PS4 HARDWARE & DESIGN
The PS4 is Sony’s most attractively designed piece of hardware. It’s a beautiful system, with a sharp, slightly angled profile accented by a light bar that acts as a console status indicator.
On the back, PS4 has gone digital-only with HDMI/optical ports, and no analog audio or video outputs. We appreciate the internal power supply it sounds like a small thing, but it’s one less object to sit on the shelf next to or behind the PlayStation 4.
In the bad column, it’s a collection of moderate to minor annoyances. The PS4 doesn’t support the new 802.11ac wireless standard, instead of relying on an 802.11b/g/n radio at 2.4 GHz — no 5 GHz support here either, all of which is disappointing to see on a consumer device in 2013. More annoyingly too many on staff, the PS4 doesn’t include an IR port for universal remotes, nor does it support Logitech’s PlayStation 3 Bluetooth Harmony adapter or the PS3 Bluetooth Blu-ray remote. This omission seems to signal Sony’s abandonment of the media aspirations that drove much of the PS3’s basic design.
Players who want to game privately on their consoles might be temporarily annoyed at the absence of Bluetooth headphone audio support for the PS4 at launch.
This is offset somewhat: the PS4 can broadcast all game audio (and voice chat) to the audio/mic jack on the DualShock 4, which is compatible with all headphones and mobile headsets using 1/8 inch audio adapters — through enabling game audio output on the DualShock 4 disables all audio via HDMI and optical out.
Despite these problems, Sony nails the fundamentals with the PS4 hardware. The half-gloss, half-matte finish is a pleasant visual compromise. It’s a grown-up machine, designed more like a stylish DVD player than a gaudy video game console. It’s a small, attractive system, and one that also happens to pack more powerful hardware in its diminutive frame than any other console.
CONTROLLER DUALSHOCK 4
We can say this unequivocally: The DualShock 4 is the best controller Sony has ever made.
Now that the PlayStation 4 and a new console generation are upon us, a contingent of Polygon’s editorial staff feels free to finally admit a deep, unbridled hatred of the DualShock 3. The sticks were too close together, too squishy; the triggers weren’t triggers; those of us with bigger hands had difficulty using the controller for very long.
Sony has solved every one of these problems with the DualShock 4. Its sticks are farther apart, with semi-concave pits in the middle designed to hold the tips of your thumbs in place. The shoulders feature actual concave triggers with pull similar to an Xbox 360 controller.
The controller is just a little heavier, just a little bigger. It’s much more comfortable to hold over long periods of time. Making even die-hard DualShock 3 haters on the Polygon staff converts, the DualShock 4 is the most immediately apparent improvement offered by the PS4.
There are several small touches that, as with the console itself, underscore a sense of general hardware quality and polish. The DualShock 4’s front-facing light glows blue for the primary connected player and changes colors based on the order in which it’s synced to the console. Games can also take over the light and change its color, but the most practical use is the amber glow the DualShock 4 emits while it’s charging.
While Sony has seemingly done nothing to expose or surface it, the DualShock 4 also introduces refined gyroscopic and accelerometer-based motion control. It’s an incredible improvement from the Sixaxis and the DualShock 3.
the battery life.
The new touchpad works well for certain functions, like selecting weapon modes in Killzone: Shadow Fall. But it proved a poor mouse substitute in Assassin’s Creed 4‘s map screen, with slow, latency-prone movement. We’ll need more opportunities to use it in more titles before we can determine whether this is a hardware or software problem.
But our biggest complaint about a controller that some at Polygon otherwise consider the best they’ve ever used: over the course of 100-hundred plus hours with the DualShock 4, the battery life appears to sit somewhere in the 7- to 8-hour neighborhood, a fraction of the 30-hour battery life on the DualShock 3. As the system only includes one micro USB cable 1.5 – 2m in length, marathon sessions might happen on your floor near the PS4. As with the DualShock 3, the DualShock 4 battery isn’t intended to be replaced, though enterprising users may be able to find replacements online in the coming years.
CAMERA FEATURES & CAPABILITIES
While Sony nixed plans to include the PlayStation Camera with the PS4 by default, it is still for sale and adds some options to the system. Sony has touted the addition of voice commands to the PS4, though our limited time with this feature yielded mixed results. Commands were limited and poorly explained, and frequently went unanswered.
The easiest comparison would be with the early feature set of the Xbox 360’s Kinect. The PlayStation Camera is a higher-definition device and is likely more advanced, but there is a distinctive “first attempt” feel to the camera that seems at odds with the PlayStation 4’s efforts at broader platform streamlining and refinement. But worse for Sony, its capabilities and functionality look downright primitive in comparison to the Xbox One’s Kinect.
The Sony PlayStation has now been a part of gaming and entertainment life for a quarter of a century, with the first units arriving in lounges and bedrooms around the world in 1994.
Of course, the console has been through a lot of changes and generations since then – the most recent edition of the popular console was the PS4 which launched in 2013, with the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro variants joining the PlayStation family in 2016.
But with nearly seven years that have passed since the PS4, it’s no wonder that gaming fans could barely contain their excitement at the prospect of a completely new console in 2020, the hugely anticipated PS5 that is finally upon us.
But what do we know about the brand new PlayStation, when will it be available to buy in the UK and when did it come out across the world, how much will it cost and what games can we expect to be available on it over the coming months.
There are two PS5 consoles available: the PS5 with a 4K Blu-ray disc drive and a disc-less PS5 Digital Edition- much like Xbox are doing with the Xbox Series X and S.
PS5 stock is also now available in the UK, though it is flying off the shelves (or is that baskets?) so fast it appears out of stock in most places. More is expected on November 19th here but these will be online only.
Amazon appears to be first up to confirm the new stock saying that they will have more to sell on the 19th November at midday. They have also mentioned that the stock is limited so if you plan to try and get one, get ready to be part of yet another mad rush.
All things considered, the PS5 is a real crowd-pleaser with features such as 4K gaming, ray tracing, 3D audio, and the biggest controller upgrade yet – while reportedly only set to last five years, this could be the most exciting console generation yet.
Since then the full PS5 specs have been confirmed:
- The console will have an 8-core, 16-thread CPU.
- The graphics will run on a custom AMD GPU.
- The new console will have custom 825GB SSD storage built-in.
- The optical drive will run 4K Blu-ray discs.
- The PS5 is expected to have a revamped user interface
- The controller will have adaptive triggers and haptic feedback for a more immersive gameplay experience.
- The memory interface will be 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
- The memory bandwidth will be 448GB/s
- The IO throughput will be 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed)
- There will be an NVMe SSD slot for expandable storage
- The PS5 will support USB HDD external storage for PS4 games
Does the PlayStation 5 have a 4k blu-ray drive?
Yes, it does. The PS5 can play your 4k blu-rays for that cinematic experience. Originally this wasn’t confirmed, and it was thought the console would just have an optical disc drive, but don’t worry it’s coming! In fact, the PS5 event revealed that there will be two options at launch: one PS5 console with an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive and another Digital Edition without a disc drive.
In that battle against the new Xbox, it makes sense to offer both- the Xbox Series X will have a 4k disc drive too, while the Xbox Series S will be digital-only.
The PlayStation 5 will also support 8k videos- although most of us will need to wait for our TVs to catch up before we benefit from it.
What features does the PS5 have?
While Sony has released the PS5 specs in all their technical glory, they’ve also gone into detail about how this will translate to better gameplay.
The key features of the PS5 are:
- Ultra-high-speed SSD
- Integrated custom I/O system
- Custom AMD GPU- with ray tracing
- 3D audio
The ultra-high-speed SSD and integrated custom I/O system together deliver much faster loading and pace when moving through the game. There are shorter load times in larger worlds which means new games can be developed with richer detail and fewer limitations on size or scale.
When it comes to the custom AMD GPU with ray tracing, PlayStation claims the extra GPU power will boost gaming resolution during play. The ray-tracing, on the other hand, will enhance how light moves on the screen and across characters, meaning elements like water and glass will look ultra-realistic.
The 3D audio has been designed to immerse players in the action, hearing elements in different places including even behind you – even without high-end speakers.
What the combination of these features will ultimately mean, according to the PlayStation 5 site, is that developers will be able to start, “building expansive worlds and new play experiences in the games they design,” without the same scale limitations as previous models. This should provide a much richer and more panoramic gaming experience overall.
PS5 DualSense controller like?
Modern looking, immersion, wireless and no need for a headset – those are your top wins of the new DualSense controller.
The new PS5 DualSense controller builds on the merits of the current DualShock controller. The key for Sony’s new PlayStation is the idea of a truly immersive gaming experience and, through the new design controller, should provide a much greater feeling of touch. According to Sony’s examples, this means you’ll be able to feel the “slow grittiness of driving a car through the mud” and experience the tension in actions like “drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.”
The DualShock 4’s “Share” button has been replaced with a “Create” button-the addition is a way for players to “create epic gameplay content to share with the world, or just to enjoy for themselves.”
There is also a built-in microphone, which will mean gamers can jump in and out of conversations easily without necessarily needing a headset to do so. It is, of course, wireless too and as for charging it, a one-hour charge will give you six hours of gameplay.
A firm based in Argentina called Evzen has also shared some close-up shots of the controller on Instagram and it displays not only the printed, iconic, symbols on the buttons, but they are etched in across the whole controller.
Below you’ll find the specs for the PS5, with details copied verbatim from the PS5 launch press release:
|CPU||x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 8 Cores / 16 Threads at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)|
|GPU||Ray Tracing Acceleration|
Up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
|GPU Architecture||AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine|
|Internal Storage||Custom 825GB SSD|
|IO Throughput||5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)|
|Expandable Storage||NVMe SSD Slot|
|External Storage||USB HDD Support|
|Optical Drive (optional)||Ultra HD Blu-ray (66G/100G) ~10xCAV|
BD-ROM (25G/50G) ~8xCAV
BD-R/RE (25G/50G) ~8x CAV
|PS5 Game Disc||Ultra HD Blu-ray, up to 100GB/disc|
|Audio||“Tempest” 3D AudioTech|
|Video Out||HDMI Out port|
Support of 4K 120Hz TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver 2.1)
|Dimensions||PS5 – 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth)|
PS5 Digital Edition – 390mm x 92mm x 260mm (width x height x depth)
|Weight||PS5 – 4.5kg|
PS5 Digital Edition – 3.9kg
|Power||PS5 – 350W|
PS5 Digital Edition – 340W
|Input / Output||USB Type-A port (Hi-Speed USB)|
USB Type-A port (Super Speed USB 10Gbps) x2
USB Type-C port (Super Speed USB 10Gbps)
|Networking||Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)|
IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
PS6 Release Date
Right now, we don’t have any concrete information whatsoever regarding a potential PS6 release date. However, we can look at the past forms for PlayStation consoles to see when the release date might happen. Let’s examine each console generation’s PlayStation release date and extrapolate when the PS6 might arrive. Note that these dates are for European and UK releases, so the actual dates might differ for you depending on where you are in the world.
- PlayStation – September 29th, 1995
- PlayStation 2 – November 24th, 2000
- PlayStation 3 – March 23rd, 2007
- PlayStation 4 – November 29th, 2013
- PlayStation 5 – November 12th, 2020
PS6 release date to fall in November 2026 or 2027
One thing’s for sure, though: Sony will want to remain competitive when it comes to PS6 pricing. The PS5 costs £349.99 for the Digital model and £449.99 for the Disc version.
Compare and contrast this to Microsoft’s current-gen offerings; the Series S costs £250 (but is drastically much less powerful), whilst the Series X will set you returned £449.99, in line with the PS5.
With that in thinking – and assuming Microsoft is nevertheless competing in the next-gen console race – we’re looking ahead to Sony to hold PS6 pricing competitive with Microsoft.
We’d be amazed if the console breaks £500 (or the equal of that amount in 2026-2027 money, of course); people don’t have a tendency to want to spend extra than that on dedicated gaming machines, so Sony will in all likelihood intention for that type of pricing.
This ability that the PS6, like many machines earlier than it, will nearly really be a “loss leader” – a machine that doesn’t always make earnings for the company, however, entices extra clients to play Sony games and purchase into the ecosystem.
To make earnings on hardware, Sony would want to price the machine past a competitive rate, which would enable Microsoft to swoop in and take the crown.
We only know one thing for sure when it comes to the PS6 specs: the machine is almost certainly going to dwarf what the PS5 can do, which is impressive considering that Sony’s console is already pushing the limits of what’s possible with current gaming tech. If you think the PS5 is powerful, just wait until you meet the PS6; it’s going to blow Sony’s current-gen console out of the water.
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So, what can we guess the PS6 specs will be? Given the probable release date, it’s very likely that by that time, 8K will be a widely accepted standard for display technology. It may not be the main way many play their games, but it’s certainly not unreasonable to say that more people will have 8K displays. As such, expect the PS6 to support 8K by default.
We can almost definitely expect the console to have an SSD inside, and the graphics chip will probably come close to being around six to eight times more powerful than the PS5’s. Expect silky-smooth performance, lightning-fast loading times, and a huge amount of memory for multitasking. It’s also worth thinking about the SSD itself, which will almost definitely be bigger than the PS5’s weirdly-sized 825GB default owing to increasing game file size.
We’ve got a wishlist for things we want to see included in the PS6. Here are some of the features we hope Sony includes when its next console comes along (whenever that release date might be!).
- Upgradeable features. One area in which the PC gaming market unquestionably lords it over consoles is the ability to easily swap out and upgrade components. We want to see a user-friendly way to achieve this on the PS6. It’s not outside the realms of possibility to allow users to upgrade the console’s graphics card, its memory, or its storage without needing to take screws to the machine.
- Wireless accessory charging. The PS5 uses the USB-C standard for its controllers and many of its wireless accessories, which is great; USB-C has many benefits over the previously-favoured Micro USB. For the next console generation, though, we want to see wireless charging. Imagine just being able to drop your controller or your headset on top of your PS6 and let it charge. Magic, right?
- A smaller machine. This one might be wishing a little too much given the prospective power of the PS6, but we really want to see Sony try to improve the form factor in time for its next console’s release date. The PS5 is an absolute behemoth, and it’s hard to fit it in many gaming spaces. The PS6 is likely to continue that trend; it’ll be hugely powerful, after all. Still, we would like to see the company try to shrink it down a little so that it can fit underneath most TVs without any issues.
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PS6: what we want to see
A smaller console
The PS5 is a mammoth console. In fact, it’s the biggest console in modern history. But bigger doesn’t always mean better, and the PS5’s size makes it impractical for those who don’t have the shelving unit to house it – and, let’s be honest, not many of us do. With the PS6 (and perhaps even with a PS5 Slim Edition), we’re hoping that Sony can learn from its mistakes, making the next-gen console smaller and more streamlined, while allowing for adequate airflow.
More affordable expandable internal storage
It will be possible to expand the PS5’s internal storage by popping off the side panel and installing an SSD, once Sony drops a software update to enable it – but it’s not that simple. The PS5 only accepts compatible NVMe SSDs, which match or excel past the existing drive specifications, and they don’t come cheap. These types of SSDs are typically pretty pricey, meaning that players may opt for external storage instead – but unfortunately, these external storage options don’t harness the raw power of the PS5. With the PS6, we hope that Sony will make expanding internal storage easier – perhaps taking an approach similar to the Xbox Series X’s expandable storage card.
Built-in Bluetooth Audio Support – so we don’t need a dongle for the official headset
It is baffling that, in the year 2020, a brand-new games console launched and it requires you to plug in a USB dongle receiver to use its own-brand wireless headphones. Like, what the actual hell Sony. Talk about an aesthetic assault on our eyes and under-TV storage area. Just build the freaking support into the PS6 will you? Good grief.
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Wireless charging for controllers/headset – can just be placed on top when off
Sure, the Sony charging dock for the PS5 DualSense controllers works pretty well and the controllers slide nicely against the charging pins – but we don’t want yet another piece of hardware by our TV. Sony should take a leaf out of the smartphone industry’s book and build a wireless charging pad to the top of the PS6. That will allow you to place a controller on the top of the console, when you’re not gaming, to charge – and you could even expand the wireless charging tech to headphones, a media remote, and any other peripherals.
Wire-free (and zero-latency) connection to the TV
There are far too many wires behind our media stations – and the PlayStation 5 is a guilty party. We’ve got the power and HDMI, plus a completely separate plug block for the controller charging base. Add in the HD camera, and the additional cable for PSVR 2 when that launches and things are a mess. With the PS6, we want a single power lead and everything else to be wireless – obviously with zero lag and latency.
Improve the UI
The updated PS5 UI definitely screams “next-gen”, but it also has some flaws that we would like to see ironed out with the PS6. The PlayStation Store is a pain to navigate, especially when it comes to finding sales, trying to find your friends and organize a party isn’t as straightforward as it was with the PS4 and – to top it all off – even trying to find the ‘off’ button takes longer than it should. While the PS4 UI absolutely needed an update, we found it more accessible to use. With the PS6, we hope to see Sony settle on a middle ground that is both futuristic and accessible.