If you’re at all involved in online gaming communities, you‘ve probably heard about the PS5 – Sony’s next gaming console, rumored to be released soon.
But just what will the PS5 be like? How will it build on Sony’s previous models, and how will it compare other recent and upcoming consoles?
Here we cover all that and more, so you can better understand the history of the PlayStation console and the upcoming PlayStation 5!
Will you be investing in the next generation? Let’s find out.
What is PlayStation?
Before you learn about the new PS5 console, let’s take a moment to look back on the company that created this video game system.
Though it faced daunting challenges in the form of the high-tech Nintendo 64 and the Sega Dreamcast, the Sony PlayStation (or PSX) was once so popular that its creators, Sony, estimated 25 percent of all households in the entire United States owned a PSX!
PlayStations consist of two main parts: a console and a controller. The console plays a game on a CD-ROM/XA disc, reading the disc with a laser just like regular CDs.
The standard PSX controller has a total of fourteen buttons, including a directional pad of four buttons on the top left of the controller and a pair of “start” and “select” buttons in the middle of the controller.
It also included four action buttons on the top right of the controller with their iconic “X,” “O,” “triangle,” and “square” shapes; two action buttons on the front left of the controller; and two action buttons on the front right of the controller.
The history of the PlayStation all started back in 1988, when Sony partnered with Nintendo to create an attachment to the upcoming Super Nintendo game console.
The idea was to create a CD-ROM player that could be attached to the Super Nintendo, which would be called a “Super Disc.”
However, the Super Disc was, in the end, never released due to a series of licensing and contractual problems in the design process. Instead, in 1991, Sony introduced a modified version of the Super Disc to the world – called the PlayStation!
Within a decade, PlayStation would become the first gaming console in history to ship more than one hundred million units around the world.
This original Play Station used CD-ROM/XA discs, a kind of special interactive CD like nothing that had been used before in video game consoles.
This extended version of the CD-ROM format allowed players to access video, audio, and computer data simultaneously.
The PlayStation could also play audio CDs and Super Nintendo game cartridges through a special cartridge port.
The idea was for the PlayStation to be the core of your home’s entertainment center – but Sony only created about two hundred PlayStations before they decided to rework its design.
The next design was called the PlayStation X, or PSX. It no longer had a cartridge port for Super Nintendo games, as Sony decided to only focus on CD-ROM technology-based games.
The CD-ROM format allowed for 3D graphics more easily than other game cartridges. The PSX was launched in Japan in December 1994, and moved on to the United States and Europe the next year, in September 1995.
The PSX very quickly became one of the most popular gaming systems on the market!
PlayStation Link Cable
In 1995, Sony released the PlayStation Link Cable, which allowed users to connect two PlayStation consoles through two televisions, creating a multiplayer gaming experience long before the internet was a mainstream part of everyone’s homes!
Favorite characters like Crash Bandicoot and Lara Croft emerged in PlayStation games in the ensuing years, with impressive 3D graphics and engaging puzzles to keep their players coming back for more.
PlayStation X DualShock Controller
The DualShock PSX controller, launched in 1997, provided an innovative feature known as “force feedback.”
Force feedback is a tactile response to events that occur in the game, creating a more immersive experience.
For example, when you play a racing game on a PSX with a DualShock controller, if you run your car into a wall, you may feel a jarring vibration shoot through the controller and into your arms, making you feel like the crash actually happened to you!
Force feedback comes from a simple electric motor inside of the controller, which receives signals from the game itself.
In the year 2000, Sony released the PlayStation 2, which built on the previous versions’ successes.
The PS2 contained a DVD player, so gamers and movie-lovers needed only one console for their entertainment desires.
The PS2 also included online play and an enhanced Dualshock 2 controller.
In 2003, the EyeToy used the PS2 system’s USB ports to project the player’s image onscreen and track their motions, creating the foundation of several modern augmented reality games.
PlayStation Portable (PSP)
The PSP soon followed, released by Sony in Japan in 2004 and in the United States and Europe in 2005.
The PSP was a handheld gaming device, able to easily fit in a pocket while containing within it the ability to play not only games but also movies and music, as well as internet browsing capabilities!
The PlayStation 3 emerged onto the gaming scene in 2006 in Japan and 2007 in the United States and Europe.
It included a high definition screen and an integrated Blu-ray Disc player, along with a new DualShock 3 controller and the PlayStation Eye camera, which had twice the frame rate and four times the resolution as the PS2’s EyeToy.
In 2011 in Japan and 2012 in the United States and Europe, Sony released the PlayStation Vita, an upgraded version of the PSP.
Like the PSP, it was a handheld console. This time, though, the PSVita had an OLED touchscreen and two full analogue sticks – the first of any handheld gaming console to do so!
Sony’s latest PlayStation is the PS4, released in 2013 in the United States and Europe and in 2014 in Japan.
The PS4 continued to build on new technologies in the world of gaming, containing a system capable of vibrant visuals with a high dynamic range, as well as streaming and social media features, allowing players to share their experiences with each other.
A new Dualshock 4 controller and PlayStation Camera, also released in 2013, not only increased the immersive gaming experience for players with new VR experiences but also allowed users to capture their voices and images for broadcasting and facial recognition purposes.
In 2016, Sony revealed Project Morpheus, also known as PlayStation VR; it was a new way to play, bringing the 3D world of their games out of the screen and into your home.
PS5 Release Date
Though fans all over the world are clamoring to know when Sony will release the next console in its PlayStation series – the Sony PlayStation 5 (or “PS5”) – Sony has not yet officially stated the PS5 release date.
In May 2018, a report in the Wall Street Journal stated that the PS5 console was at least three years away from being released, which would indicate that the release would occur sometime in 2021.
However, many development kits have already gone out, indicating that Sony may be operating on games for 2019, which may include games for the PS5 console.
Sony has also decided not to make a presentation or press conference at the E3 2019 gaming trade show, which may be a sign that Sony is taking this year off in order to reappear next year with a bang by releasing the PS5 in 2020.
In January 2019, Daniel Ahmed, a games analyst, claimed that development kits for the PS5 had already been put into use in Sony’s first-party studios for the purpose of creating new games for the new console.
This further implies that the PS5 is well on its way and could appear in the next year or two. It is definitely time to be excited about the PS5!
This video explains some more details about the PS5.
Rumored Features for the PS5
Sony has been very careful to keep images of their new PlayStation console from leaking, but there are many theories about the eventual design and features of the PS5.
This console should follow the trend of previous PlayStation consoles and the general trend of modern gaming technology, creating a device that is smaller, thinner, and faster than previous consoles.
Sony has shown a tendency toward minimalist aesthetics, so we can be fairly certain that their new console will be just as sleek, black, and tastefully designed as its precursor designs!
Of course, the actual appearance of the console itself is less important than the hardware it will use and the games that you can play on it – so Sony will likely keep the physical exterior at the end of its to-do list.
There will also likely be a new Dualshock controller, potentially called the Dualshock 5, upgraded from before, just like every other PlayStation release.
The previous Dualshock controller’s embedded touchscreen was met with lackluster reviews from players, so it is unlikely that Sony will include a touchscreen on its next controller.
The Graphics, Audio, and VR
One of the biggest rumors about the PS5, which has the internet abuzz, is that it will have its own dedicated graphics chip.
Before this, PlayStations and gaming consoles from other brands have had one chip for both graphics and processing. Separating these functions onto two chips may increase efficiency and effectiveness overall.
Rumor also has it that the PS5 will upgrade its audio features, creating better sounds to go with the better graphics.
Sony has already been on the forefront of virtual reality experiences and games, so we can only expect them to continue to develop the best, most immersive VR experiences that the future has to offer, along with a gaming console that supports these experiences!
An older rumor about the PS5, which is still floating around, is that the PS5 will be backwards compatible, meaning that you can play your PS4 disks on the new PS5 console.
This would be a popular feature, as it means you won’t have to throw away your old games when you get a new console.
It also could mean that new gamers, for whom the PS5 would be their first console, can play PS4 games without purchasing an entirely separate device!
Of course, the PS5 isn’t the only gaming console that has people talking.
Here are some current and upcoming game consoles that may just give the PS5 a run for its money when it finally releases!
The PS4 Pro, also created by Sony, provided enhanced resolution and graphics onto the PS4 console’s technology, with a 4K gaming experience.
It allows users to play enhanced versions of PS4 games, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Kingdom Hearts III, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
However, in advertising, Sony made it clear that the PS4 Pro should be seen as a mid-cycle refresh rather than a big new step in gaming.
As such, it’s unlikely to put much of a dent into PS5 purchases, especially if the PS5 is backward compatible with PS4 Pro games.
If PS5 surprises the world with a 2019 release, then it may enter the market before the Xbox Two.
The Xbox Two is rumored to either be or include a streaming-only Xbox, with a smaller chip and a higher performance-to-power ratio.
Xbox Two may try to catch up with the strides Sony achieved in the PS4 by removing the unpopular Kinect bundle and overall reducing its price.
However, only time will tell if it can actually match the PS5’s performance and popularity.
This video talks about the competition between the Xbox Two and the PS5.
Xbox One X
Though pricier than the PS4, the Xbox One X boasts of 40 percent more power than any other gaming console and an even more immersive 4K gaming experience.
With more memory and faster processing speeds than previous gaming consoles, Xbox One X creates life-like detail in its games that are difficult for other gaming consoles to match.
Players will definitely be comparing the PS5’s eventual release with the features of the Xbox One X to see who better serves their needs.
One thing’s for sure – PlayStation’s reputation and successes up to this point mean that the world is already excited about the PS5. Now you just have to wait to see what exactly it will bring to the world of immersive gaming!
Will you be purchasing the Playstation 5? What are you msot excited about?