played PS4 games at the time. At launch, most of these games will be available for play.
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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Credit: BossLogic

What games have been announced for PlayStation 5?

Sony is reportedly planning to showcase games for the PlayStation 5 at a virtual event on June 3, according to separate reports from Bloomberg and VentureBeat. Additional events are also in the works, including a State Of Play episode for the console scheduled for August.

On May 19, Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida announced during a corporate strategy meeting that they were planning to “introduce a compelling line-up of titles soon”, from both first- and third-party developers. However, neither a date nor specific details for this reveal were stated.

Apart from the aforementioned backwards compatibility, the titles that have been announced for the PS5 include:

EA’s upcoming games will feature a free “upgrade” for next-gen consoles

Electronic Arts COO Blake Jorgensen confirmed in a recent investors call that the publisher’s upcoming titles will feature a free “upgrade” to next-gen consoles. “This year, the phasing includes the effect of revenue recognition from the games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded free for the next generation,” he said.

It is as yet unclear if this will be achieved through the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s backwards compatibility features, or through a proprietary EA tool. More details regarding this feature should be unveiled at EA’s upcoming Play Live event on June 11/12.

Destiny 2 will release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, confirms developer

Bungie has confirmed that its free-to-play online multiplayer FPS, Destiny 2, will be making an appearance on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The news was announced by the studio on May 8 on Twitter, in response to a tweet by Xbox about upcoming releases. See the tweet below.

Ghost, Call Of Duty: Warzone
Call Of Duty: Warzone. Credit: Activision

Infinity Ward confirms Call Of Duty: Warzone for next-gen consoles

Infinity Ward’s narrative director Taylor Kurosaki has confirmed that Call Of Duty: Warzone will be making its way to the PS5. “I know that our plan is: Warzone is going to be around for quite some time, so as soon as [next-gen consoles, like the PS5] are out and available I’m sure we’ll support them,” he said.

Horizon: Zero Dawn 2 is reportedly a PlayStation 5 exclusive, will feature co-op

Guerrilla Games is working on a sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn, which may be a PS5 exclusive and feature co-op gameplay. Multiple unnamed sources reportedly informed Video Games Chronicle that the developer started working on Horizon: Zero Dawn 2 soon after the release of the original, and that the new game will feature a “larger game world and more freedom to explore”. The game is also likely to have a co-op mode, a feature that was meant to be on the original, but was cut due to feasibility.

PlayStation 5 units will be “limited at launch”, says Sony

According to a Bloomberg report in April, Sony only plans to ship an estimated total of five to six million units through the end of March 2021. In comparison, it sold 7.5million PS4 consoles over its equivalent launch period in 2013. Sony expects that the PS5’s loftier price tag may deter initial pick-up by many.

A first look at gameplay on the PlayStation 5

On May 14, Epic Games unveiled the first real-time gameplay footage from a PlayStation 5 with the announcement of its Unreal Engine 5. The breathtaking video featured a tech demo called In The Land Of Nanite, which was run from a PlayStation 5 dev kit.

“I think a lot of people [will ask], ‘Oh is [the demo] real?’ But you know that demo was grabbed from the back of a PlayStation 5 development kit,” Epic Games chief technology officer Kim Libreri told IGN. “An HDMI cable went into a disc recorder and played out real-time – no editing, no tricks, that’s what comes off the box.”

A first look at the PlayStation 5 controller

Sony has officially announced the DualSense controller for the PS5. The design of the new DualSense controller is geared towards delivering an enhanced level of immersion for players. This includes “adaptive triggers into the L2 and R2 buttons of DualSense so you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow”, Senior Vice President for Platform Planning & Management Hideaki Nishino said during the reveal on April 7.

Another major upgrade is the inclusion of a built-in microphone array, which will enable players to easily chat with friends without a headset, making it ideal for jumping into quick conversations. The controller will also feature a new Create button, the function of which will be revealed closer to launch.

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