PlayStation 5, the official name of the next generation of Sony’s game console, will launch next year ahead of the 2020 holiday-shopping season, the company announced Tuesday.
But Sony is still keeping many details of the PS5 under wraps, including pricing and new game titles queued up for the more-powerful console. Sony released the first official details for the next-gen PlayStation in April. The PlayStation 5 will come to market in the same window Microsoft has pegged for the release of the next generation of Xbox, code-named Scarlett.
Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post announcing the 2020 target ship date, called out two new changes with the PlayStation 5 controller.
First, the PS5 controller will adopt haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in recent-generation consoles. “With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field,” Ryan wrote.
The second feature is what Sony calls “adaptive triggers,” which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that, for example, players feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain, according to Ryan. Sony has provided early versions of the new PS5 controller to game developers.
The PS5 will include ray-tracing support and have a high-speed solid-state drive (SSD) for improved performance. Sony provided Wired with a first look at the PlayStation 5 controllers; in the article, Sony clarified that the console will include ray-tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware and broadly described the PS5’s new real-time homescreen user interface that will show, for example, which missions and rewards are available for single-player games and active activities players can join in multiplayer games.
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The PS5 will supersede the PlayStation 4, which was first released in North America six years ago. For Sony’s most recent fiscal year (ended in March) the Sony Interactive Entertainment unit generated about $20.8 billion in revenue (up 20% year over year) and $2.9 billion in operating profit — it’s the Japanese conglomerate’s biggest and most profitable business.
Sony isn’t done with the PS4, though, as Ryan pointed out. Upcoming titles for the PlayStation 4 include “Death Stranding,” “The Last of Us Part II” and “Ghost of Tsushima.”