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PS5: Specs, price, release date and how it compares to gaming laptops

(Image credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com)

The PlayStation 5 is not a laptop, so why are we talking about it? Well, it might just be a cheaper alternative to one of the best gaming laptops you can buy now, even one toting an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. Rumors suggest that the PS5 might be the most powerful console out there, possibly as strong as a laptop.

Here's what we know so far about the PS5, and why you might want to get it over the best laptops.

PS5 release date

In an interview with Wired, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that the PS5 is scheduled to launch in Holiday 2020, presumably alongside Xbox Project Scarlett.

With that, Sony may also release a PS5 Pro at the same time the PS5 comes out. Considering how much power Sony seems to be bragging about, we're curious to see how much stronger the Pro model actually will be. This comes from Japanese journalist Zenji Nishikawa, as spotted by Wccftech, who said on a livestream that both consoles will launch in Holiday 2020. Nishikawa has a track record of being right, especially with the Nintendo Switch Lite and PS4 Pro.

Another popular leaker, PSErebus, revealed that the PS5 would be available in North America on November 20, 2020. To PSErebus' credit, they did correctly predict the release date for The Last of Us Part II, so there may be some credibility to their prediction. However, you should still remain skeptical.

A user on the PS5 subreddit found that the Sony Hall was booked for a private event slated for February 29, so it's possible that we might get our first look then, before E3 even happens.

PS5 specs

Sony's Mark Cerny detailed the specs of the PS5 in an interview with Wired, and it seems that the PS5's CPU and GPU will be based on AMD's third-generation, eight-core Ryzen processor and AMD's Radeon Navi line, respectively. The biggest reveal was that the PS5 will be able to bring ray tracing to consoles, which is the same technology found in Nvidia's RTX GPUs.

(Image credit: Future)

Hardware leaker Komachi Ensaka said, via a translated tweet, that the PS5's GPU will perform close to the RTX 2080 GPU. It's unclear whether this means it'll be closer to the mobile GPU or desktop GPU, but regardless, the machine will be powerful. 

What I'm most excited about is that the PS5 will finally get an SSD. To show how much faster games will run on an SSD, Cerny played a part of Marvel's Spider-Man that typically takes 15 seconds to load, and loaded it in under a second. Sony also said later that the PS5 will deliver "dramatically increased graphics rendering speeds, achieved through the employment of further improved computational power and a customized ultra-fast, broadband SSD." According to leaker PSErebus, the PS5 will come with a 2TB SSD.

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Additionally, the PS5's CPU will enable 3D audio, which will allow for more immersive experiences. And according to PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan in an interview with CNET, the PS5 will support resolutions of up 4K at 120Hz, along with 8K at 60Hz.

According to industry leaker Tidux, the Xbox Series X and the PS5 have equivalent CPUs, but the Xbox Series X wins with its GPU by less than 1 Teraflop. Meanwhile the PS5 takes the victory lap with its larger RAM as well as its larger and faster SSD. Tidux broke this down to the PS5 having better performance than the Xbox Series X, but we have our doubts.

PS5 vs. gaming laptop

If the PS5 is really packing a GPU that's comparable to an RTX 2080, that means it can go toe to toe with laptops like the Alienware Area-51m, the Asus ROG Mothership and the MSI GT76 Titan.

For reference, these machines all cost over $4,000 as tested. On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the Area-51m nailed 92 fps, the ROG Mothership hit 86 fps and the GT76 Titan scored 68 fps. Even if the PS5 is as strong as these machines, it's going to have to dial back the settings to use that 120Hz refresh rate — and that's just on 1080p. At 4K, the GT76 Titan could reach only 25 fps. 

So, I don't see the PS5 pushing 120 fps at 4K on the highest settings. Sony's going to have dial back those settings hard if it wants to see those high frame rates. To top it off, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a last-gen game. The PS5 might be pushing the same performance, but the graphics in its games will likely be dialed down and still be non-customizable.

However, at a fraction of the price, the PS5 is the better deal. If you want ray-tracing, smooth graphics and to not have to worry about optimizing the settings yourself, then the PS5 is probably the one to go with.

PS5 price

Regarding price, Twinfinite reported that Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda has predicted that the PS5 will cost $499, which makes it about an eighth of the price of a souped-up gaming laptop. In the aforementioned leak by PSErebus, they stated that the PS5 had a "recommended" sale price of $499 with a 2TB SSD no less.

PS5 games

You'll not only get most of the same games you'll get on PC, but you'll also benefit by getting PlayStation exclusives, which, in this journalist's humble opinion, is much better than the exclusives you'll see on PC (fight me).

Spiderman

(Image credit: Sony)

Although there aren't any confirmed exclusives for PS5, think about the sequels we're going to get to badass games like God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Spider-Man. Top that off with upcoming games like The Last of Us: Part II and Ghosts of Tsushima, which are more than likely to get PS5 ports, considering that the former is scheduled to release close to the PS5's launch and that the latter still doesn't have a release date.

There are a few confirmed games, however, as our friends at GamesRadar discovered in a conference call with Ubisoft. The company said that Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters and Rainbow Six Quarantine will be optimized for both the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett.

Bethesda confirmed that its upcoming Starfield game is slated for next-gen consoles, and the action-RPG game Godfall will also come to PS5 this year from Counterplay Games.

Bluepoint Games (Shadow of the Colossus) also confirmed that it's "working on a big one" in regards to its upcoming PS5 game. Many people suspect that it's going to be either a remake of Demon Souls or even Metal Gear Solid, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

In another tweet by PSErebus, it was revealed that the PS5 would be launching with Gran Turismo 7 on November 20, 2020. I know racer boy Adam Ismail would be more than happy if that came to be true.

Sony also announced that the PS5 will have exclusive games at launch that won't be playable on the PS4, unlike the Xbox Series X, which will have games playable on both.

In addition, Sony confirmed that the PS5 will play PS4 games and support the current PlayStation VR.

PS5's PSVR 2

Even if the PS5 has performance on par with a gaming laptop, how does its VR hardware stack up?

According to a patent, the PSVR 2 will have several cameras built into the headset, similar to the Oculus Rift S, and it might even be wireless, like the Oculus Quest. It's unclear how the specs inside the headset, particularly the lenses, will compare with other headsets like the Oculus Rift S and the Vive Cosmos, which are the leading VR headsets for PC. 

However, just making the headset wireless would put the PSVR 2 at an incredible advantage.

PS5 design

At the end of the day, how much space is the PS5 going to take up compared to a laptop? Is it going to be as thick as as all hell, the MSI GT75 Titan, or is it going to be a super-slim marvel, like the Razer Blade 15. Well, according to a Sony patent, the PS5 might actually be the former. 

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

The image reveals the PS5's big-boy chassis with a V-shaped design comboed with thick fans and a flurry of USB Type-A ports. Apparently, Gizmodo was sent images of the PS5 dev kit, which looks identical to the aforementioned patent image. So, hopefully the final version of the PS5 won't be as thick as it is portrayed in this image. You really think I got room for that, Sony?

PS5 controller

As long as we don't have to download a crappy third-party software to map buttons, there shouldn't be any exclusivity issues with the next DualShock controller. So whether you have a PS5 or a gaming laptop, you should be able to benefit from getting the latest DualShock controller.

(Image credit: J-Plat Pat)

Sony gave Wired an exclusive look at the next DualShock, and it is apparently similar to the DualShock 4. The controller showed how the controller feels different whether you're driving on dirt or cement in a racing game, and how the triggers will adapt to allow you to feel the difference in tension between firing a bow and arrow or driving off-road. 

Recently, Video Games Chronicle discovered a Japanese Sony patent that looks like it could be the DualShock 5 controller. The controller looks like its grips are slightly curved to allow for a more ergonomic feel, and it seems like the light bar was removed (finally). I didn't mind the light bar itself, but it drained battery like crazy. The speaker vent is a little wider, and the base for the analog sticks look a little smaller. We're excited to see how the PS5 controller turns out and how it will compare to the Xbox's new controller.