Why you should get excited about Sony’s PlayStation 5

If you’re not yet excited about Sony’s PlayStation 5, here are some reasons why you should be.

It’s more of a revolution than an upgrade

This isn’t just ‘another’ upgrade. It’s visually different from earlier iterations, boasting an uber-stylish, curvy black-and-white colour scheme with ice-blue highlight lighting that makes it look truly space age, and it has packed some real titans of tech power beneath the surface.

Also, you’re going to get two different versions to choose from: the Standard Edition, replete with a glorious 4K Blu-ray disc drive, and the leaner Digital Edition.

The latter is a disc-less model appealing to those who have opted for physical-media-free entertainment, preferring to rely on digital downloads and streaming services.

At a recent corporate strategy meeting, Sony confidently stated that the PS5 will “revolutionize the game experience for users”.


SSDs vs HDDs

Sony has already promised that the PS5 user interface will mark a “100% overhaul of the PS4 UI”, and this is surely connected to the move to an SSD in place of the earlier iterations’ HDD. The great thing about SSDs is that they not only load much faster than HDDs, but they also open the door for games developers to create more expansively open worlds.

Mechanical hard drives, frankly, limited their scope, but SSDs mean that system memory can be used significantly more effectively. They come with much more bandwidth, so data gets loaded from SSDs to RAM only when it’s called for, rather than the mounds of needless data that HDDs tend to load into RAM. Expect much less texture pop-in, vastly improved load times and jet-speed boot-ups.

The SSD also gives players choice over how they install and remove games: you can install multiplayer-mode only, for example, instead of the entire block of data. You’ll be able to get into direct gameplay in a flash and leap straight into different aspects of different games (such as match-making) without needing to boot up the whole game.


Expandable storage

Sony appears to have decided to let you opt for off-the-shelf NVMe PC drives rather than its own branded systems. This differentiates it from its Xbox rival, which will still require proprietary storage.


Backwards compatibility with PS4 games

PS4 games will work without a hitch on the PS5. You just need to save them onto a standard HDD so that they don’t start eating into that valuable SSD space unnecessarily.



The PS5 is going to be extremely fast. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that the new console’s custom-crafted SSD will deliver processing speeds that dwarf those of the PS4. The PS5 is said to be capable of speeds 100 times faster than those found on its predecessor, forcing Epic Games’ developers to refashion their Unreal Engine 5 tech demo to keep pace with it.

Nick Penwarden, vice president of engineering at Epic Games, said: “The ability to stream in content at extreme speeds enables developers to create denser and more detailed environments, changing how we think about streaming content.

“It’s so impactful that we’ve rewritten our core I/O subsystems for Unreal Engine with the PlayStation 5 in mind.”


PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset

The fabulous Tempest Engine that is crammed into the PS5 means that it will feature sumptuous 3D audio support. The PSVR headset, one of the most intricately crafted audio systems in the gaming world at present, can support around 50 sound sources with amazing authenticity – but the Tempest Engine can support literally hundreds. An example is the sound of rainfall: in games at present, it’s just a single audio track producing a kind of watery hiss. The Tempest Engine in the PS5 will let you hear individual raindrops, depending on where the character is located.

This means that there is a strong probability that an upgrade is in the offing for the PSVR headset. Await news of a PSVR2 in the foreseeable future.


Last but not least – when and how much?

The console is available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico and South Korea from 12th November 2020, and in the rest of the world (the UK included) from 19th November 2020.

The price tag for the Standard Edition console is $499.99 in the US and £449.99 in the UK, while the Digital Edition is priced at the cheaper sum of $399.99 (US) and £359.99 (UK).



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