When Are More PS5 Details Coming? A Look Back At PS4's Reveal Event

A new console generation approaches.


Sony has announced the PlayStation 5 is coming this holiday season, which leaves less than 12 months for the company to announce all the details in preparation for launch. If Sony follows the roadmap set by the PS4, the PS5's big debut could be extremely close. [Update: New PS5 information is set to be shared this Wednesday, March 18, by Sony's Mark Cerny. With that in mind, let's take a look back at how the PS4 was revealed--during an event that also featured Cerny.]

PS4 Reveal Event's Date, Time, And Location

In January 2013, Sony invited media to attend a special "PlayStation Meeting" to take place on February 20 at 6 PM PT in New York City. The showcase took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and it was during the event that the company outlined the PlayStation 4 launch plans.

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This event was the first we'd heard of the PS4's tech specs, with a detailed breakdown from hardware architect Mark Cerny. The event also showed the DualShock 4 controller with Share functionality, a PlayStation smartphone app, and promised games would be playable while downloading. It also gave a launch window of holiday 2013.

If Sony follows this timeline, which would allow maximum time for its retail partners to prepare for the holiday season, we can expect a similar rollout of information. The debut would take place in the first quarter, possibly as early as February. The 2013 event was scheduled for the evening, giving US fans who wanted to watch live from home the opportunity to do so after work. That time would be all the more important now, as publishers have increasingly messaged directly to fans.

E3 No-Show?

Alternatively, Sony could hold its announcements for the second quarter, near or even overlapping with E3's usual dates (though E3 2020 has been canceled). The annual ESA event is usually a showcase for new hardware and was expected to be the first public hands-on with Sony's primary competitor, the Xbox Series X.

Ceding the E3-adjacent period to Microsoft would allow the industry's biggest event to focus almost entirely on Sony's chief competition. Sony may not be keen on giving Microsoft such a gift, so it could counter-program with its own event even if it doesn't attend the show. That could be the reveal of the PlayStation 5, or it could be a public showing that builds upon the momentum from an earlier reveal event.

What We Know So Far

Whenever Sony chooses to lift the curtains, it will add much more to the limited details we have so far. Sony has begun talking about the PlayStation 5, but very rarely and in a tight-lipped manner. In fact, the company only confirmed late in 2019 that the system would be called the PlayStation 5 at all.

So far we know that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, and your older games will run faster thanks to the new system's solid-state drive. A leaked comparison video showed the load times on PS5 as compared to a PS4 Pro.

We also know the system will use an AMD CPU based on a third-gen Ryzen. It will have eight cores of the Zen 2 microchip. The graphics chip will be a custom version of the Radeon Navi. All that hardware power is said to support 8K resolution, and ray-tracing for both graphical and audio effects. Sony has also confirmed it will include a Blu-ray disc drive, which can play 4K Blu-rays. Finally, it will be compatible with PSVR in some capacity, and Sony issued a statement promising increased energy efficiency as part of a UN initiative.

The PS5 controller will replace the rumble tech from the last several PlayStation controllers with new haptic feedback. It will also include adaptive triggers on L2 and R2, which allows developers to adjust the resistance. Sony says that these two features working in conjunction with each other creates a unique simulation experience. A new UI will allow you to view more details about friends' games without opening the applications.

What We Don't Know Yet

That leaves plenty for Sony to reveal, whenever the company decides to do so. We haven't been given solid information on the price, release date, or launch lineup. We have no information on what the hardware--the console or controllers themselves--will actually look like. And the company's commitment to more nebulous ideas like PSVR aside, we don't know exactly what that means.

Most significantly, we haven't seen any of these hardware or UI features in action. Hearing about features like ray-tracing is one thing; seeing the difference it can make to an environment in a real game is another one entirely. Seeing the PS5 load Spider-Man much faster than usual was nice, but a new console launch demands some graphical "wow" moments. Sony is sure to provide those with a look at next-generation software running on the PlayStation 5.

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