Welcome to our PS5 Specifications page, where we talk about the technology that will power the PS5. Our prediction puts the PS5’s release date at 2020. By the time this year rolls around, technology will be in a very different place. We will be capable of doing new and exciting things, and as the system ages, it will evolve more than any PlayStation console before it.
- CPU (Processing Power)
- GPU (8K Graphics)
- RAM (Memory)
- Hard Drive
- Disc Drive
- 3D Audio
- Internet / Network
- Operating System
- Future of Gaming
- Playstation Plus 2.0
- Security and Privacy
- Backwards Compatible
PS5 Specs: Rumors and Current Predictions
Before we dive into our in-depth look at potential PS5 specs, lets start with the current predictions. The system’s architect, Mark Cerny, revealed some official details in April 2019, but the exact specs still remain a mystery. Here is what we know from that reveal:
- PS5 will support up to 8K resolutions
- The system will include an SSD that will drastically reduce load times
- Ray tracing (a powerful graphics technique) is supported by PS5
- The system uses a variation of AMD’s third generation Ryzen with eight cores of the new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture
- GPU is a variation of the Radeon Navi family
- The system provides 3D audio without any additional hardware
- Backwards compatibility with PS4 titles and PSVR is confirmed
A user on the Beyond3D Forum posted what they claimed to be leaked specs for the new system. Keep in mind, these seem a little high, but this is also the place where the Wii U’s specs were correctly leaked, so there may be some validity here.
These are our current spec predictions based on rumors and what was revealed by Mark Cerny:
- CPU: 8 core/16 threads at 3.2Ghz with a Zen2 architecture
- GPU: Navi-based with AMD next-gen features at 12.6 to 14.2 teraflops
- Memory: 24GB total with 20GB GDDR6 at 880GB/S and 4GB DDR4 for the operating system
- 2 TB SSD
It’s quite the leap, but with promises of 4K 60FPS across the board, this is the kind of hardware we would need. That being said, the RAM/memory seems a little on the high side. With these specs in mind, let’s dive deeper into the technology that could power the PS5 at launch and potentially a PS5 Pro midway through the next generation!
Part One: CPU Processing Power
- A variation of AMD’s third generation Ryzen line
- 8 cores of the new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture
- Current prediction: 16 threads at 3.2Ghz
The heart of the PS5 will be the processing power that it uses to create the experiences of the next generation. While we most certainly will address the debate between a physical and cloud-based console, we know that the PS5 will be a traditional gaming console, possibly with some streaming elements or options.
Right now, our games look real, but they don’t feel real, and that’s where PS5 is going to differentiate itself. Paul Ross, one of the co-founders of Three Fields Entertainment recently spoke about Planning for the next generation now and he made an excellent point about how physics engines haven’t evolved in several generations.
“Physics engines haven’t changed since I did the physics on TrickStyle for the Dreamcast. They’re all about rigid bodies and solid objects. This is a real paradigm shift because it’s about simulating physics at a molecular level. It’s been a really hard problem to solve for quite a while.”
The PS5’s pure processing power will offer developers like Paul and his team to create worlds that look real, and more importantly, feel real. This is the kind of evolution we’ve been waiting for.
One thing to remember, is that the CPU components used in consoles have more flexibility than typical PC hardware. Consoles offer fixed hardware and APIs, which allow developers to more accurately predict the kind of specs they’ll be able to work with. PCs, on the other hand, have a wide number of different rig possibilities.
As generations go on, developers also become more acquainted with the hardware as well, giving them the power to do more than before as they look for more efficient ways to optimize their coding. So, while we do use modern hardware to make comparisons, the actual specs of the PS5 will be a custom setup instead of standard PC parts.
Before we move on, let’s look at Microsoft’s latest console. The Xbox One X released with a custom CPU that runs at 2.3GHz with eight total cores. This is compared to the PS4 Pro, which has eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz.
So, in this department the two are neck-and-neck. Furthermore, these specs leave a lot of room for improvement when the PS5 releases.
Memory – RAM
- Current prediction: 24 GB GDDR6 RAM + 4GB DDR4 RAM for the operating system
The exact nature and quantity of RAM is still a mystery, but above we have placed our current prediction based on rumors and speculation. This would be a major leap forward from the 8GB of GDDR5 in the PS4 Pro, but with the other news that Sony is pushing for big specs in the next generation, it would make sense to see a large leap forward in RAM capacity.
Marc-André Jutras, technical director at Cradle Games, spoke to Gaming Bolt in December of 2018 and offered some insight into what he thinks we will see from the RAM aspect of the PS5:
“One thing that is going to change will be, you will get a lot more focus on the VRAM, which is the big bottleneck right now if you want good 4K games, because 4K frame buffer takes a lot of space,” he said. “So if you end up with a 4K buffer, you need four times the VRAM. So I think you will see, you won’t see shared RAM space next gen like you do with the PS4. I don’t think you will see that because it’s a big bottleneck. You’ll see more VRAM to support 4K and 5K and whatever else comes around. Just how much of that? I wouldn’t be surprised if the PS5 had 8GB of RAM and 8GB of VRAM.”
It’s possible that we will simply see this scenario, but given the current rumors, we are shooting for the stars. The way Mark Cerny described some aspects of the new system, it seems like Sony is going all in to ensure they aren’t beaten by Microsoft or Google’s Stadia platform.
Turning our attention once again for the current generation and the Xbox One X, let’s see what kind of RAM these systems have. The Xbox One X has 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, while the PS4 Pro has 8GB of GDDR5. While Microsoft’s system has the edge here, the PS5 will most likely have more than 12GB of RAM, and a better version of RAM at that.
Part Two: GPU Graphics and Hardware (4K and 8K Upscaling Confirmed!)
The PS5 will include totally new hardware.
- First gaming console to support 8K graphics
- GPU is a variant of Radeon’s Navi family
- Current prediction: 14.6 teraflops of computing power
- Ray Tracing Graphics (First time in a gaming console)
In Nov 2016 Sony released the PS4 Pro, which brought a second GPU into the mix. The total power it can utilize from this setup is 4.2 teraflops. It uses this to reach resolutions close to 4K through techniques like checkerboard rendering, but it’s not native 4K. Meanwhile, Microsoft has delivered native 4K with 6 teraflops of power in Xbox One X.
Mark Cerny, the PS5’s system architect, confirmed in an interview with Wired that the PS5 will support up to 8K resolutions (most likely through upscaling techniques similar to what PS4 Pro does to reach 4K).
Another development came from Jason Evangelho over at Forbes. In this article, he detailed information obtained from one of his sources claiming that AMD is building the Navi chip exclusively for Sony, even going so far as to pull resources from their Vega project. It was later confirmed the PS5 will utilize the Navi hardware.
This came off the heels of a rumor that Navi would be a midrange part not meant to compete with Nvidia’s high-end graphics cards, which makes sense if it’s being developed for a console. Microsoft is also strangely absent from reports that sources have made, leading analysts to believe that Project Scarlett may not use Navi at all, and instead incorporate its own semi-custom solution with Vega or something unknown to the public.
This would make a certain level of sense, given AMD’s roadmap that focuses on meeting the custom needs of both their PS4 and Xbox One contracts. In the same article, Jason also reveals that his source claims the PS5 will use both AMD’s Zen and Navi graphics architectures. This was also confirmed to be true.
What still remains uncertain, is how this will look from a hardware standpoint. The PS5 could have a massive SoC (system on a chip), or divide its components based on Ryzen and Navi respectively. Details are sparse on the Navi architecture, but we do know it will use a 7nm process (Confirmed for the PS5).
This is an important fact, as it points towards AMD’s history of creating integrated GPUs that work well with consoles from a size and power requirement standpoint.
If this is the case, the PS5 could be coming sooner than we think, or at the very least, Sony may have the drop on Microsoft once again, and could shake things up by releasing the new console before Microsoft has the chance to do so. Rumors also indicate Sony is aiming to surpass Stadia’s 10.7 teraflops.
Assuming that these analysts may be a few year’s off, let’s look at the specs we’ll be seeing in 2020:
Everything is in 4K UHD
By 2020, all digital content will be presented in 4K resolution with many going to 8K. By the time the PS5 releases in 2020, everything from television, to movies, to streaming will be in this ultra high resolution. A recent survey of media executives showed that nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that 4K would be mainstream within the next five years.
Prices are high right now as this emerging technology is hitting the market. As time goes on, the cost of regulating and producing 4K content will go down, as will the prices. This puts the timeline directly in line with the PS5’s release. Given this, the PS5 will absolutely support 4K.
Graphics always take a huge leap forward with each new game console. When the new console releases, we’ll be looking at PS5 graphics that will possibly be indistinguishable from real life. We’re already seeing this line blurred with game environments, and that’s just the beginning. Games like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are using a technique called photogrammetry to bring real life objects and settings into the game.
The biggest obstacle we’re facing is human faces. An observations known as the Uncanny Valley describes how we feel a sense of “uncanniness” when we look at someone that seems real, but isn’t quite right. In order to solve this, and other issues like realistic lighting, we’ll have to develop new and more powerful methods.
We’re already making progress with DirectX 12. This is a platform that developers use to make games, and according to Stardock’s CEO, Brad Wardell, DirectX 12 will bring CG-level graphics on PC by 2020. He makes a good point when he says that developers will learn to optimize development and better utilize the console’s resources as time goes on. This is true of any new development platform, but DirectX 12 is poised to bring us into the next level of graphics just in time for the PS5.
A recent interview with PlayStation’s architect, Mark Cerny, revealed that the new PS5 GPU will support Ray Tracing, which is a cutting-edge feature used in Hollywood CGI and in very high-end PC graphics cards. Ray tracing itself allows developers to create realistic lighting models that mimic the way light reflects and bounces off of surfaces like glass or water.
Not only does this advanced tech create even better graphics with realistic lighting, but it’s also a useful tool for developers. According to Mark Cerny:
“If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that.”
The Xbox One X has 40 customized compute units at 1172Mhz. It has also delivered on Microsoft’s promise of 6 teraflops in power. Conversely, the PS4 Pro clocks in at 4.2 teraflops. Our predictions are putting the PS5 at 14 teraflops of power, so the Xbox One X doesn’t stand a chance in this category.
Part Three: Hard Drive or the Cloud?
- SSD confirmed for PS5 with higher bandwidth than anything on the market
- Spider-Man running on PS4 took 15 seconds to load after fast travel. On PS5 hardware the same task took 0.8 seconds!
- Streaming is still on the table, but details have yet to surface about Sony’s plans
Sony has been confirmed that the PS5 will come with a SSD (Solid State Drive) which will improve load times dramatically. It their demo it decreased the load time by over 15 times!
In terms of storage, we are at a crossroads. On the one hand, we could continue storing our games and DLC on hard drives. On the other hand, we can stream games from the Cloud and remove the need for a traditional console, like what Google is doing with Stadia. It’s hard to say which way it’s going to go. The jump in game’s file size between the PS3 and PS4 was huge. The PS5 jump will also be huge.
It’s not uncommon for games to be as large as fifty gigabytes! This number will most likely double or even triple as graphics improve. Looking at hard drive technology, if the PS5 does indeed choose physical storage, we’re looking at 40 Terabyte hard drives by 2020 and 128 Terabyte capacities for SSDs by 2018. Keep in mind, a Terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes!
It seems huge, but the issue with a hard drive is limited space. Sooner or later it will run out. If the PS5 decides to take on the form of a cloud-based console, then there wouldn’t be a limit on space because games would be stored on cloud servers. Think of a cloud-based console as a service like Netflix, but for games.
Let’s not forget PlayStation Now, which is the service that Sony has been using since 2014 to test this concept. As high-speed internet continues to proliferate, it’s highly possible that PlayStation Now could be an option for people to play games on the PS5.
In this type of scenario, we wouldn’t need a big hard drive since the games would stream. Even so, it has been confirmed that the PS5 will include an SSD of some sort and will offer support for both discs and digital downloads. On top of this, though, Mark Cerny confirmed Sony still has plans for the cloud:
“we are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch”
It seems we may have multiple options when the PS5 releases.
Both the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro only have a 1TB hard drive included with purchase. This is an area where PS5 will most certainly improve by a large margin.
The PS5 will taking gaming Audio to the next level with 3D audio. This will be built into it’s custom AMD chip. As a result, Cerny has claimed that you will be able to hear the 3D audio through your current speakers or headphones.
Now, that being said, quality will improve this experience, so you may want to start saving for those high-end speakers or headphones you’ve been keeping your eye on.
Part Four: Internet / Network Speeds in 2020
Right now the major goal is to bring internet to everyone in the world. You may think of the internet as something everyone has, but there’s a majority of the world that still has yet to be connected. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is already on the task with something called Loon where they plan to deliver 3G-speed wireless internet to even the most remote places on the surface of the Earth. The project involves launching balloons 20 miles into the atmosphere to create a global network.
This would be possible through the use of 180 satellites. Of course, other companies like SpaceX and Facebook have their own plans to do the same thing. Facebook, for example, wants to send solar-powered drones to fly around the Earth for years and beam internet access.
Now let’s talk speed. Cloud-based or not, the PS5 needs to have fast internet. The problem is that the current networks in place are hiding behind walls and walls of red tape and politics. The National Broadband Plan is being deployed by the FCC and seeks to get 100-megabit speeds to 100 million American homes by 2020. These kinds of speeds would be a good start. These speeds would also be doubled in large cities where there is a need for faster speeds.
Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are on equal standing this generation. With PlayStation Plus at an all time high, Microsoft has been trying to keep up with their “Games with Gold” program, but the titles are rarely better in both quality and value to what you get on PS+.
Part Five: Television or VR?
Now that we’ve established the relative internet speeds and what’s going to be in the box, it’s time to start thinking about other specifications. The first that comes to mind is the question of whether we’ll be using televisions or virtual reality headsets to view our games? It’s more than likely that it will be a combination of the two, but let’s examine the future of these technologies.
The PS5 will most certainly feature a VR element. Mark Cerny did confirm that the current PSVR headset would work on the PS5. He also added this:
“I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy today, beyond saying that VR is very imnportant to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.”
Televisions have always been the primary method of viewing content. While VR may become popular, it will most likely act as a side experience with a television taking the main role. Luckily, televisions are quickly gaining ground with new and exciting technologies. Here are two trends we’ll see come to fruition when the PS5 releases:
1. LG Showcases Paper-thin, Flexible TVs
LG is developing incredible new types of televisions that are thin as paper and flexible as well. They’ve shown an 18-inch model that can be rolled up like a newspaper and sits on a wall using magnets. It’s incredible, and it looks like something out of a science fiction movie. The technology behind it is known as light-emitting organic diodes (OLED).
These are flexible enough to curve in any way that is needed. Think of it as a “wallpaper screen.”
2. Quantum Dot Technology
At its basis, Quantum Dot technology is a new type of LED-backlit LCD TV. While these won’t revolutionize televisions in the way that something like LG’s design could, they do provide an incredible potential for more vibrant colors, especially in 4K resolution. The dots have the ability to emit one color extremely well, and they can be finely tuned to reach whatever hue is needed.
Not only does this represent an increase in picture quality, but it’s also cheaper than an OLED television. This could result in cheaper 4K displays when the PS5 releases. Since the system will most likely use some sort of television screen, it’s important that something like this is in place to get the prices down to where they need to be.
Part Six: A Traditional Controller or Something Different?
The PlayStation’s dualshock controller has evolved into an almost perfect device with the PS4. The PS5 will have a hard time improving on this design, but with the advent of holographic technology, Sony could replace the touchpad with some sort of miniature projector, which would be incredible.
The DualShock 5 will improve on the previous controller with additional precision as well. Some possible changes will involve quantum locked analog sticks that can detect even the smallest movements. Combine this with a holographic projector, and touch-based buttons with tactile feedback, and you have the controller of the future.
The PS5 will most likely have a portable aspect to it. Imagine wearing a VR headset while using your controller as a smart device to control it regardless of where you are. With global internet, you’ll always be connected. A controller that doubles as a smart device is entirely possible when the PS5 releases.
One thing I’ve noticed when watching demos of PlayStation VR, is that they’re using PlayStation Move controllers. These are incredible devices for tracking movement, but they fell off the radar when there wasn’t support. Sony is repurposing them to help immerse you in virtual reality, and I couldn’t be happier.
It’s possible that the DualShock 5 will work in tandem with some sort of enhanced controller like the PlayStation Move. Again, the popularity of such a device has to improve over the years for this to be a possible outcome. Even so, Sony has been known to repurpose technology like the Move, or the Eye Camera in conjunction with new technologies.
8K, or even 16K Resolution?
4K is getting its footing with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but it’s just the beginning. Technology is already progressing into 8K and even 16K resolutions! While it’s most likely the PS5 won’t run games at 16K, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to run games at this resolution.
An interesting experiment was done by Linus Tech Tips. They put together a video (see below) where they built a 16K gaming rig. It took $10,000 in GPUs and 16 4K displays built from 16 27-inch Acer predator panels. The GPUs were powered by four Quadro P5000s that had 16GB of RAM each.
They got games like Half Life 2 and Minecraft to play at 40fps. Modern stuff like Rise of the Tomb Raider chugged along at 2-3fps. So, while it’s safe to say the PS5 won’t run at 16K, it will most certainly run at full 4K, and Mark Cerny also confirmed it will have the capacity to scale upward to 8K.
The latest sales numbers have shown that PlayStation VR has sold over 2 million units and over 12.2 million titles in the year since it was launched.
Microsoft has said that Xbox One X will get VR, but we still don’t know what hardware it will use or when it will release. Sony is miles ahead on this front.
Part Seven: Disc Drive or Digital?
The discussion around an optical disc drive for the PS5 revolves around the core concept that games have always been a physical thing. We’ve become more and more comfortable with digital downloads, which is leading people to believe the PS5 may ditch discs altogether. This assumption was wrong. The PS5 will include a disc drive.
Blu-Ray sales have been falling in recent years, and experts have declared them a dying format, but there doesn’t seem to be any rush to replace them. That hasn’t stopped new technologies from emerging though. Blu-Rays can hold up to 50 gigabytes, but we’re going to need more space for PS5 games.
Sony and Panasonic are developing a new replacement for Blu-Ray discs. The idea is to fight back against the rise of streaming content. These discs can hold more than 100 gigabytes a piece, which doubles the storage potential. Again though, we run into issues when games grow in size. Are we looking at a return to the days of multiple discs for longer games? The other option is, of course, digital downloads or streaming.
Sony has already been working on this with a service known as PlayStation Now. This is a digital streaming service where you can rent or buy games and play them over an internet connection. It’s not perfect, nor is it immensely popular in comparison to physical discs, but it does show Sony’s interest in the format.
If you’re worried about the PS5 ditching discs, you’ll be glad to hear that EA’s CFO, Blake Jorgensen, believes they are going to stick around. Speaking during a Nasdaq event on December 5th, he revealed his opinion:
“Consoles and disc drives probably stay around for a long period of time. I think it’s the consumer deciding what’s the easiest way to for them to buy a game. And it may mean they no longer have a store down the street from them so they decide to buy digitally. Maybe it’s easier for them to do so.”
He went on to say that the download rate for EA console game is about 30%, but it’s at 80-90% on PC. These figures are expected to grow, but it shows that people are still happy to buy their games physically.
While PS4 Pro decided to stick with a standard Blu-Ray drive, Microsoft came out ahead here with the Xbox One X and included a 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive in the Xbox One X. Sony seems to think that streaming is the future of 4K, but this could also be them waiting to reveal a 4K drive in the PS5, or less likely, a new format entirely for PS5 games.
Microsoft also released an Xbox One S in May 2019 that doesn’t have a disc drive at all. While this is not replacing their current offerings, it’s the first system we’ve seen this generation that doesn’t support physical media.
Part Eight: The Future of Online Gaming
I want to discuss two potential elements in this aspect of the PS5. Online gaming is huge, and Sony stepped up their game with the new network on the PS4. In order to stay ahead of the game, Sony will most likely go through another revolution when it comes to their online scene. Here are the two major specs for the next gen:
1. Further Social Integration
PS4 brought with it the ability to use a new “share” button to upload video, screenshots, and even stream live. This marriage of social media and gaming is only going to improve and grow over time. The PS5 will utilize the widely available internet of 2020 to keep you connected to your friends and fellow gamers better than ever before.
We’ll talk about how this is possible in a moment, but for now, expect your online life to be intertwined with your gaming life like never before.
PlayStation Plus began as a cool service that gave you free titles each month, but it become so much more since then. Now it fuels Sony’s improved online scene, and it has introduced new concepts like Vote to Play where players can choose which game they want to be the freebie that month.
Take this concept, and combine it with Sony’s willingness to support independent developers, and you have a recipe for the next stage in in PlayStation Plus’ evolution. The PS5 will allow gamers to vote on games they want to see made. If enough interest in shown, Sony will fund the title and give VIP access to Plus members as the game is developed. When it’s released, those who participated will get the game for free.
This kind of crowd-based development will allow for new ideas and games in the spotlight. It also involves gamers much more in the development process.
Part Nine: A Renewed Focus on Security and Privacy
One of the largest hot-button topics right now is the issue of privacy and security. The PlayStation Network has been hacked and taken down more than a few times. Sony will have to show a new and more stable type of security to win back the trust of the consumers.
Right now there are many different ideas in play, but one that has been getting a lot of interest, and funding, is a sort of verification to go online that involves you showing a digital passport. Once you’re online you can do as you like, but this extra step would add another layer of verification. This concept is being developed by DARPA as part of their National Cyber Range Security Programme.
The other option would be a form of two-step verification that uses biometric security. The popularity of biometric security skyrocketed in 2015 from 6 million users to 770 million. Fingerprint authentication is the major player, and this could easily be implemented into the PS5 in order to verify your identity when you sign in.
Part Ten: A Unified Operating System
The final specification ties everything together. Microsoft has been working hard to create a unified operating system in the case of Windows 10, and it’s working. Google Drive also allows you to keep your documents safe and on the cloud regardless of which device you’re using.
Sony has yet to do this on a large scale, but with the growing popularity of services that are device agnostic, Sony is going to develop their own operating system that can work across all kinds of Sony-made devices. Where did this idea come from? Sony recently posted a job for a Senior Game Designer.
The description of the job entailed working on an operating system which gave me this idea. Sony is going to create an operating system like Windows 10 that can work on your PS5, your VR headset, your smartphone, or any other device that Sony creates to work with the PS5.
Sony has confirmed that the existing PSVR headset will continue to function with the PS5. More information is sure to come over time.
The PS5 will be Backwards Compatible
Sony Confirmed! The PS5 will in fact be backwards compatible with PS4 games as we accurately predicted years ahead of time. The PS4 and PS5 share a similar architecture which is a win for gamers by making cross-gen games much easier to make and support.
Read our full Backwards Compatible article for all the details!
– Arthur C. Clarke
Technology began as a man made idea, it was something that we had concrete control over. As much as we think we know and understand the flow and evolution of technology, we merely set it into motion. Now it has taken on a life of its own. While we’re not quite at the stage where computers have more processing power than the human brain, we’re not far off either. The PS5 will be a powerful step in that direction.
Time for You to Weigh In!
We’ve outlined the specs for the PS5, but we’re not done yet! It’s time for you to weigh in and share your own thoughts. What are the top must have specs for you in the PS5? Leave a comment below with your own predictions and thanks for reading!
Article by – Bradley Ramsey