This week has been a big one for fans eagerly anticipating the next generation of PlayStation. The PlayStation 5 is coming holiday 2020, and now that Sony is comfortable sharing that fact, loads of official information has been coming out regarding what to expect from the new console. Like, for instance, that it will come with a 4K Blu-Ray player.
Such news actually doesn’t come straight from Sony, but Wired, which got to take an exclusive look at the PS5 recently. In the process, it really deep-dived into a number of the console’s next-gen features, like the haptic feedback technology in its controller and the big change the PS5 is making to game installation. But amidst all these juicy details, it was confirmed by system architect Mark Cerny that the PS5 will also sport an optical drive that will support 100-GB game discs in addition to 4K Blu-Ray discs.
There are actually a few reasons why this is a bit of a surprising move. For starters, Sony’s recent history with physical Ultra HD media. While the technology is easily compatible with today’s higher-end consoles, like the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, Sony chose not to include 4K Blu-Ray support in the PS4 Pro. Back then it cited a lack of interest in physical media as streaming options like Netflix and Hulu were growing in popularity. Streaming is even more popular these days, so one wouldn’t have expected Sony to change its mind now.
What also makes this surprising is the emphasis that Sony has been placing these last few months on the PS5’s high-performance SSD. Much has been said about this piece of PS5 hardware will be able to read data faster (thus reducing load times considerably) and more efficiently. This efficiency will subsequently open up much more of the console’s memory to use for downloading games than before, easing the burden of storage management for players who prefer to download their games exclusively.
One would think, then, that Sony would be focused on the all-digital future gaming appears to be gradually moving towards with the PS5, and that any disc-drive it comes with would be nothing more than a barebones afterthought. Since it’s willing to play catch-up and get Ultra HD support into the console, however, that is apparently not the case.
The PlayStation 5 will launch sometime during the 2020 holiday season.