Sony announced a ‘Holiday 2020’ release window for the PlayStation 5 along with two exciting new features for the PS5 controller.
Well, it wasn’t a flashy announcement, but Sony has officially revealed the launch window for the PlayStation 5. As many had already predicted, the PS5 will release during the “Holiday 2020” season.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been following news regarding the next-gen system, but it’s nice to see Sony finally announce it.
The announcement came via the official PlayStation Blog, alongside an in-depth article from Wired in which some more features about the PS5’s controller was revealed. Sadly, the controller wasn’t actually revealed, but I like what I’m hearing about the new features.
Sony detailed two new features built into the PS5’s controller, both of which are aimed an increasing immersion. Haptic feedback is replacing the current “rumble” technology found in the DualShock 4 controller, while something Sony calls “adaptive triggers” will be incorporated into the L2/R2 trigger buttons.
As explained by Sony, haptic feedback is designed to give a “broad ranger of feedback” so you can get a more realistic sense of what’s happening in the game. Wired detailed their experience with haptic feedback in a version of Gran Turismo Sport that was ported to a PS5 devkit.
"Driving on the border between the track and the dirt, I could feel both surfaces. Doing the same thing on the same track using a DualShock 4 on a PS4, that sensation disappeared entirely. It wasn’t that the old style rumble feedback paled in comparison, it was that there was no feedback at all."
It sounds awesome, but perhaps the more exciting features is the adaptive triggers that ” offer varying levels of resistance to make shooting a bow and arrow feel like the real thing—the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back—or make a machine gun feel far different from a shotgun.”
It sounds like Sony is going all-in on immersive gameplay, which makes sense considering their push into virtual reality with PlayStation VR. Recounting another demo they had played, Wired wrote:
"In the most impressive, 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."
Now imagine that feeling with the sensation of actually standing within that environment in PlayStation VR. This is the future Sony seems to be envisioning, but not the only vision.
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The controller will also use a USB Type-C connector for charging, and it will feature a larger-capacity battery. It’ll be a bit heavier than the DualShock 4, but lighter than the current Xbox One controller with batteries. With complaints of the DualShock 4’s battery life, this sounds like a wonderful improvement, and the extra weight might even be a blessing with some people having issue with the DualShock’s light weight.
The rest of the article is dedicated to the PS5’s hardware capabilities, which includes further clarification regarding the system’s ray-tracing support and solid-state drive. The latter isn’t just about speed, but efficiency as well, completely changing how the PlayStation 5 will read data. Not only will the PlayStation 5 speed up reading data but it will help save space as well, giving developers more freedom to build a larger or more detailed game world, or simply shrink the size of games or patches. Either approach will likely be welcomed by gamers.
It was also confirmed that physical games for the PS5 will use 100 GB optical disks for the system’s optical drive that doubles as a 4K Bluray player. Game installation will be mandatory but it’ll be a “more configurable installation.” As the system architect Mark Cerny explained, players may be able to install parts of a game, like just the multiplayer, or installing the entire game and then deleting a specific portion, like the single-player campaign, once you’re done with it.
It wasn’t a flashy article, but I think most people appreciate the details instead of a sizzle reel. And I definitely like what I’m hearing so far. Sony promises more information about the PlayStation 5 “in the year ahead,” but at least we have something solid to look forward to now.