PS5 price, preorder, release date, games, Xbox Series X comparison and more – CNET

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Dan Ackerman/CNET

The final pieces of the PlayStation 5 prerelease puzzle slotted into place as of the September PS5 Showcase — the PS5 starts at $400, begins shipping Nov. 12 and can now be preordered — and we know which games to expect (more or less). There’s nothing important left for the two big console launches, the Xbox Series X and S and PS5, except the waiting. We’re in that part of the cycle where reviews and unboxings are beginning to trickle out.


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There’s a whole family of accessories to match the somewhat controversial design, which Sony’s PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan calls “bold, daring and future facing,” including a new headset, which takes advantage of the ray-traced audio technology in the PS5. There’s also a media remote and updated camera.

PS5 specifications

PlayStation 5
Processor 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at up to 3.5GHz
Graphics AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 36 CU up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS, FP unit unknown)
Video memory 16GB GDDR6 with 256-bit interface (448GB/sec)
Storage 825GB SSD at 5.5-9GB/sec; NVMe SSD slot; support for USB HDD
Optical drive Yes, 4K Blu-ray
Maximum output resolution 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps
Audio 3D, accelerated by custom Tempest Engine hardware; for headphones only at launch, supplemented by virtual surround for speaker audio
New controller features Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector
VR support Yes, compatible with PSVR headset
Console streaming Yes (Remote Play)
Streaming apps at launch Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Spotify, Twitch, YouTube
Backward compatibility PS4 games
Subscription tie-in PS Now
Dimensions 15.4 x 4.1 (3.6) x 10.2 in/390 x 104 (92) x 260 mm
Release date Nov. 12
Price With optical drive: $500, £450, AU$750; without optical drive: $400, £360, AU$600

In September 2019, Sony said its new console would be “greener.” If 1 million players use the PS5’s energy-saving feature, it said, that would save the equivalent of the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes. Both Sony and Microsoft have said they’re committed to making more eco-friendly video game consoles. 

What is the PS5’s release date and how much will it cost?

The cheaper model starts at $400 (£360, AU$600) and is identical to the $500 (£450, AU$750) model, except for its lack of an optical drive. Preorders for both officially started Sept. 17, and the consoles will become available on Nov. 12. That’s about the same as the Xbox Series X and S models, which entered preorder on Sept. 22 and ship Nov. 10.

Read more: Where to preorder your PS5 right now


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Best Buy, Target, Amazon and more are among the retailers who offer preorders, but they sell out fast. They’re likely to come back into stock on a regular basis, so keep checking.

Even if you do manage to score a preorder, it may still not arrive on Nov. 12.

What are the PS5’s specs?

Like the Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 is based around custom AMD CPUs and GPUs; the PS5 incorporates an eight-core Zen 2-architecture CPU running at up to 3.5GHz, and a 7-nanometer Navi/RDNA 2 GPU running at 2.23GHz, with 36 compute units and 16GB of GDDR6 memory. 

Read more: Best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X, Series S with 4K, 120fps input and VRR

The PS5 also switches to solid-state storage like the Xbox, a much-needed change both needed to overcome the slow load times imposed by traditional spinning hard drives. Sony says this will enable developers to load assets directly from storage into the graphics frame-buffer, freeing up general-purpose system memory (which has traditionally been a middleman to speed up PS4 games) and reducing latency.


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A base configuration comes with a relatively small 825GB SSD, though the console has NVMe slots to add more as well as support for external USB drives. The NVMe must meet certain speed requirements, though, and as of now, there are few SSDs on the market that are compatible. Sony says an official compatibility list will be made available following the launch when it’s able to do some certification testing. It will also retain a 4K Blu-ray drive for playing movies and for physical game discs.

Read more: PlayStation 5: Sony gives us our first look at the software as launch approaches

As a result of the new components, the PS5 will be able to output to a maximum of 8K or 4K at 120 frames per second. The question is, should you really care about 8K?

PS5 specifications

PlayStation 5
Processor 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at up to 3.5GHz
Graphics AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 36 CU up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS, FP unit unknown)
Video memory 16GB GDDR6 with 256-bit interface (448GB/sec)
Storage 825GB SSD at 5.5-9GB/sec; NVMe SSD slot; support for USB HDD
Optical drive Yes, 4K Blu-ray
Maximum output resolution 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps
Audio 3D, accelerated by custom Tempest Engine hardware; for headphones only at launch, supplemented by virtual surround for speaker audio
New controller features Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector
VR support Yes, compatible with PSVR headset
Console streaming Yes (Remote Play)
Streaming apps at launch Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Spotify, Twitch, YouTube
Backward compatibility PS4 games
Subscription tie-in PS Now
Dimensions 15.4 x 4.1 (3.6) x 10.2 in/390 x 104 (92) x 260 mm
Release date Nov. 12
Price With optical drive: $500, £450, AU$750; without optical drive: $400, £360, AU$600

What games will be available?

Thus far, we know of over 30 games that Sony has highlighted. Only a few of the launch titles are new rather than remakes, remasters or reboots, though. One, Astro’s Playroom, will come bundled with the console as a see-what-it-can-do game. And a bunch of them still plan to launch by the end of the year, just not in time for them to help with that PS5 out-of-box experience.  


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There are more than a few “exclusives” — limited windows in which they won’t be on Xbox, Nintendo Switch or PC that is — though a handful will only be on the PS5. Those expected out by end of 2020 are in bold:

A few will be PlayStation — i.e. PS4 and PS5 — exclusives:

Other notable titles coming to the platform include:

Along with the games, Sony plans to offer a PlayStation Plus Collection for PS5 buyers who subscribe to PS Plus, which will be ready to go at launch. It consists of classic PS4 games that you’d likely have on disc, so you can play them immediately on the digital-only model. They include God of War, Batman Arkham Knight, The Last of Us Remastered and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Most new game prices seem to be hovering in the $60-$70 range in the US. We’re looking forward to these.


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Will PS4 and older games work on it?

Sony says the PS5’s chip was designed to incorporate the logic and features of the PS4’s, making it natively backward compatible with older games and that an “overwhelming majority” of the 4,000 PS4 games will work on the PS5. (But in case it wasn’t clear to you already, games for consoles earlier than the PS4 — the PS3, PS2 and original PlayStation — will not.) The faster components will probably deliver a speed boost to those existing games as well. We don’t know if older games will somehow get a quality boost automatically, along the lines of the Xbox Series X’s HDR reconstruction.

Is there a new controller, too? Other accessories?

Yes, dubbed the DualSense controller, which will ship with the console. The new controller adopts haptic feedback to replace the older “rumble” sensation, making it possible to deliver a broader range of sensations, including textures and collisions. There will also be new speakers in the controllers and a USB-C port. 


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The controllers also incorporate adaptive triggers in the L2 and R2 buttons. If developers choose, they can program resistance into the triggers so you can feel a “tactile sensation” of drawing a bow, accelerating a vehicle off-road and more. It makes games more immersive overall. 

The new hardware has a design similar to that of previous versions, but a much different look with its predominantly white color with black space where the analog sticks are located along with some blue accents. 


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New to the DualSense is a built-in microphone, which means a headset isn’t needed to communicate with others in multiplayer games. It has an audio jack for a wired headset similar to the DualShock 4, though. Another change is the addition of the “create” button in lieu of the DualShock 4’s “share” button. Sony says the new button will operate in the same way but will have more functions that it will reveal in the future. 

The DualSense costs $70 (£55, AU$109) to buy standalone, and a dual-DualSense charging station $30 (£25, AU$49). The Pulse 3D wireless headset, designed to take advantage of the PS5’s surround audio, runs $100 (£90, AU$159).

Sony put up a carefully worded blog post in early August “clarifying” which of your older console accessories will work with the PS5. The answer is: some. Basically, if it’s a PS4 game running on the PS5, it will be compatible. If it’s a PS5 game, then sort of, maybe? Check with individual game developers.

How does the PS5 compare to the Xbox Series X and S?

Sony doesn’t have a direct competitor for the Xbox Series S, at least not that we’re aware of. Given the state of the coronavirus pandemic economy, the $300 price of the S is looking mighty attractive for anyone who’s got disposable income for a console this holiday season, especially since its 1440p output is perfect for connecting to a relatively inexpensive monitor instead of a TV. Some folks may not want to buy any of the consoles — the Nintendo Switch is a lot more family friendly if that’s a concern.

Compared to the Series S, the most novel aspect of the PS5 is the DualSense controller, though a lot will depend on its developer support. Sony has replaced rumble with more sensation-specific haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which may deliver a much better gaming experience. But that small SSD may be a drawback, as it may increase the price to add extra storage, and the Xbox Series X’s Smart Delivery may win some folks over. But the PS5 has a new feature that will let you jump straight into specific places in a game, bypassing the main interface.

And keep in mind that your TV may not be able to support the 120fps maximum for any of the new consoles — support for variable rate refresh and higher-than-60Hz refresh is a feature of relatively new TVs. 

Some high-profile folks in the game industry have already begun to take sides. For instance, Valve cofounder and Steam creator Gabe Newell has come down on the side of the Xbox Series X.

Confirmed specifications

PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X Xbox Series S
Processor 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at up to 3.5GHz 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT) 8-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2-architecture CPU at 3.6GHz (3.4GHz with SMT)
Graphics AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 36 CU up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS, FP unit unknown) AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 52 CU at 1.825GHz (12TFLOPS FP32) AMD Navi/RDNA 2-family GPU with 20 CU at 1.565GHz (4TFLOPS)
Video memory 16GB GDDR6 with 256-bit interface (448GB/sec) 16GB GDDR6 with 14Gbps 320-bit interface (10GB at 560GB/s allocated to GPU, 6GB at 336GB/s allocated to rest of system with 3.5GB for GPU) 10GB GDDR6 (8GB at 224GB/s allocated to GPU, 2GB at 56GB/s allocated to rest of system)
Storage 825GB SSD at 5.5-9GB/sec; NVMe SSD slot; support for USB HDD 1TB NVMe SSD PCIe 4.0; proprietary 1TB SSD add-on module; USB 3.2 external HDD support 512gb NVMe SSD PCIe 4.0; proprietary 1TB SSD add-on module; USB 3.1 external HDD support
Optical drive Yes, 4K Blu-ray Yes, 4K Blu-ray No
Maximum output resolution 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps 8K 60fps; 4K 120fps 1440p 120fps
Audio 3D, accelerated by custom Tempest Engine hardware; for headphones only at launch, supplemented by virtual surround for speaker audio Ray traced Ray traced
New controller features Haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, USB-C connector Share button, Dynamic Latency Input Share button, Dynamic Latency Input
VR support Yes, compatible with PSVR headset unknown unknown
Console streaming Yes (Remote Play) Yes (Console Streaming) unknown
Backward compatibility PS4 games, some peripherals Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox games Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and Xbox games
Subscription tie-in PS Now Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Dimensions 15.4 x 4.1 (3.6) x 10.2 in/390 x 104 (92) x 260 mm 5.9 x 5.9 x 11.9 in/151 x 151 x 301 mm 10.8 x 5.9 x 2.5/275 x 151 x 63.5mm
Preorders start Now Sept. 22 Sept. 22
Release date Nov. 12 Nov. 10 Nov. 10
Price With optical drive: $500, £450, AU$750; without optical drive: $400, £360, AU$600 $500, £450, AU$749 $300, £250, AU$499

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