With a waterfall flow of information already coming forward regarding the next console generation from Microsoft and Sony it seems like right now is a good time to take stock of the overall data and what it all means from a big picture perspective. Either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Scarlett may end up being overpowered compared to the competition, but for now that remains in debate. Without final specs and independent third party testing we just don’t know yet. In terms of official announcements, we do have confirmation on several key factors regarding the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett.
It all started with Microsoft announcing that they were “working on next-generation consoles” at E3 2018. No information was given, but that got the ball rolling on next-gen information crossing over from the rumor territory to the teasing period (Phil Spencer on AMD’s stage, etc.) into finally actual confirmation which began leading into E3 2019 and continued throughout the show.
PS4 + PS5 Design Architect Mark Cerny leading up to E3 2019 (although Sony did not exhibit this year, for the first time since the landmark event’s inception). Demo showing Spiderman travelling through world at the speed of a jet with no rendering stutters on a PS5 Pre-Dev Kit.
It only took 0.83 seconds to load the game on PS5 versus 8.1 seconds to load the game on PS4 Pro.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan also confirmed that 4K games on the PlayStation 5 can run at 120Hz frame rate if the display is capable of handling the refresh rate. This likely will be accomplished In addition to this, it was confirmed by Ryan that there will be some sort of cross-generation support between the PS4 and PS5. Exactly how this will work has not been revealed yet but the SIE CEO claimed “pick up where you left off when you start playing a game again on the new console.” meaning that save files can be transferred.
PlayStation Now is also getting an upgrade in functionality next-gen thanks to Sony’s partnership with Microsoft for use of their Azure server technology. On the other hand, xCloud has 3,500 games supported right now in Alpha version testing and will be available on more platforms than ever originally imagined by the game industry.
The Secret Sauce of Next-Gen Consoles
CPU: 8-Core AMD Zen 2 (7nm) (3rd Generation)
PS5: 4.1GHz (Rumor) / Xbox: 4.5GHz (Rumor)
(Double the Last Generation’s CPU Power)
GPU: TBA (AMD Radeon Navi Architecture)
10 TFlops (Unknown MHz) (Double the PS4 Pro)
RAM: 8 – 12 GB GDDR6 (Rumor)
Ultra M.2 SSD Storage (High Bandwidth, Speed)
(Extremely Fast Load Times, Fast Travel, Graphics Streaming)
STORAGE CAPACITY: UNKNOWN
3D Audio Sound Processor
Highest Resolution Output: 8K
Highest Native Frame Rate Output: 120FPS
HDMI 2.0, 2.1, Dynamic HDR, Variable Refresh Rate
Vulkan Ray Tracing, AMD Freesync
*PS5 Has New Disc Drive Format
*PS4 Discs Compatible with PS5
*PS4 VR Headset Compatible with PS5
PS5 Release Date: TBA 2020
Xbox Project Scarlett Release Date: Holiday 2020
Very quick load times, massive worlds with raw power for driving graphics without stuttering or pop-ins, backwards compatibility, and more. The Solid State drive being used by next-gen consoles pairs with the latest Navi and Zen 2 architectures from AMD to do well to avoid any possible bottlenecks.
This is almost guaranteed to be upscaling only as even elite sets from major television manufacturers like Samsung Q900R cannot receive an HDMI 2.1 signal. The OneConnect Box which comes with the 8K TV from Samsung will need to be replaced with a OneConnect Box that has 8K inputs (when HDMI 2.1 cables become widely available). 48Gbps up to 8K max and 120Hz native frame rate (real frame rate, not the motion rate modes found in the UHD TV market). More importantly, HDMI 2.1 supports eARC, Dynamic HDR, Variable Refresh Rates, Auto Low Latency Mode, and more.
Pricing TBA, $499 – $699 USD range
Multiple SKUs? Or just one? We will have to wait and see, but it looks like the PlayStation 5 is planned as one unit while Xbox appears to have dropped their plans to have two units available. This means we are likely to see the two companies attempt to compete on price and perhaps even take a loss on hardware manufacturing cost in order to pack in better performance and more graphics power than expected.
We may also see a heavy focus on cross-gen compatibility made much easier for devs since the PS4 and Xbox One dawned a new era of console games based on PC architecture using custom APU technology crafted by AMD who has been quite innovative in the PC Gaming world these days in both graphics and processor tech! Horizon Zero Dawn 2, Halo Infinite, Death Stranding, FFVII, etc.
First Party Studios
Sony has traditionally created their own unique game studios from scratch spanning numerous teams across the globe. The exclusive PlayStation franchises created by these studios have given an identity to the platform which keeps players interested. Microsoft’s new Xbox Boss Phil Spencer has given fans the Xbox One X but only next-gen will we see the results of his pivot to investing in New IP and acquiring as well as creating more first party game studios.
- ForwardWorks – (Current Projects: No Heroes Allowed!, Wild Arms: Million Memories, Arc The Lad R) Founded: 2016
- SIE Japan Studio – (Current Project: Everybody’s Golf VR) Founded: 1993
- Polyphony Digital – (Current Project: Gran Turismo Sport) Founded: 1998
- SIE Bend Studio – (Current Project: Days Gone) Founded: 1993
- Naughty Dog – (Current Project: The Last Of Us: Part II) Founded: 1984
- PixelOpus – (Current Project: Concrete Genie) Founded: 2014
- SIE San Diego Studio – (Current Project: MLB The Show 19, New Uncharted Game (Rumor) Founded: 2001
- SIE Santa Monica Studio – (Current Project: God Of War 2 (Rumor) Founded: 1999
- Sucker Punch – (Current Project: Ghost of Tsushima) Founded: 1997
- Guerrilla Games – (Current Project: Horizon: Zero Dawn 2 (Rumor), Online Multiplayer Shooter (Rumor) Founded: 2000
- SIE London Studio – (Current Project: Blood & Truth) Founded: 1993
- SIE Manchester Studio – (Current Project: TBA VR) Founded: 2015
- Media Molecule – (Current Project: Dreams) Founded: 2006
- SIE XDev Europe – (Current Project: Unknown, Previous Project: Assistant Developers for Until Dawn & Detroit: Become Human) Founded: 2000
- Double Fine – Psychonauts 2
- InXile Entertainment – Wasteland 3
- Obsidian Entertainment – The Outer Worlds, Previous: Pillars of Eternity II, Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick Of Truth
- 343 Industries – Halo Infinite
- The Coalition – Gears 5, Gears Tactics
- Turn 10 – Forza Motorsport 8 (Rumor)
- The Initiative – To Be Announced (New IP)
- Undead Labs – State of Decay 2 (Rumor), New IP (Rumor)
- Playground Games – Forza Horizon 4
- Ninja Theory – Bleeding Edge (Beta June 27)
- RARE – Battletoads & “Project: The Next Big Rare Game” To Be Announced
- Compulsion Games – TBA, Previous: We Happy Few
- Mojang / Minecraft – Minecraft: Dungeons
- Microsoft Studios Global Publishing
PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and PS Now / xCloud will all play a major role in the future of console gaming, but we will discuss cloud / subscription-based gaming at a future date. That category, on its own, has been becoming quite the competitive scene as Apple Arcade will launch Fall 2019 with exclusive games and access to download 100 iOS titles guaranteed to have zero in-game purchases and zero ads, and they’re even playable offline. Google Stadia is another matter entirely as well, with Ubisoft recently announcing their streaming library will be available to users for a monthly fee in addition to their various Stadia investments. This provides an extremely low cost way for gaming to take place.
- Xbox E3 2019 Highlights w/ Trailers, Release Dates, Podcast
- Microsoft Announces Game Pass for PC, Expected to Bring More Xbox Games to Switch
- Xbox Promising Unlimited Budget & Creative Freedom For First Party Studios
- Cortana On Alexa, Xbox Live On Switch, xCloud On Everything? Microsoft’s Multi-Platform Future