Sony dishes more details about their next-gen console and controller.
PlayStation 5

The announcement of the next-gen consoles has been really, really weird. Sony first announced the PlayStation 5 via a Wired interview with Mark Cerny. Since then, there really hasn't been much revealed about the new console. In fact, it wasn't even known until today that the next console was actually going to be called the "PlayStation 5."

Today, a new PlayStation Blog entry was released alongside yet another exclusive Wired article that provides some additional details on the upcoming console from Sony. Yes, it's actually going to be called the PlayStation 5. It is currently slated to be released at some point during the Holiday 2020 season, so probably somewhere between late September 2020 and December 2020.

Cerny's blog post specifically talks about the updated controller that will ship with the PlayStation 5. He says that they are adopting haptic feedback to replace the generic rumble technology that has been used for years. Those who have kept vibration support enabled on their newest smartphones, may have some idea as to how this feels. It's a more tactile feeling in your fingers rather than one big shake felt by your whole hand. Those with Steam Controllers are also probably familiar with this sensation and how it differs from pure rumble feedback.

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.
Now, the Xbox One controllers have a form of haptic feedback included in the triggers. It's a sensation felt in games like Forza when you can feel the car shudder as you pull hard on the break. Cerny says that in addition to the haptics for the DualShock 5(?), they will also include "adaptive triggers" for the L2 and R2 buttons. From what he describes here, this is very similar to what we've already seen in the Xbox One controllers.

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. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.
Moving on to the Wired piece about the PlayStation 5 hardware, here is a general summary of what they shared.
  • PlayStation 5 supports ray-tracing on a hardware level.
  • Physical games will make use of 100GB optical discs.
  • The optical drive doubles as a 4K Blu-ray player.
  • Game installs are mandatory.
    • Installations and removals are more configurable.
      • Example: Can now opt to install a game's multiplayer without having to install single-player.
  • User interface is "completely revamped."
    • Will allow you to see multiplayer servers and join instantly.
    • Will allow you to see things like a current single-player mission to start immediately.
  • PS5 controller will look like the DualShock 4 but has a tiny hole in it that will be talked about at a later time.
    • Additional details on the new controller can be read about above.
    • Examples shared by Wired can be seen below.
    • New controller will have a USB Type-C connector for charging
      • Will have a larger capacity battery than the DualShock 4
  • PS5 dev kits have been out for a little while.
    • Controller prototypes have just started to go out recently.
  • Bluepoint Games is working on a PlayStation 5 game right now.
    • Bluepoint is known for remaking and remastering a number of older PlayStation titles
    • "We're working on a big one right now," says Bluepoing president Marco Thrush. "I'll let you figure out the rest."
And finally, Wired shared some first-hand impressions from trying out the new PlayStation 5 controller prototype.

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - “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 thumb sticks 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.”

Gran Turismo Sport - “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. User tests found that rumble feedback was too tiring to use continuously, so the released version of Gran Turismo Sport simply didn’t use it.”