Gaming

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The PlayStation 5 And The Xbox One S All-Digital

Two new consoles are coming (relatively) soon.

PlayStation Xbox Consoles Controllers

Welp, it’s about that time again folks: new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are just around the corner.

Yep, although it feels like a matter of seconds ago that we were last upgrading our consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One debuted a dizzying five and six years ago respectively. Time waits for no human, it seems, and neither does Microsoft or Sony.

For the last little while, information on both of the new consoles has been relegated to the world of rumours and leaks. Now, however, we’re finally getting some new information on just what to expect.

Everything We Know About The PlayStation 5’s Hardware

The first thing to know about the PlayStation 5 is that nobody actually knows whether it’s called the Playstation 5. In the interview that broke all of what we know about the forthcoming console, Sony’s Mark Cerny merely referred to it as the next-gen console.

What we do know a great deal more about is the hardware. The new console will boast an AMD chip, and will theoretically be able to process ray tracing. Without going all tech-head about it, ray tracing is a state of the art 3D rendering technique that’s regularly used by Hollywood for big-budget CGI spectacles. It’s an advanced way of tracking light that can also be applied to graphics and sound more generally. Basically, it makes things brighter, clearer, and significantly more beautiful to look at. For it to be a staple of modern gaming would be a massive step forward.

What Cerny is most excited about, however, is a high-powered solid-state drive that’ll come built into the PS5. All going to plan, the game’s SSD could cut down loading times to one eighth of what they are currently. That means in-game fast travel could take less than a second, according to the Wired chat with Cerny.

Oh, and for all those underwhelmed (somehow) by the graphics offered by a 4K tv, never fear — the next-gen console will be able to accommodate those 8K TVs that aren’t even on the market yet.

What About The Games?

Cerny kept pretty shtum on the specifics of the games that are going to be coming out for the console. But he did drop two interesting bits of information. The first is, when pressed about Hideo Kojima’s psychosexual, maybe post-apocalyptic weirdo headtrip Death Stranding, Cerny wouldn’t reveal whether the game would be only released for PS4.

That led the Wired journo Peter Rubin to guess that it might be a duo-console release. That probably won’t get confirmed for a while, but still — interesting.

Secondly, Cerny revealed that the console will be backwards compatible.

Thank god.

When’s The Thing Actually Dropping?

The short answer to this question is: nobody knows. Rubin says it won’t be this year, so if Sony is starting to talk specifics, 2020 would probably be the best guess.

Anything more than that will probably have to wait till June, AKA E3 season. Though Sony won’t actually have an official E3 presence, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll start talking more about next-gen consoles then.

Everything We Know About The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

By contrast, we have a fair amount of info about Microsoft’s forthcoming, Xbox One S Digital-only console.

Oh and yeah, that’s probably the detail to lead with — the Xbox One S All-Digital will have no disc drive, so everything will need to be downloaded. That makes it the perfect investment for all of you who do most of your game shopping and browsing digitally anyway.

Better yet, the Xbox One SAD will come pre-loaded with three of Microsoft’s most talked-about titles: Sea of Thieves, Minecraft and Forza Horizon 3. That lineup makes it a pretty great console for someone looking to break into Microsoft titles, or maybe just gaming generally — sounds like a perfect My First Console investment to me.

Importantly, the Xbox One SAD isn’t the next-gen console for Microsoft. It’s not a direct competitor to the PS5, and hasn’t been designed to necessarily represent the future direction of the company. Rather, it’s a kind of mini-console — a fresh diversion from the beaten path offering some distinct highlights all of its own.

The Xbox One SAD will be available for purchase in the States from May 7, and in Australia “later this year.” So, unlike with the PlayStation 5 — or whatever that thing is called — there’s not long to wait.