Earlier in the month, Sony announced some key information about its upcoming next-generation console that will replace the PS4 and PS4 Pro next year. First of all, there's now finally have confirmation that it will, in fact, be called PlayStation 5. On top of that, the new console is due to release during the 2020 holiday season and include a 4K Blu-Ray player, an SSD, and new features on the controller such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
As Sony slowly continues to announce new details about the PS5, very little is currently known about the console overall. With PS4 on track to overtake both the Wii and the original PlayStation in terms of sales numbers, it's clear that a successor needs to be nothing short of the best if Sony wants to win fans over for another generation. Here are 10 unannounced features Sony needs to have on their next-gen console!
Microsoft has chosen to move away from voice commands in favor of cloud-based alternatives as Xbox One removed Cortana from the console itself and transitioned to phone apps. However, what hasn't worked for them has certainly found huge success elsewhere with Amazon's Alexa and Google Home slowly becoming a household staple. If rumors are to be believed, Sony not only agrees, but it's working on it right now with patents leaking for a PS5 AI assistant in the works.
Xbox One got its name from the idea of being an all-in-one platform, something that the current generation of consoles has ended up becoming all by themselves. A voice-driven AI assistant could help in a myriad of ways from turning the PS5 on to pausing the game, opening up Netflix or transitioning between menu options, and PS4 share button could easily become a voice-controlled action.
By the time the PS5 releases, the original PSVR will be four years old and more than likely due for a refresh, particularly with new wireless options on the market like the Oculus Quest. Sony has recently filed patents for a PlayStation 5 Virtual Reality Headset that includes new and improved cameras, new PlayStation Move-like controllers, and it appears to be completely wireless.
If Sony is planning to stick around in the VR market and make its device at the top of the market, complete integration is the way to do it. PS5 needs to work with the original PSVR with ease and built to be paired with the PSVR2 from the ground-up like the two devices are made to be together.
Perhaps the most requested feature of them all is backward compatibility on the PS5 and so far, Sony has already confirmed that it will be with the PS4. On top of that, if a new rumor is to be believed, the PS5 is backward compatible with PS1, PS2, and PS3 as well. PS4 backward compatibility is an absolute must in modern times but going back to all previous Sony platforms would be a move that no one saw coming and finally allow PlayStation to compete with Xbox and PC.
PS Now Updates
PlayStation Now hasn't lived up to fans' expectations throughout the last generation until this past month when Sony announced that not only had the price dropped by 40% permanently, but major AAA games like God of War, Uncharted 4, and GTA V were being added. Video game subscription services are becoming more and more popular these days, but its Xbox Game Pass that has made a permanent impact on the industry. PS Now doesn't need to have all first-party PS5 games day and date, but if Sony wants to compete with Game Pass, it needs to have more PS4 games, regular updates, discounts on buying games played, and be marketed like a product that Sony believes in.
PS Plus Updates
Fans loved PS Plus back in the PS3 days because it was an optional service that offered bonus games at no extra charge and great discounts. These days, it's a requirement for online play and that makes complete sense, but when the price has increased and the games have reduced, it seems a little anti-consumer. How about the addition of a PSVR game each month instead? Whether it's more games or combining PS Plus and PS Now into one service, Sony needs to come up with a way to make PS Plus something consumers want, not just something they're forced to have.
The most important thing that consumers want to know when a new console generation is launching is whether or not the next console is going to be a big enough upgrade to justify the cost. PS5 needs to be powerful and by the looks of it, this will be a real upgrade. PS5 is boasting a new SSD, a custom Zen 2 8-core CPU based on AMD's Ryzen series, a custom Radeon's Navi GPU, 8K TV support, 120hz screen refresh rate, and 3D audio support. PS5 should be able to hold 60FPS across the board with the option for higher and keep the standard set with Marvel's Spider-Man where fast traveling went from 15 seconds to just 0.8 seconds.
Graphical Performance Power
If there's one thing the PS4 generation focussed on, it was the push for 4K graphics. Aiming for something as high as 8K is great for future-proofing, but PS5 needs to be able to cover the basics before it reinvents the wheel. At launch, PS4 performed solidly but Xbox One was stuck at 900p for a high number of games. Performing full-HD to 4K without any issues with power needs to be a standard. Sony has confirmed the new console will have a 4K Blu-Ray optical drive and enough graphical power to support ray-tracing on PS5.
The Dualshock 4 is a fantastic controller and by far the best PlayStation controller that Sony has released. However, the battery size, use of a Micro-USB charging cable, and giant near useless light-bars and touch-pads hold it back. Changing to USB-C for the new charging cable was a very smart move, as well as the already confirmed increased battery size. All it really needs is a sturdy grip, and if the light-bar and touch-pad stay, a major reduction in size.
Two major new features for the new PS5 controller were also revealed. The first new feature in the 'Dualshock 5' is adaptive triggers that will allow players to feel differences when driving on different terrains or drawing a bow compared to the release. The second is haptic feedback which will replace the current rumble and allow players to notice differences in responses from crashing a car in Gran Turismo to being tackled in Madden.
It's no secret that some players struggle with the fact that their PS4 or PS4 Pro sounds like a jet engine roaring to life as the console turns on or during gameplay. PS5 rumored and confirmed features are pretty extensive but fans and airflow control needs to be at the top of the list. Don't let the console overheat and don't let it sound like it might implode every time it starts up.
The final feature that PS5 absolutely needs to have is player-controlled UI customization. When Sony updated the PS4 to give users the ability to hide games from their library, it was met with applause from fans across the world. Extend this customization to allows players to delete unwanted trophies for games under a certain percentage (15%?) or at least hide trophies for specific games and add customization to the home screen and menus. Theme's and avatars are a great first step in something that could be drastically expanded in the next-generation.
Given the history of the PS3 and the success of the PS4, Sony needs to make a huge impact with the next-generation and prove to players that their console is still the best on the market. And based on a recent PS5 tech demo, it appears the company is on the right track after the graphics and power were called "hugely impressive."
Sony knows what players expect from PlayStation and video games in modern times and that it's important to adapt to the ever-changing landscape as the industry transitions to cloud streaming, online services, and demands more power and innovation. If any of these 10 features are included in the next-generation console, fans will have a lot to look forward to come next year.
PlayStation 5 is due to release in Holiday 2020.