Rumours have been swirling this week that PlayStation 5 development kits have begun to make their way into the hands of third-party developers. Numerous people have come forward to suggest this may be the case, although it’s all absolute conjecture at this point.
Assuming for a moment though that Sony does intend to release a new console in 2019 or 2020, this would be seven years after the PS4 launched. A new console by 2020 seems to be a near certainty because even though Sony is currently dominating the console market, a resurgent few months from Xbox (aided by the Xbox One X becoming the most powerful console on the market) means that might not always be the case.
If we’re to take it as truth that PS5 dev kits have begun to go out to developers, then we could also assume that Sony knows roughly what the final specs are. These could change at a moment’s notice, but they should be in the rough ballpark.
So knowing what we know, along with just how capable Microsoft’s Xbox One X is, what will Sony’s answer be? Will this be a genuine PlayStation 5, or will it just be another stop-gap like the PS4 Pro? Crucially, it’s going to be interested to see how Sony sells it as a generational leap to us. From PS2 to PS3, and to a lesser extent from PS3 to PS4, the difference was obvious. Sony has already (misleadingly) sold the PS4 Pro as a 4K console, it can’t roll out the PS5 and try and repeat the same trick.
In terms of hardware, I this is a machine that absolutely needs to be able to hit native 4K at all times, and the games also need to look better at the same time. That’s a big leap over the PS4 in terms of raw performance, and the 11 TFLOPs of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has to be the target. In two years time, this level of performance could be considerably cheaper. More importantly, though, it’s going to make a huge difference once the PS4’s crummy Jaguar CPU is in the rear-view mirror. AMD Ryzen has to be the front-runner here, and it’s going to make a huge difference to make consoles are even capable of, including higher player counts, denser environments, and enhanced AI. I suspect the PS5 will be an 8-core CPU with multithreading, and it should be paired with at least 16GB memory.
Before I get carried away with all of this though, what hardware do you think will be in the PlayStation 5? And can it provide a generational leap over the PS4 Pro?