The key appeal of a new console back in the day was usually a simple one: More power, a sexy new box and a reason to use that device to show off just how fantastic your new selection of video games looked when you invited the proles inside of your mansion. With the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One though, that philosophy changed overnight.
Sure, each of the consoles had plenty of grunt under the hood, but it was the idea of existing in a more connected world that allowed for these devices to evolve into glorious new machines that would close out the decade. Having a PS4 wasn’t just about showing off just how bouncy Lara Croft’s hair was in a definitive edition of that game that showered the screen with gorgeous new particle effects. It was about sharing those experiences, collecting them and using them to craft a new story that was unique to you.
So what will the PlayStation 5 do then? More of the same, or will it once again push console gaming in a new direction? “Each time a new console is released, the processor and graphics improve. Those are enticing of course, but we need to have special appeals as well. We have already confirmed the use of a solid-state drive. Having load times that are next to nothing is a major change,” Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan said to Business Insider Japan via Gematsu.
3D audio and the haptic feedback support of the controller are also things that, when you try them, you will be surprised at how big a change they are. Even just playing the racing game Gran Turismo Sport with a PlayStation 5 controller is a completely different experience. While it runs well with the previous controller, there is no going back after you experience the detailed road surface via haptic control and play using the adaptive triggers.
But you know. There are still more unique elements for PlayStation 5 to come that separate it from previous consoles. The ‘bigger differences’ have yet to be announced.
Beyond that, Ryan also addressed a few other lingering questions with sort of but not really answers:
Why the PS5 logo is basically the PS4 logo but with a 5:
It is important to give off a sense of consistency for products within the PlayStation brand. It is a must for anyone who sees [the logo] to immediately and positively think, ‘That’s PlayStation.’ There are over 100 million PlayStation 4 owners—there is a community there. We have an obligation to keep them happy, interested, and absorbed [in PlayStation].
On the challenge of convincing PS4 owners to switch to PS5:
During the migration from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, there will still be a great deal of PlayStation 4 users. That is very important and we have an obligation to those users. In the same way, we need to work out new appeals for PlayStation 5. This year will be a tough, but special year for us compared to previous console releases.
On the Japanese release window and how it’ll impact on Sony’s roll-out across the world:
I cannot comment on the timing of release or launch markets. However, the three-month delay for the release of PlayStation 4 in Japan was a decision that I was deeply involved in. There was reasonable ground for that decision, but these days I do not think that was a good idea. It was a decision made after much debate, but there may have been other options.
The current knowledge surrounding the PS5 makes for easy reading: Better hardware, a controller that makes games feel more immersive than ever before in your greasy hands and long loading screens being taken out back to the shed and gently put to sleep with an SSD shotgun. Bigger, better and faster stuff overall. But more unique features? That’s what I’m eager to see more of when Sony eventually unveils the dang thing.
Last Updated: January 9, 2020