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PlayStation 5 launch: What you should know

13 Nov 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

PS5 is now available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It will launch in Europe and other regions from November 19. Here is practical information along with tips and other details.

Console hardware

There are two PlayStation 5 consoles. Unlike Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S, there are no major differences besides the addition of the optical disc drive (UHD Blu-ray) in the more expensive PlayStation 5. Specifications below.
PS5PS5 Digital Edition
Price$499.99 USD/€499.99/£449.99$399.99 USD/€399.99/£359.99
CPUx86-64-AMD Ryzen “Zen 2” 8 Cores / 16 Threads Variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHzx86-64-AMD Ryzen “Zen 2” 8 Cores / 16 Threads Variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz
GPUAMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine Ray Tracing Acceleration Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine Ray Tracing Acceleration Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
System MemoryGDDR6 16GB 448GB/s BandwidthGDDR6 16GB 448GB/s Bandwidth
SSD825GB 5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (Raw)825GB 5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (Raw)
Optical DriveUltra HD Blu-ray (66G/100G)
~10xCAVBD-ROM (25G/50G)
~8xCAVBD-R/RE (25G/50G)
~8xCAVDVD ~3.2xCLV
PS5 Game DiscUltra HD Blu-ray, up to 100GB/disc
Video OutHDMI OUT port Support of 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver.2.1)HDMI OUT port Support of 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver.2.1)
Audio“Tempest” 3D AudioTech“Tempest” 3D AudioTech
DimensionsApprox. 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection, excludes Base)Approx. 390mm x 92mm x 260mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection, excludes Base)
Weight4.5kg3.9kg
Power350W340W
Input/OutputUSB Type-A port (Hi-Speed USB) USB Type-A port (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps) x2 USB Type-C port (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps)USB Type-A port (Hi-Speed USB) USB Type-A port (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps) x2 USB Type-C port (Super-Speed USB 10Gbps)
NetworkingEthernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Bluetooth 5.1Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Bluetooth 5.1

Pricing

PlayStation 5 costs $500 / €500 / £450 for the disc version and $400 / €400 / £360 for the Digital Edition. For more information on pricing on accessories as well as launch details in various regions check here.

Format support

PlayStation 5 is optimized for 4K gaming. It supports HDR10 but not Dolby Vision in any form. Dolby Atmos bitstreaming is supported for Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray, but PS5 does not support Dolby Atmos for gaming. It does not support Dolby Atmos decoding for apps either. Support for 8K will be added via a future system update. For the first time, PS5 now also supports ray-tracing for more realistic lighting and reflections.

Audio

Instead of Dolby Atmos, Sony has developed its own 'Tempest 3D AudioTech' system for spatial audio in games. Games must be developed with Tempest 3D in mind to take full advantage of the possibilities, but Sony says that Tempest can also upconvert audio from other games to bring some level of improvement. Follow the link to see a list of the first games with Tempest 3D Audio.

HDMI 2.1 features

The HDMI 2.1 port in PS5 outputs 4K at up to 120fps (frames per second) but it will depend on the specific game. It will also support VRR for smoother gameplay, but it may require a system update and it will again depend on the specific game. PS5 does not support ALLM but will, like PS4, most likely support Sony's own alternative to ALLM that automatically puts Sony TVs (and some other TVs) into game mode. All these features require that your TV supports HDMI 2.1 too.

User interface & apps

PlayStation 5 has a new user interface compared to PS4. It will have a different selection of apps too. The Apple TV app is for the first time launching on PS5 (and PS4). Follow the link to see which other streaming apps are available now or coming soon.

Backwards compatibility

PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible with PS4 games by nature (because both run on x86 hardware architecture), and some games will run at higher resolutions and frame rates. You need PS5 games to take full advantage of PS5's powers. Some PS4 games will be optimized for PS5 but as a rule of thumb do not expect the upgraded version to be available free of charge. PS5 is not backwards compatible with PS3, PS2 and PS1 games.

Games

Some next-gen games will be more expensive ($70 / €80) compared to the last console generation. Sony's game subscription service, PlayStation Now, is available on PS5 at launch. PS5 game discs will be region free. Here are trailers for the first 27 PS5 games.

The controller

Sony has redesigned its game controller for PS5. The new DualSense controller is the first to feature adaptive trigger L2/R2 buttons, allowing game developers to adjust the tension of the buttons depending on the specific game scene. DualSense also features improved 'rumble', or haptic feedback. There is also a PS5 Media Remote (see below).

Further information

Further information can be found in our PlayStation 5 section. FlatpanelsHD will publish an in-depth review of PS5 later. Have you received your new PS5?

PS5 Media Remote




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