Earlier today, CEO Jim Ryan declared that Sony’s next console (to nobody’s surprise) would be named the Playstation 5, and that it would see a holiday 2020 release date, presumably to try and get the consumer christmas demand, and perhaps more importantly, to rival the release of Xbox’s Scarlett.
Along with the release date announcement, Sony went into more detail on some of their hardware features in an interview with Wired. The rumble technology used in previous generation’s controllers is being replaced with something called haptic feedback, which is designed to give a much broader range of feedback to your hands, depending on your in-game situation. The trigger buttons are also getting an upgrade known as adaptive triggers, which are designed to work with the haptic feedback system. Developers can program varying levels of resistance to into the triggers tailored to match your in-game actions. Wired played several short demos to get a feel for how this new tech would work, and appeared to be impressed with the results.
“I ran a character through a platform level featuring a number of different surfaces, all of which gave distinct—and surprisingly immersive—tactile experiences. Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation.”
Sony also seems to be very proud of their SSD, which they say will increase storage efficiency as well as have the more obvious advantage of faster read speeds compared to a standard hard drive. Mark Cerny explains how using the solid state drive will remove the need for duplicating data, thereby saving space. Physical copies of PS5 games will utilise optical disks, and will require installation onto the console. However, Mark explains that by utilising the solid state technology, there is the possibility of being able to treat the data more flexibly when it comes to installations, giving an example of just installing the multiplayer campaign of a title, rather than having to install the entirety of the content on the disk.
Sony appears to be very excited by many of the upcoming console’s new features. There is certainly a lot of potential with both the more advanced controllers and the possibilities with the SSD technology, which Sony have made key focus points in this reveal, but it will be interesting to see how successfully game developers will be able to utilise these new possibilities in their titles, and how much they will impact the final game experience.