In the gaming industry, it’s not uncommon for consoles to release with several versions either at the beginning of the cycle, or later in its lifespan. Now that gaming has become as huge and mainstream as, say, smartphones, rumors are speculating that the PS5 will take a hint from the major cell phone companies and release two versions of the console at different price points, and with different features, to reach a wider audience. One version of the PS5 will be a core setup with only the most basic of features and capabilities. The other version will offer a more robust setup for hardcore gamers. For both versions of the console, an option will also be present to make the option portable via a virtual reality headset similar to the upcoming PlayStation VR. Join me as we look at the two widely different versions of the PS5 and how VR will replace the traditional handheld system like the 3DS or the PlayStation Vita. PS5 Version One: The Core Experience The PlayStation 4 is already outselling the Xbox One by 2:1. It’s clear that there are a healthy amount of gamers who love the PlayStation brand. The problem is that past consoles have come out as price points upwards of $600. When the PS4 released at $400, the average gamer saw a next generation console within reach. Meanwhile, the Xbox One comes out at $500 and, well, we all know how that ended. Even so, it still sold, just not quite as well as PS4. Turning our perspective for a moment, let’s take a look at the smartphone industry. There’s never a single version of a phone. At launch there may be one, but soon they’ll introduce another, and another. In the case of the iPhone, there’s almost always two versions at launch. So, let’s fast forward to 2020. The PS5 is coming out and Sony is offering two options to reach the most gamers possible. The first is one called the The Core Experience. This version of the console contains all of the hardware needed to run the games (and connect to the cloud). It will have a massive hard drive upwards of 5 Terabytes or more. This is just the storage space for standard hard drives. What’s more likely is that the Pro version of the PS5 will feature a Solid State Drive (SSD) that is quickly outpacing the hard drive technology we have. Nobuo Hayasaka, a managing executive director at Toshiba and chief engineer of its Semiconductor & Storage Company spoke at the SEMI Members Day in Tokyo on August 20, 2015. During this time, he made the bold comment that SSD drives would reach a capacity of 128 terabytes in 2018. By the time the PS5 releases in 2020, this type of storage could be included in a more premium system package. The console will come with the new controller and all of the equipment needed to play your games in 4K resolution. It will probably retail … Read More
Will the PS5 Have a Disc Drive? How do Cartridges Sound?
There are certain things in life that we’ve always come to expect: the sky is blue, the sun rises in the east, space is big, and games always come in a physical form. Whether it’s a cartridge or a disc, games have always been something we can hold in our hands and put on a shelf. The prospect of that going away is terrifying for many of us. Change isn’t something that gamers really like. Look at the Xbox One for example. They tried to turn it into an online-only console and we all know how that ended. Case and point, taking away an optical drive or removing the option entirely is something that may not go over well with gamers in the grand scheme of things. Is it truly possible that the PS5 will ditch discs altogether, or will we still have the option between digital and physical like we know and love? It’s time to start asking the hard questions, so let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Will the PS5 have an optical disc drive? A New Patent Points to…Cartridges? In the beginning of gaming, games were delivered to us on cartridges. True old school gamers will remember the old method of blowing into the bottom of it when the games didn’t start (which isn’t a good idea, by the way). Things transitioned over to discs for the most part, but consoles like the Nintendo Switch still use a different format. When it comes to portable systems, discs aren’t the best idea because they’re bound to get jostled or shaken during the course of play. This can lead to skips in the data and damage to the disc itself. So, if we think about the PS5 as a portable/console hybrid, then it would make sense for the format to change. We also need to talk about the fact that games are far too big these days for Blu-ray discs to hold. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, comes on two discs when you buy it. One disc to install the game, and one to play it. There’s also this quote from PlayStation boss John Kodera, who mentioned this during an investor meeting in May 2018: “Rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of portable gaming as one method to deliver more gaming experiences.” There’s also this South Korean patent filing that was made public recently. In this patent, Sony describes an “electronic game cartridge.”This was first revealed by TechTastic. It was later revealed that this design is intended for the existing Sony Toio, a robotics toy crowdfunded by First Flight, which produces concepts from Sony employees. Even so, this concept could also apply to the PS5. This is purely speculation on my part, but my prediction would be that Sony could achieve something using a combination of discs and cartridges. For those who buy the physical copy, your game will still be on some sort of high-capacity disc, but when you want … Read More