PlayStation 5

Sony’s next-generation gaming console, the PlayStation 5, is set to launch later this year, but we still haven’t had a full reveal. Here, New Atlas rounds up everything we know and don’t know about the PS5’s hardware, games, controllers, features, and services.

We’ll continue to update this post as new details come to light.

The basics

  • What: Sony’s fifth-generation games console
  • Release date: Quarter 4, 2020
  • Price: Unknown
  • Disc slot: reads UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, 100-GB optical discs for games


  • CPU: 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2
  • GPU: AMD Navi RDNA 2
  • Storage: Solid-state drive (SSD)
  • No confirmation on how much space yet
  • RAM: Unknown amount/type

Technical capabilities

Resolution options: HD, Full HD, 4K, 8K

Hardware-accelerated Raytracing
This technique involves tracing the path of light and rendering its interaction with objects in real time. That makes for far more realistic shadows, reflections, and other lighting effects.

Audio raytracing
Applies the same principles to sound. That makes audio acoustics more three-dimensional.

Speed and efficiency
The SSD can be written to and read from almost instantly, which drastically cuts loading times. This should also mean that developers can reduce duplicated assets in-game files (a trick commonly used to cut load times), which should shrink the on-disk size of games and updates.

Selective installs
Rather than waiting for an entire game to install onto the SSD, players can choose which sections they want. So for example, if you’re not playing online multiplayer you can just install the single-player campaign, saving space and letting you jump into the game sooner.

Power-saving rest mode
The PS5 is designed to be very energy-efficient. While in rest mode, the console will only consume about 0.5 W of power, marking a massive drop from the 8.5 W that a PS4 consumes in standby.


Very similar design to the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller, but with a couple of new features such as an improved speaker. Rumor has it there’s a microphone in it as well.

Advanced haptics
An advanced haptic feedback system creates unique tactile feedback for different actions in-game. Developers can precisely program the two motors in the grip to vibrate in various patterns, simulating specific sensations, such as the shock of a car crash or the jolt of a tackle in football. It can reportedly even recreate different terrains and textures – running across a concrete floor feels very different from sloshing through mud.

Adaptive triggers
The L2 and R2 buttons on the top of the controller, which function like triggers, are also programmable now. Game developers can adjust the resistance the triggers have for different actions, so that drawing a bow and arrow, for example, feels very different from firing a gun.


Games confirmed so far for PlayStation 5.

  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  • Godfall
  • Gods and Monsters
  • Outriders
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Watch Dogs: Legion


Backwards compatibility
The PlayStation 5 is designed to support PS4 games – but it’s still uncertain whether that means through digital versions or if it will play the old discs. The PS4’s virtual reality headset, PSVR, will also be compatible with the PS5.

Streamlined user interface
Individual missions, activities, or multiplayer sessions from within games will be displayed on the PS5’s main menu, letting players jump straight into that activity without having to boot up the game and check what’s happening.

Online services
We know that online multiplayer will return, and so will the digital storefront for buying and downloading games and other content. That said, there’s been no official word on whether specific services such as PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now will return – but they most likely will.

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