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PlayStation 5: Specs, release date, specs and everything else we know

The insides of the PS5 are finally revealed.

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The PS5 is coming. 

James Martin/CNET

Sony announced its next-generation PlayStation hardware in April and offered a demo in May. We haven't known much about its next console, the PlayStation 5 -- except that the company says it'll offer vast improvements over the PlayStation 4.

On Mach 17, Sony revealed the specs for the PS5 during an hour-long presentation hosted by system lead architect Mark Cerny. The reveal included the main components of the console along with some of the unique features it will have. Not everything was shown, but there was far more details about the PS5 than previously shown. 

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Here's everything we know so far about the PlayStation 5.

When can we expect the PS5?

Last October, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan offered up new details about the PS5, including the 2020 holiday season release window.

The official PlayStation 5 website went live Feb. 4, but there's not much to see. There's a short message on the site saying "We've begun to share some of the incredible features you can expect from PlayStation 5, but we're not quite ready to fully unveil the next generation of PlayStation." Below that is an email sign-up to get future details about the console. 

The price of the PS5 is still unknown, but the cost to manufacture one is reportedly $450, according to a Bloomberg report in mid-February. One contributor to the steep cost is the low supply of DRAM and NAND flash memory used in smartphones. Even so, Sony may still give the PS5 a lower price tag in order to compete with Microsoft and its upcoming Xbox Series X

What's new about the PS5? 

Graphics 
Powering the PS5 will be custom AMD CPU and GPU. They are 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz and a graphics processor based on the Ryzen line that runs at 2.23GHz, producing 10.28 teraflops. 

There were no games shown during Sony's hour-long presentation on March 17, but Cerny said the new console's hardware is optimized for developers so they can take full advantage of the PS5's power in less than a month, unlike some of the older PlayStation consoles that could take several months. 

Storage
Players will see a big change in storage. PS5s will have an 825GB SSD that will load data in a fraction of the time it took the PS4 hard drive. As for the unique size of the PS5 SSD, Cerny says it was designed with consideration of "optimal price performance."

PS5 SSD

The new SSD will make a big difference in the PS5.

Sony

Because of its high speed, developers will be able to load assets from it directly rather than load some of it to the system's RAM, a common tactic used for PS4 games. This frees up the entire 16GB GDDR6 RAM. 

There will also be an expandable bay in the PS5 for another SSD. However, the new storage must be of a certain speed in order for it to be compatible. As of now, there are few SSDs on the market that are comparable, but Cerny says following the new consoles launch and after some testing, an official compatibility list will be made available. 

Controller
The PS5 is also getting a new controller that'll ship with the console. Ryan says the new controller will adopt haptic feedback to replace the older "rumble" sensation. There will also be new speakers in the controllers and a USB-C port. 

"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. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud," Ryan said in the release.

The controllers also incorporate adaptive triggers in the L2/R2 buttons. If developers choose, they can program resistance into the triggers so you can feel a "tactile sensation" of drawing a bow, accelerating a vehicle off-road, and more. It makes games more immersive overall. 

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Green tech
In September, Sony also said its new console would be "greener." If 1 million players use the PS5's energy-saving feature, Sony said, that would save the equivalent of the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes. Both Sony and Microsoft have said they're committed to making more eco-friendly video game consoles

Do we know about any games yet?

Not for PS5, unfortunately. Ryan did say that Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima are still coming out for PS4.  

Can it play PS4 games? 

During the March 17 presentation, Cerny explained that the PS5's chip was designed to incorporate the logic and features of the PS4 processor. This means the PS5 is backward compatible with the PS4 from the start and didn't need to emulate the older console. He says of the top 100 PS4 games, almost all will be playable when the PS5 launches. Sony then added to that statement a few days later saying it expects an "overwhelming majority" of the 4,000 PS4 games will work on the PS5. 

Originally published Oct. 8, 2019, and updated as new information is revealed.
Correction, Jan. 13: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect title for Jim Ryan. He is CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.