I’m still having a hard time comprehending that it’s 2020 and that the Sony PlayStation 5 is going to be released. The big reveal yesterday was a testament to how far we’ve come.
The PlayStation 5 or PS5 feels like a more natural progression of the platform than anything we’ve seen before. First, we had a drastic change from PS1 to the PS2 and its Emotion Engine. Then we had the jump to the PS3 with the powerful CELL processor, before finally settling an architecture in the PS4. The shift from PS4 to PS5 is less a revolution and more of an evolution. It feels like Sony has recognized their achievement with the PS4 and said, “we’ll do more of that.”
Check out the official hardware reveal below.
Looks are subjective, but I’m sticking to my guns here: the Sony PlayStation 5 is a beautiful design. PlayStation consoles have ranged from functional blocks to shiny curves, but this design is different. The choice of white almost feels symbolic; the brand was at its most challenged with the PlayStation 3–the price point, lacklustre launch titles, and weird Spider-man font on the shiny black launch unit–so going from that to this feels like Gandalf the White showing up.
White, Blue, and Black: the console looks best when it’s upright, but the sweeping lines hide the fact that you can lie it down. The tops of the white panels look a bit like a popped collar. Some have criticized the fact that it doesn’t fit in with the blocky black hardware that has dominated home entertainment system design for decades. Still, Sony seems to be in tune with the next generation of design, from paper-thin OLED TVs and Sonos’ new Atmos-capable Arc soundbar, this is a console I won’t mind having on display in my living room.
The White Dual Sense 5 has been a point of contention; it has all of the great features of the Dual Shock 5, plus a much more powerful motion sensor. The big question is whether or not it has the integrated back buttons that Sony has added to the DS4 as an optional upgrade. Sony has been crafty enough not to show the back of the controller yet, so I think we’re in for a pleasant surprise at a future reveal.
There are two models this time around: a digital-only model that does away with the Blu-ray drive and a model with a 4K Blu-ray player. The digital-only model is slim and sexy, with the Drive adding a bit of bulk, but as someone who loves streaming but will pay a little extra to have my favourites in the highest quality, I might spend the premium for the Blu-ray version.
With that, I’m turning it over to Ged to talk about 4K Blu-ray.
After disappointing fans with the lack of 4K compatibility, it appears as if PS5 will fill that void. With support for 4K 60Hz and a potential of 8K 120Hz, it seems as if Sony is making up for lost time. It is rumoured that there will be not only HDR10 (Available in PS4) but also HDR10+ and maybe even Dolby Vision.
Sony has taken a very drastic approach to audio for the gaming side of the PS5. The decision was made to not go Dobly Atmos or DTS:X. They have decided to go all science crazy and launch their own 3D audio algorithm powered by the Tempest Engine.
The Tempest engine and 3D Audio will be based on Sony doing their research and measuring over a thousand points of audio response. They did this by having test subjects sit in the middle of 20 or so speakers. The apparatus rotates the subject, allowing the measure and data capture of responses to specific pieces of content as perceived by the subject’s ears. They call this the HTFR (Head Related Transfer Function), and it’s as unique to everyone as their fingerprint.
While I appreciate Sony’s desire to put together a crazy system to appeal to everyone, there is zero compatibility with third parties. For those of us that have soundbars and full home theatre systems, how will we replicate this experience? How will it decode when gaming? When there is a movie playing, will it decode in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X? I will be very intrigued to see if Sony fixed their Audio/Video downfalls from the PS4 or if they have made it worse by creating a ton of upgrade work with every Audio Video company on the market.
Back to you Graham,
Sony learned a harsh lesson with the PS3: pricing your only model at a premium to help land a new media disc format in a game console isn’t going to be popular with gamers. Microsoft learned a similar lesson with the Xbox One: shoehorning Kinect into the system didn’t go well.
Sony and Microsoft are coming to the table with similar hardware offerings; both have faster internal drives, which should make the gaming experience smoother and more streamlined.
We’re going to learn more about the games that are coming to PS5 in the coming months. In the meantime, here are our favourite trailers.
Demon’s Souls was the groundbreaking game that launched the “Soulsborne” series of games, famous for their difficulty. While I’ve finished every other game in the series, I could never get the hang of Demon’s Souls on PS3. I’m excited about another crack at it. – Graham
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a standalone expansion of the hit game Spider-Man from Insomniac games. Using the base game from PS4, they’re upgrading the experience for the PlayStation 5’s hardware. It’s unknown as to whether Shameik Moore from Into the Spider-verse will voice the character, but that would be a great bonus. – Graham
Ratchet and Clank are back, which should come as no surprise: it wouldn’t be a PlayStation console without them. This time around dimensions are collapsing into each other, which means we get to see what Ratchet would look like in a universe where he’s just a little bit different. This one’s a must-have for me. – Graham
Resident Evil Village continues the series with a shocking turn for a character who’s been with us for a long time. We’ve come a long way from Umbrella’s viral outbreak, so I’m curious to see where this one takes us. – Graham
I know I’m in the minority here, but while I enjoyed the gameplay of Horizon Zero Dawn, I found the story to be the kind derivative tropes that Guerrilla games are famous for. Cheesy dialogue, cardboard characters, and the curse-your-sudden-but-inevitable-betrayal ending had me rolling my eyes. That said, the gameplay was fun, so I’m in for a second round. – Graham
Deathloop feels a bit like Bioshock crossed with Edge of Tomorrow. It’s stylish, fun action where every time you die, you learn something new. I’m excited to see more. – Graham
Now that you know what our take is on the Sony PlayStation 5. What’s your take? Let us know in the comments below!