Details Emerge About Sony Interactive’s 2020 PlayStation 5

Sony Interactive Entertainment has so far said little about its PlayStation 5, set to debut during the 2020 holiday season. The company was even a no-show at E3, where Microsoft introduced its Xbox One successor, Project Scarlett. Sony had stated that PS5 would support ray tracing, just revealed to be via a GPU hardware acceleration, rather than a software tweak. The console will also feature a solid-state drive, which will dramatically speed up loading time, by avoiding the need to duplicate game assets, also saving space.

Wired reports its exclusive conversation about PS5 with Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan and system architect Mark Cerny, at Sony’s U.S. headquarters. With regard to PS5’s SSD, game developers are likely to take advantage of additional space in different ways, either building “a larger or more detailed game world … [or] shrink[ing] the size of the games or patches.”

PS5 physical games “will use 100GB optical disks, inserted into an optical drive that doubles as a 4K Blu-ray player.” “Aided in part by the simplified game data possible with the SSD, Sony is changing its approach to storage, making for a more configurable installation — and removal — process.”

Cerny noted that this “finer-grained access to the data … could mean the ability to install just a game’s multiplayer campaign, leaving the single-player campaign for another time, or just installing the whole thing and then deleting the single-player campaign once you’ve finished it.”

The PS5 will also feature a “completely revamped user interface … [with] multiplayer game servers … provid[ing] the console with the set of joinable activities in real time [and] single-player games … provid[ing] information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them.”

The prototype controller features “adaptive triggers” that “can offer varying levels of resistance.” It uses a USB Type-C connector and a larger-capacity battery. Bluepoint Games and EA are two game studios that are developing games for the new console. “We’re seeing the GPU will be able to power machine learning for all sorts of really interesting advancements in the gameplay and other tools,” said EA chief studio officer Laura Miele. “We’re stepping into the generation of immediacy.”

Engadget adds that “controller shakes will offer a wider range of rumbles, and the company going so far as to claim a sense of touch so refined, you can feel the difference between walking through fields of grass and plodding through mud.” The other big update is adaptive triggers via the L2 and R2 buttons, which game developers can program “to represent in-game tension and force.”