PlayStation 5 will get controllers with haptic feedback and will be released at the end of 2020

Sony will release the PlayStation 5 during the holidays next year. The console gets new controllers with haptic feedback and triggers with resistance that adapts to games. Sony also confirms hardware support for ray tracing.

Sony has revealed the new details about the PlayStation 5 to Wired and also posted a blog online confirming the name and release date. Sony’s system architect Mark Cerny clarifies to Wired that the console will receive hardware support for ray tracing. Microsoft’s Xbox successor Project Scarlett was already known to get a GPU with ray tracing hardware. It is not yet clear how the GPUs in the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox will relate to each other, further specifications are missing.

In April, Sony already announced some details about the PlayStation 5 hardware: the console will receive a Ryzen octacore processor, a Navi GPU and a fast SSD. At the time, Sony was also talking about ray tracing support, but it was not yet clear whether it would be hardware support; the first generation of Navi GPUs does not have ray tracing hardware on board and the technology can also be applied with software.

New controllers will be released along with the PlayStation 5. Wired has already held onto the new controller and states that the appearance is very similar to that of the current DualShock 4. The new version has adaptive triggers. These are triggers whose resistance can adapt to situations in games. Sony mentions shooting with a bow and arrow as an example. Players should be able to feel the tension of the bow through the new triggers. Also, in shooting games, a shotgun with these triggers would feel very different from a machine gun.

Another innovation in the controller is the use of haptic feedback instead of a regular vibration motor. Both handles of the controller contain an electromagnetic actuator that can be precisely programmed. Sony has also improved the speaker in the controller. According to Wired, this produces convincing effects. In a demo with the PlayStation VR game Astro Bot Rescue Mission, you can feel what kind of surface the character is walking on, according to the publication. Surfaces with sand, mud and ice therefore feel different. Wired also played a modified version of Gran Turismo Sport on a PlayStation 5 devkit. Also in that game it is ‘tangible’ on what kind of surface the car moves.

The new controller will have a USB-C connection and can be charged with it. It is also possible to play wired via that connection. The built-in battery has a higher capacity than that of the current DualShock 4. The new controller is therefore slightly heavier, but according to Sony it is still lighter than the Xbox One controller with batteries.

According to Wired, the PlayStation 5 devkit looks a lot like the drawings and renders that came out some time ago. LetsGoDigital discovered a design patent from Sony in August containing sketches. The site then had renders made of it. However, Sony won’t say whether the consumer version will look the same. Development versions often have a different look than the consumer consoles.

Sony also confirms that the PlayStation 5 will use optical discs for games. These are Blu-ray discs that fit 100GB. The console can also be used as a UHD Blu-ray player. As announced in April, the PS5 will receive an SSD for storage. Its capacity is not yet known. However, Sony is now giving new details about installing games; this should be possible in a ‘modular’ way. Players can then, for example, remove the single player part if they have completed it, while the multiplayer part remains on the console. Sony also promises a new graphical interface, but details are not yet known.

Render of PlayStation 5 devkit made by LetsGoDigital. The version for consumers may be different.

Update, 16:04: Replace render image with new version. LetsGoDigital put new renders online this week, which have been adjusted in consultation with Gizmodo. That site has more information about the devkit on hand.