There’s a new PlayStation coming. Whether it’s called the PS5, PlayStation 5 or something else remains to be seen, but there’s new gaming hardware on the way from Sony, confirmed by Mark Cerny, the key architect of the next-gen console.

The PS4 consoles (both PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro) are officially reaching the end of their life cycle (that’s direct from Sony), so thoughts are inevitably turning to the PS5. And now Sony has finally started to spill the beans on what’s coming next.

Even though we don’t know exactly what to expect from the PS5 (or if that’ll even be its name),  we do know that the rumors, wish lists and alarmingly convincing ‘leaked’ renders in the run up to a console reveal are a big part of the fun.

In that spirit, we’ve gathered together everything we most want to see from the PlayStation 5, based on what we now know from Cerny’s revealing interview, and what its stand-out features might be when it arrives. 

  • PS5 games: all the games confirmed and expected on the PlayStation 5

PS5 confirmed specs: the concrete details we now know

Image credit: SuckerPunch

A bespoke 8-core AMD chipset based on third generation Ryzen architecture, with a GPU taking the best bits of the Radeon Navi GPU family; a built-for-purpose SSD storage system; 3D audio; backwards compatibility with PS4 games and PSVR hardware; 8K TV support. It’s all been revealed by PlayStation top-dog Mark Cerny, the man behind the construction of the PS4, and now in charge of the next-gen console’s development.

While the look of the console remains a mystery, it internals are coming into focus, and they’re very promising. That AMD one-two-punch of CPU and GPU unlocks the powers of ray tracing, an advanced lighting technique that can bring next-level immersion to gaming visuals. It’s a Hollywood technique that’s used in big-budget CGI spectacles, putting into context the level of visual fidelity you can expect.

With 8K TV support comes far more detailed textures, and much larger ones at that. The news of a bespoke SSD drive will be heartening then – just because the games will be becoming more complex, that doesn’t mean they’ll be slower to load too. It’s estimated that the new SSD is 19 times faster than traditional SSD storage methods.

Audio will reach a new “gold standard” on PS5 too, according to Cerny, thanks to a new audio engine that will deliver immersive sound – particularly if you’re using headphones. While the details remain unclear, expect something resembling the experience seen with a Dolby Atmos set-up.

Sony remains tight-lipped about some specific plans for the PS5: the PlayStation 5 release date remains a mystery, for instance. 2019 has been ruled out, but it will definitely be revealed in the coming months, thanks to Sony Interactive Entertainment’s President and CEO Shawn Layden confirming as much in an interview with In addition, Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida had also previously confirmed the company is working on a next-generation console in an interview with the Financial Times. It’s been four years in the making already.

Back in May, Sony Interactive CEO John Kodera revealed to the Wall Street Journal that the PlayStation 5 would not be releasing until at least 2021. That now seems a reasonable guess, debuking a report from Ace Securities that claimed the PS5 could release as soon as Christmas 2019 – earlier than the Xbox Two.

One such rumor is that the PS5 could be backwards compatible with the PS4, PS3, PS2, and original PlayStation, meaning its games library could stretch right back to the glory days of the mid 90s. The PS4 element of that rumor is now confirmed, as well as PSVR support. The rest of Sony’s vintage catalogue? That remains to be seen.

PS5 release date


With no official word yet on a PlayStation 5 release date, and Sony officially confirming it won’t be at E3 2019, it’s difficult to pin down exactly when we might get to see a PS5 console.

Some analysts are predicting the PlayStation 5 release date could be around 2020 or 2021, for example, while others say 2019 – so just the three-year window, then. With 2019 now ruled out by the Wired interview, 2020 seems the most realistic launch window.

Speaking to GamingBolt, Michael Pachter said that though he thinks the PS5 will be a half-step and will be backwards-compatible with the PS4 Pro, he doesn’t think we’ll see it until “2019 or 2020, but probably 2019”. This speculation now seems entirely wrong – the early specs suggested by Cerny suggest a significant hardware leap forward, with the 2019 date now ruled out.

More recently Pachter clarified this claim, saying that Sony would most likely release the new console in 2020. He added that at this time he thinks the PS4 Pro will become the base model PlayStation and will see a reduction in price. 

Meanwhile a recent report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier backs up this thinking. He spoke to a number of developers about likely release dates with most of the conversations pointing to a 2020 release. He writes: “There is information about the PlayStation 5 floating around at both first- and third-party companies, but it’s far more limited than it would be if the console’s release was imminent.”

Sony’s new CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, also recently released a three-year business plan for the company which predicted the company’s profits would dip in the run up to 2021. This is the kind of dip that may come as the PlayStation 4 reaches market saturation, before the launch of the PS5.

So mark your calendars for 2020 and 2021 then…

PS5 competition

Image credit: Sony

Although we’re hideously impatient for news of a PlayStation 5 release date, we can’t fault Sony for taking another few years to really milk the last of the PS4, given its huge and loyal player base. After all, the PS4 Pro is still relatively new to the market and its direct competitor, the Microsoft’s Xbox One X, is an even more recent release. 

Thanks to recent leaks, we already know Microsoft is working on the next Xbox, which is likely to be announced at E3 2019. So it’s likely Sony is also deep into development of the PS5.

If we’re honest, we can’t really see any urgent need to start a new generation right now. And given Microsoft’s growing commitment to backwards compatibility, we think it’s key for Sony to really think carefully about its next steps. 

Despite Yasuda’s report, a two to three-year wait make a lot more sense to us. However, it could be Sony is trying to throw Microsoft a sucker-punch from left-field by releasing earlier than expected.

In addition, Slightly Mad Studios has announced it is working on a high-powered next-generation console called the ‘Mad Box‘. It’s pedigree remains to be seen, but more interestingly is the reveal of Google Stadia – a streaming-focussed gaming service from the kings of the internet. With streaming undoubtedly set to be a key component of any console going forward, Google’s expertise in internet infrastructure it them a dark horse entrant into the gaming race.

PS5 news and rumors

Image credit: Sony

Solid news on the PlayStation 5 is starting to come into shape, but as always, we do have rumors about what could be coming down the line – and we’ve collected and assessed them right here.

The next Xbox will be more powerful than the PS5 – according to industry insiders
According to a tweet by reporter Ainsley Bowden (via T3),  “very reliable” sources for Xbox and Microsoft information have confirmed Microsoft’s flagship next generation console (codenamed the ‘Xbox Anaconda’) will be more powerful than the PS5.

Check out the tweet below:

Bowden’s claim hasn’t been confirmed, so it’s worth taking it with a pinch of salt. However when asked by a speculative Twitter user about the sources of this information, Bowden replied that the informants “have been accurate for years on leaks”. 

Image credit: Naughty Dog

Image credit: Naughty Dog

Patent suggests backwards compatibility
According to a newly-uncovered patent, the PlayStation 5 may be capable of emulating the PlayStation 4, PS3, PS2 and original PlayStation, aka the PSX as well as souped up next-gen titles. Mark Cerny’s interview has now confirmed that, at the very least, PS4 and existing PSVR titles will work across generations.

Kenichiro Yoshida confirms next-gen
In an interview with the Financial Times, Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said: “At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware.”

Ace Economic Research Institute report
Gaming industry analyst Hideki Yasuda, from Osaka-based firm Ace Economic Research, has claimed in a recent report that the PS5 could arrive in time for Christmas 2019 (via T3). 

The report estimates that “the introduction of the PS5 will be at the end of 2019”. If this is true, then it’ll be a massive blow to Microsoft who has confirmed the Xbox Two (codenamed “Xbox Scarlett”) will not launch until 2020. However, Cerny’s interview all-but-debunks that claim. We may see a PS5 by the end of 2019, but you certainly won’t be able to buy it.

PS5 game development is in full swing
Daniel Ahmad, analyst with Niko Partners, has been in discussions with sources at first party Sony development houses, and believes that PS5 games are now the sole focus for the majority of in-house Sony teams. With dev kits in the wild, this makes a lot of sense – but Ahmad states also that the PS4 line-up has been secured for the time being too. Looking at the PS4 back catalogue, don’t be surprised then if there ends up being plenty of cross-generational PS4-to-PS5 titles, too.

John Kodera talks life cycles
PlayStation’s John Kodera has been discussing the future of the PS4 at a Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting and, by extension, inadvertently creating space for prospective PS5 release year rumors.

During the meeting, Kodera made it clear that Sony is still very much behind the console but warned that sales are expected to slow, in line with expectations as market saturation approaches. As a console gets to this point in its lifecycle, it’s natural to start looking forward to the next iteration. 

Kodera stated that the time passing from now until 2021 would be a period where Sony would hunker down – which suggests that a new big idea could be around the corner. Perhaps 2021 will be the time to expect the PS5?

No E3 2018 appearance – and no E3 2019 showcase either
E3 2018 has come and gone with no mention of the PS5 during the event. Instead, Sony offered up deep dives into four big games: Death Stranding, Spider-Man, The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima. Only Spider-Man has since released, opening the possibility for the others to jump to PS5. As for E3 2019, Sony has confirmed it won’t be attending, so if the PS5 is to appear before 2020, it’ll be at a Sony-exclusive event.

Cyberpunk 2077

Eurogamer tech analysis
A recent report from Eurogamer has attempted to narrow down a possible release date based on when technologies advanced enough to justify a generational leap will be available to Sony. The most important things that will need to advance will be the console’s processor and its memory and in both cases, Eurogamer has determined that we’re unlikely to see a new console released before the very end of 2019. Given the potentially-transformational technogies Mark Cerny has outlined, a release date beyond 2019 seems most sensible.

Even if Sony did manage to push its console out more quickly, the cost of production would make the PS5 far too expensive, making it more likely that we won’t see the console released until the end of 2020, if Sony has any intention of making it an appealing proposition. 

Andrew House talks the next generation
Former Sony chief, Andrew House, has been speaking about what the next generation of consoles could look like at the GamesBeat conference recently. Though House refused to comment specifically on the PlayStation 5 itself, he did say that he believes physical discs will stick around for a while yet, as a result of the need to continue tapping into developing markets where downloadable titles may not be quite as compatible with limited internet infrastructure. Mark Cerny has since confirmed that physical media will indeed continue to be supported by the new PlayStation. 

In other markets, however, he thinks that streaming games will be a big part of the next generation of consoles.

House also stated that he thinks the PS4 and the PS4 Pro still have a long life in them yet. This doesn’t necessarily cancel out the rumors that the PS5 will be with us in the next one to two years; if the reports that the console will be backwards-compatible are true then the PS4 generation will remain relevant long into the lifecycle of the PS5. Regardless, given that House was unwilling to comment on the PS5 despite being pushed, these details can only be considered speculation at the moment.

The SemiAcccurate report
SemiAccurate (via ResetEra) is claiming that it’s received some leaked information on the yet-to-be-announced console and says that the number of dev kits which have been distributed suggests the console could be released sooner than expected. 

In addition to this, SemiAccurate also reports that Sony will use this console to push its VR efforts even further, with VR-tech baked in at the Silicon level, and will sport a GPU based on AMD’s Navi architecture with a CPU that’s potentially a custom item from AMD’s Zen line. The Navi rumors have since been confirmed by Cerny, with the Sony guru also confirming that PSVR will work with the new machine.

PS4 on stage

The PlayStation Plus news
A recent announcement in relation to the PlayStation Plus service has ignited some speculation. It’s been announced that from March 2019, PS Plus will no longer offer free PS3 or PSVita games and will instead focus on PS4 titles. This has led to some wondering over whether or not Sony is attempting to phase out these older generation titles in preparation for a new generation. This is, of course, pure speculation but it’s interesting that Sony would be willing to reduce its game offering to only two games (as it informed Polygon) without any other excuse than wishing to focus on titles for an already highly successful console. Whether Sony is truly making way for the PS5 or whether it’s going to offer a higher quality of PS4 game is unclear and it seems we’ll have to wait a while to find out what the final plan for PS Plus is.

What the analyst says…


We spoke to Matias Rodriguez, VP of technology for the Gaming Studio at Globant, about what it will take for Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles to get the lead on the competition and, at this point, whether the next Xbox or PS5 looks to be more powerful.

He told us: “While hardware advantages such as CPU and GPU are often criteria people look at when it comes to the business and sales performance of a console, more telling signs of the performance of a console include software SDKs, bindings to game engines (such as Unity and Unreal), and, most importantly, the toolchain that allows gaming studios and publishers to build content for the console’s platform.

“Given this, and how statistically speaking, Xbox and PlayStation have taken turns being the reigning-supreme console, I predict Microsoft will take the lead this time.”

But what are the key factors in the next-gen console war? Rodriguez gave us a rundown of the attributes he believes will sway players’ preferences when it comes to picking up one of the consoles.

“The first key evaluation criteria consumers consider when they are in the market for a new console is exclusives,” says Rodriguez. “Currently, Sony is the clear leader in this area with exclusives such as God of War and Uncharted. Microsoft fell short with Forza, Sea of Thieves and Halo Wars 2, but has acknowledged the shortcoming; and Phil Spencer, executive vice-president of gaming at Microsoft, went on a crusade to bring top first-party studios into the Xbox ecosystem. 

“His crusade proved successful with the addition of Obsidian and Ninja Theory studio – preparing Microsoft for next-gen consoles. It was also revealed that Microsoft will be delivering the new Halo game, Halo Infinite, which is expected to outperform and replace the current Halo that is on the esports ecosystem.” 

Currently Halo Infinite is one of the only first-party titles from Microsoft that we’re expecting on the next Xbox (apart from perhaps Gears 5), and, while the series is definitely a huge draw to fans, it may not be enough to sway PlayStation players towards the next Xbox. 

Meanwhile the PS5 is offering the possibility of The Last of Us: Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding as exclusives on its next-generation console. When it comes to exclusives, Sony seems to have the edge.


The Last of Us: Part 2 (Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Backwards compatibility
“This is where Microsoft has the advantage over PlayStation in the current generation, due to its native support and not having streaming as a requirement,” says Rodriguez. “PlayStation acknowledged Microsoft’s advantage and Mark Cerny, lead architect at Sony, has already teased that the next-gen PlayStation will be able to support more than next-gen games, though specifics haven’t been disclosed. 

“Microsoft already has the current functionality for back compatibility, and seems to be partnering with Nintendo to deliver Xbox content to the Switch platform, which is assumed to be streamed.”

Microsoft definitely has the upper hand when it comes to backwards compatibility. As Rodriguez points out, Microsoft already has backwards compatibility integrated, allowing Xbox players to play select Xbox 360 titles, and will no doubt implement the same strategy in making the next Xbox compatible with Xbox One titles. 

While Sony has said the PS5 will be backwards-compatible with the PS4, it still lacks the ability (as far as we know) to let us play PlayStation or PlayStation 2 titles – something which would go down a treat with players. Whether this is something Sony plans on allowing in the future is unclear, but it doesn’t seem likely right now.

Cross-platform / progression
“Microsoft has been more publicly open when it comes to allowing cross-platform and cross-progression on their titles between Xbox and PC,” Rodriguez explains. “Additionally, there have been announcements around streaming into the Nintendo Switch which could give Microsoft a leg up over PlayStation.”

It’s no secret that Sony isn’t a fan of cross-platform – the only titles which actually allow for full cross-platform play between PlayStation and other consoles are Rocket League and Fortnite. Despite Sony claiming it’s “open for business”, some developers have accused Sony of “playing favorites” (via Kotaku). Whether or not Sony is going to ease up on its cross-play restrictions isn’t clear, but mounting pressure from fans and developers may sway the company in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is pretty open to cross-platform play, allowing play between Xbox One and PC, Switch and even mobile in some cases. For players who love playing online with friends (without the restrictions of which platform that friend may be playing on) then cross-platform could be an important factor in choosing a next-generation console. Get with the times, Sony.


Cloud game streaming
“Both Sony and Microsoft have platforms and services in place to support cloud game streaming, so the advantage will come in the form of exclusive content and accessibility,” Rodriguez tells us. “In regard to exclusives and in terms of delivery mechanisms, both Microsoft and Sony have solid distribution channels, but it seems that Microsoft may have an advantage over Sony by delivering to Nintendo Switch consumers – representing potential access to millions of players that most likely have a PC or Xbox at home.”

While Microsoft does seem to be going digital with its disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital (and rumors of a disc-less next-gen console), Sony has just had a patent approved for a cloud gaming service that could rival both the Google Stadia and next Xbox. We don’t know much more about this streaming service from Sony (or whether it’ll launch alongside the PS5) but if it does then it will be a game-changer, and will potentially prevent the Stadia having the edge over its competition.

Developer relationship / dev environment
“This has been a key element for success for Microsoft as they work to make sure that Xbox development is aligned with game PC Development,” Rodriguex explains. “This area was a huge learning curve for Sony with its PS3, and as a result the PS4 has improved significantly in its dev environment. It’s expected that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will continue providing a solid development environment, as well as an indie-friendly publishing ecosystem.”

Arguably, Microsoft is the most friendly of the gaming giants when it comes to indie titles. The ID@Xbox program allows indie developers to self-publish titles for Windows and the Xbox One, and it’s likely the program will continue into the next-generation (or some form of it at least). In addition, Microsoft titles tend to run across both PC and Xbox One, making life easier for devs. 

If Sony can kick it up a notch and get the PS5 onto a PC level (which seems to be the case), then the platform may become more hospitable to devs and players alike.

PS5: Can we have proper 4K gaming?

PS5 games

The PS4 Pro offers a tantalising hint of what 4K gaming could be like. But the stark fact remains: it still doesn’t have the grunt to do native 4K consistently. 

Its “checkerboard” technique of taking single pixels and using each to render four pixels in 4K resolution is clever, and it can do native 4K output, but it often has to sacrifice resolution to keep performance consistent. 

Chris Kingsley, CTO and co-founder of developer Rebellion, dangles an even more ambitious technological carrot in front of a putative PS5: “Obviously new hardware should be able to support 4K TVs and possibly even 8K TVs at a push!” 

Native 4K support will be a basic requirement of the PlayStation 5. And, thanks to the Mark Cerny’s confirmation, 8K will be supported in some form too.

But 4K base-line visuals won’t be all – it’s been confirmed that the new console will support ray-tracing graphical capabilities. The past two GDC events gave us a glimpse of what the next generation of games might look like using the technology, and it’s left us extremely excited for the PS5.

Real-time ray tracing was revealed to be the next big thing in rendering while Epic Games gave us a taste of how it might be used to create the most lifelike characters ever. Using its capture technology, the Unreal Engine creator displayed a future with character models so realistic they bring us close to crossing the uncanny valley. Watch a performance from Andy Serkis below to see just how capable these new development technologies are:

“Honestly, between five and ten years from now, I don’t think you’re going to be able to tell the difference between the real and the virtual world,” Epic CTO Kim Libreri told, “You’ll see hardware that can support these kinds of capabilities pretty shortly, and then, finally, the greatest blockbuster with the most complicated effects, within ten years, you’ll be able to do that in real-time.”

PS5: The VR effect

Image credit: Sony

Sony became the first console manufacturer to embrace virtual reality, thanks to the PlayStation VR, but if you examine PlayStation VR closely – and observe how it operates on the PS4 Pro – it invites speculation about how a PlayStation 5 console might take VR to a new level. Sony’s Mark Cerny has confirmed that existing PSVR headsets will work with the next-generation PlayStation console, but wouldn’t be drawn into confirming a PSVR 2 release just yet.

Currently, PlayStation VR operates at lower resolution than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – but, as it stands, even its current incarnation almost pushes the base PlayStation 4 beyond its limits. Running a PlayStation VR on a PS4 Pro brings improved frame-rates, which are very handy indeed in terms of the overall VR experience, but even the PS4 Pro can’t overcome the resolution constraints set by the PlayStation VR headset.

Sony will want to return to the market with a second, markedly higher-tech iteration of PlayStation VR

So it’s a good bet that, seeing as PlayStation VR has proved incredibly successful, Sony will want to return to the market with a second, markedly higher-tech iteration: which would provide an obvious selling point for the PlayStation 5. 

And if a PlayStation VR 2 headset could be sold without an external black box, it should be markedly cheaper, further accelerating VR’s march into the mainstream. A recent report from SemiAcccurate, which claims that the PS5 will have virtual reality capabilities built-in at silicon level, suggests this will indeed be the case – a feature that was hinted at by Cerny, too.

PlayStation VR

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