The PS5 (opens in new tab) is going all in on hardcore games according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab); Sony says that the next-gen console will "focus on hardcore gamers who obsess over the latest features". In fact, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida went so far as to suggest that it’s a "a niche product aimed at serious players".
It’s not hard to see why. The PS5 specs (opens in new tab) are meant to be tricked out with powerful tech that should allow AAA games to drop jaws in a way they’ve never managed before. As an example, it packs eye-candy such as ray tracing (a vastly improved lighting system that’s only just become affordable in souped-up gaming PCs) and frame rates up to 120 frames per second. Applying that horsepower to games like the next God of War is a very exciting prospect.
The possibilities offered by such super-charged hardware is why you’ll want to get your hands on a PS5 come release, Yoshida suggests. He says that "dramatically increasing the graphics-rendering speed… clearly demonstrates why it makes sense to have a next-generation console." In other words, the performance upgrade is noticeable enough that going back would be difficult.
Sony apparently isn’t worried about Google Stadia (opens in new tab) right now, either. Although it could pose a threat long-term as internet speeds improve, the same report notes that the cloud-streaming service requires a good, reliable connection to function properly. Meanwhile, PS5 will be able to process 8K visuals out of the box and without any online shenanigans. It’s a down-to-earth approach that will comfort those worried about gimmicks or upgrades we aren’t ready for yet.
That’s not the most interesting bit, though. The Wall Street Journal also brings up comments that could ruffle feathers. Although I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a jibe, a ‘company official’ is quoted as saying that Nintendo "isn’t perceived as a major rival... because its main users tend to be younger than PlayStation’s core demographic". Equally, "some executives at smaller game makers say they have felt snubbed by Sony" because it’s focusing so heavily on AAA developers. The reason is simple - due to limited resources, Sony is apparently cosying up to major publishers "because people buy a console to play high-quality games available only on that platform, not smaller games also available on smartphones". Ouch. I’m sure none of it is not supposed to be an insult, but still. Hopefully its meaning was lost in translation; after all, there’s no way PS5 won’t be courting indie games in due course.
As for the competition, don’t miss our breakdown of everything Xbox Project Scarlett (opens in new tab). If you're more focused on the here and now, take a look at these Amazon Prime Day game deals (opens in new tab) to get yourself a bargain.