PS5

Well folks, it’s official. In another exclusive with Wired, Sony has announced the PlayStation 5 will be coming out in time for holiday 2020. Oh and it is called PlayStation 5 as well, so no more wondering there.

They talked a little more about the PS5 features we heard last time (SSD, ray tracing, etc.) and Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan promised more news will come in the following year. They mentioned some more about how the SDD will help the game load much faster and that downloading games might work a little differently in the future. For example, you could just download the multiplayer section of a game and not the single player story.

They also talked about the yet-to-be-named-but-most-likely-dualshock 5 controller for the PS5. Two features that will be included are haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.

Haptic feedback is a fancy version of (and will be replacing) our current vibration technology in the Dualshock 4. To put it simply, this haptic feedback will give more varying degrees of feedback associated with what’s going on in the game. In the Wired article they talked about walking through different kinds of terrain and how the haptic feedback made each one feel different.

Combined with an improved speaker on the controller, the haptics can enable some astonishing effects. First, I play through a series of short demos, courtesy of the same Japan Studio team that designed PlayStation VR’s Astro Bot Rescue Mission. 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.

The adaptive triggers are in the trigger buttons (L2 and R2) and give feedback to make things feel more realistic. Examples given on the PlayStation blog were shooting a bow and driving on rough terrain.

Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain.

As you can see this gives developers a lot of cool options to make their games more immersive. All in all, it looks like we have some cool things to look forward to in the coming year. But at least it’s official now. The PlayStation 5 is happening.

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