Few secrets still surround the PS5, whose pre-orders have been opened. This is therefore the right time to ask yourself whether you should really buy Sony’s next gen console, especially when the much cheaper PS4 is still a great proposition. Our comparison helps you choose.
You could not miss the information, Sony has finally unveiled the release date and the price of the PS5 in France. The console will be available from November 19, 2020 at a price of 399 euros for the digital version and 499 euros for the model equipped with a disc player. The fateful question now arises of whether it is really worth investing in a PS5 depending on several scenarios: whether you already have a PS4 or PS4 Pro and are considering an upgrade, or whether you are hesitating between the PS4 and the PS5 . Legitimate questions that we strive to answer in this comparison.
The PS5 datasheet makes the PS4 pale
Below we have provided a comparison table of the technical specifications of the PS5, PS4 Pro and PS4 so that you can get a good overview of the main differences between the consoles. We will go into more detail later in this paper.
|CPU||AMD Zen 2 8x Cores 3.5GHz (variable frequency)||AMD Jaguar 8x Cores 2.1GHz||AMD Jaguar 8x Cores 1.6GHz|
|GPU||RDNA 2 (custom)
36 CUs 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
36 CUs 911MHz
18 CUs 800MHz
|RAM||16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
448GB / s
|8GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3
217GB / s
176GB / s
|Storage space||825 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD (700 GB free for user)
5.5GB / s (Standard), 8-9GB / s (Compressed)
50-100MB / s
|500 GB HDD
50-100MB / s
|Extra internal storage||NVMe SSD slot||HDD slot||HDD slot|
|External storage||HDD external hard drive connection via USB||HDD external hard drive connection via USB||HDD external hard drive connection via USB|
|Reader||4K UHD Blu-ray on PS5
No player on PS5 Digital Edition
|Connectivity||WiFi, Bluetooth||WiFi, Bluetooth||WiFi, Bluetooth|
|Target definition||8K||4K upscaled||Full HD 180p|
|Target refresh rate||120 fps||60 fps||30 fps|
|Backward compatibility||99% of PS4 games||No (except PS Now)||No (except PS Now)|
The verdict is quite clear, we are witnessing a real generational gap. There were fears that the PS5 might not be all that essential following the release of the PS4 Pro, but it is clear that the latter is far from making the weight. The evolution is obvious both in terms of CPU and GPU with much higher frequencies. With more than 10 TFLOPS on the counter, the PS5 is also more than five times better than the PS4 and almost 2.5 times better than the PS4 Pro. RAM switches to GDDR6 for better speeds and doubles in quantity.
Consequently, the PS5 is announced as being able to display 8K. Not sure that many gamers will use it for quite a while, though, so it shouldn’t be a reason to buy in 2020. In reality, even if you are one of the privileged to have an 8K display, games need to be developed with 8K in mind to get good results. So far, we don’t really have a clear idea of what 8K upscaling the PS5 can do.
Another promise of the PS5, the possibility of playing up to 120 fps for more fluidity and precision in play. Here again, the developers will have to make efforts to reach this milestone, we remember that the PS4 did not really reach its objectives of 60 fps. And then again, your TV or monitor kicks in. Most displays are content with a refresh rate of 60Hz, making 120 fps unachievable. If you’re not going to invest in a screen above 60Hz, you can ignore those 120 fps. 144Hz monitors are becoming more affordable, but TVs above 60Hz are expensive, and are usually limited to 100Hz and not 120 or 144Hz.
Another huge difference between the two generations is the integration of a NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD for storage. A technology that will drastically reduce in-game loading times. No more endless loading screens, but this novelty also affects the gameplay. Textures can load and display very quickly now, allowing you to go from completely changing scenery as if nothing had happened. The tech demo with gameplay videos from the upcoming Ratchet & Clank is a good example of what developers now have the ability to do. Actions like moving quickly or rotating the camera violently will also benefit.
This is clearly not the most important element in the purchase of a console, but one should not neglect the study of the design before deciding on this or that machine. Sony has yet to officially unveil the dimensions and weight of the PS5, but information from dealers tells us that it is particularly large and heavy (around 5 kilos). It will not be able to find place on any TV cabinet. Hoping that this will allow it to benefit from a better cooling system and make less noise than the PS4.
Aesthetically, PlayStation takes risks, the PS5 surprised a lot when the first visuals were released. For now, only the white model is available, but a black version is also planned. However, we do not know when it will start to be marketed. The PS4 is clearly much more sober than its successor.
Connectivity has taken a leap forward, especially with the appearance of an HDMI 2.1 port, which is essential to manage the bandwidth required for 4K 120 fps and 8K 60 fps. But again, beware. Very few TV models currently have an HDMI 2.1 socket. You can of course connect a PS5 to a TV with HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.4, but then you lose the benefits of HDMI 2.1.
A USB port is present to connect an external storage medium in case of need of more space on PS5 as on PS4. An internal slot is also planned, to add an NVMe SSD on PS5 and a single HDD on the two models of PS4.
Finally comes the issue of disk drives. No problem on the PS4 and the PS4 Pro, they both have a Blu-ray player. The PS5 is available in two models: a standard version with a 4K UHD compatible Blu-ray player, and a Digital Edition version in which it is not possible to insert a disc and which costs 100 euros less. While it may seem attractive to save such a sum on the purchase of a new generation console, beware: this PS5 Digital Edition can cost you dearly in the long run.
It is generally easier to find promotions or lower prices on physical games than on dematerialized games, especially when the titles are released. We think of the prices charged by supermarkets, which make little or no margin on the sale of games to attract customers, the brands then catching up on the customer’s shopping cart to earn money. It is thus not uncommon to find one day of release a game 10 or 15 euros cheaper at Auchan, Leclerc and others than on the PlayStation Store. If you regularly buy full-pot games, think about it, especially since the big PS5 exclusives will have a price of 80 euros at launch on the PS Store. Another argument is that dematerialized games cannot be resold, unlike physical versions. Not to mention the pleasure of opening and owning a beautiful game box.
The absence of a player is much less harmful on Xbox thanks to the existence of the Game Pass, which allows access to more than 100 games via the payment of a subscription, and which will soon integrate EA Play, the service of Electronic Arts. PS Now is much less convincing.
DualSense for better gaming immersion
Another argument on which Sony has insisted a lot, its new joystick. While Xbox has made the choice of continuity with the controller of the Xbox Series S and X, only slightly improved compared to that of the Xbox One S and X, the Japanese manufacturer has revolutionized its gamepad. Goodbye dear DualShock, welcome to DualSense.
The shape changes drastically enough to approach that of the Xbox controllers, known for their ease of use. It should be nicer to hold a PlayStation controller. The design is very daring, the DualSense adopts a very futuristic look. For the first time, we lose the color of the Cross, Circle, Triangle and Square keys, which all turn gray on a white background. The end of an era. On the other hand, the joysticks remain symmetrical, the asymmetrical system to the Xbox is not included.
We will have to wait to have the controller in hand before having the heart net, but the DualSense of the PS5 promises a vastly enriched experience compared to what offers the DualShock 4. On the menu, a new high definition haptic feedback system which allows you to more precisely simulate textures and sensations. Evolving with difficulty in mud or snow, falling, taking a hit, we should feel much better what is happening to our in-game character. Nothing to do with today’s vibration motors, powerful, but absolutely not specific. Developers will be able to choose how the controller should react for each situation to make the most of its capabilities.
The R2 and L2 keys are also boosted. They become adaptive triggers much more precise and immersive than the old ones. The player can best measure his actions using them. Bending a bow will be more enjoyable than ever with this system.
In light of the differences games, let us also note that the Share button on the Dualshock 4 turns into Create on the DualSense. This hides new upcoming features for taking screenshots and videos, editing and sharing.
This is not yet confirmed by Sony, but a leaker who was able to take control of the DualSense announces a greater autonomy of 3 to 4 hours compared to the DualShock 4. We would therefore need to recharge the PS5 controller less often than that. of the PS4.
PS5 catalog is based on PS4 games
When the console launches, there will be virtually no PS5 exclusivity. We can also address heavy criticism to Sony, which had hinted several times during its communication campaign that many games would only be released on PS5 as soon as it was released. This is for example the case of the title Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, announced as excluded PS5 and which will finally be available on PS4. The eagerly awaited Horizon: Forbidden West will also be cross gen, just like Sackboy A Big Adventure. Of course, the PS5 versions of some games are specially optimized to harness the power and functionality of the console, but players staying on PS4 will still be able to enjoy the work. Announced with great fanfare during the PS5 conference on September 16, 2020, Hogwarts Legacy: Hogwarts Legacy is neither a PS5 exclusive nor a PlayStation exclusive: it will also be released on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series.
At launch, Demon’s Souls Remake will be a true PS5 exclusive. It will only be accompanied by Destruction AllStars and Astro’s Playroom (the latter being free and preinstalled on the console). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is also expected to be available only on PS5, but its release has been pushed back to 2021. Gran Turismo 7 and Returnal are not expected to land on PS4 either.
A logically very thin line-up. Sony’s goal is not necessarily to make the PS5 indispensable, but to sell as many games as possible. Impossible then to do without the huge park of PS4. Especially since PS5 stock shortages were noted at all resellers. Even those who wish to acquire a PS4 when it is released or for the holiday season will not necessarily have the opportunity. Reserving too many games for the PS5 alone would only increase the frustration.
Third-party publishers are also adopting this strategy. Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, FIFA 21, Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War, Watch Dogs Legion… all of them will be available on both PS4 and PS5. The only exception to the rule is the action RPG Godfall, developed by Counterplay Games studio and distributed by Gearbox. The game will only be released on PS5 console terms, but it will launch on PC as well.
It should also be noted that Sony has indicated that it wants to bring more home games to PC. This is how we saw Horizon: Zero Dawn land on PC. Owning a PlayStation console for its exclusives will potentially make a little less sense with the PS5 than with older generations.
In terms of games, there is clearly no point in buying a PS5 in 2020 if you already have a PS4. If you haven’t or haven’t had a PS4, the investment can be worthwhile. 99% of PS4 games are PS5 backward compatible, so you can enjoy a bloated catalog that you missed on the previous generation on Sony’s new console. And good news, Sony has announced the PlayStation Plus Collection for PS5 gamers. This service is integrated at no additional cost to PlayStation Plus, a subscription that allows you to play online and get “free” games every month. The PlayStation Plus Collection is a catalog of PS4 games made available to gamers on PS5. At launch, it will contain among others: Resident Evil: Biohazard, Bloodborne, Final Fantasy XV, Monster Hunter World, Ratchet & Clank, Persona 5, The Last of Us: Remastered or Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. What to wait before the arrival of real games stamped PS5.
What to pass the pill to the players, who learned that the games PS1, PS2 and PS3 are not backward compatible with the PS5, where the Xbox Series S and X offer titles Xbox 360 and Xbox original.
We have recapitulated in a separate article the list of games available on PS5 at release and by the end of 2020 for clarity, please take a look.
An upcoming PSVR 2?
The accessories of the PS5 are also known. Note that the PS5 comes with a DualSense controller and that you will have to buy another one at 69.99 euros if you want to play PS5 games for two. The PS4 DualShock 4 is compatible with the PS5, but only for PS4 games. For other official accessories, we have a PULSE 3D wireless headset, an HD camera with two 1080p lenses, a remote control (with built-in Netflix, Disney +, YouTube and Spotify buttons) and a charging station capable of accommodating two wireless controllers. DualSense. Not much to encourage taking a PS5 over a PS4, except for the game controller.
But for VR enthusiasts, one should keep in mind that there are many reports pointing to a PSVR 2 release in the coming years. The PSVR was an interesting gateway to virtual reality for many players, but it is now very far technologically outdated from the Oculus, HTC or Samsung Gear VR headsets. A PSVR 2 to have an economical alternative to these products should please more than one. Among the expected features, the possibility of detecting the position of the fingers. Sony has yet to communicate about a new PlayStation VR, but it should come to fruition. A strong argument against the PS4 which will have to be content with an aging PS VR.
The price of the PS5 is not about to drop
The PS5 is priced at 499 euros TTC in France. The Digital Edition is sold for 100 euros less at 399 euros Tax incl. A price that should not change for a long time, do not expect promotions during Black Friday, for the end of the year holidays or the next sales. Distributors find themselves out of stock very quickly when the PS5 has not even been released yet.
The PlayStation discount little. We can expect slight price reductions within two years, but nothing phenomenal a priori, especially as Sony has already made efforts in terms of the price not to be more expensive than the Xbox Series X. the same price while boosting sales, there will surely be bundles with games included. For a price issue, there is little point in waiting before buying the PS5, the gain will be minimal compared to the time lost to enjoy it. On the other hand, it can be interesting to take your time, because the manufacturers improve the hardware of the consoles as they go. We saw it recently with the new Switch of 2019, benefiting in particular from better autonomy. To stay in the PlayStation environment, it is not necessarily very well known, but just the PS4 Pro has been declined in three variants: CUH-7000, CUH-7100 and CUH-7200.
With the arrival of the PS5, the price of the PS4 should be much more attractive. Currently, the official rates are 299.99 euros for the PS4 Slim and 399.99 euros for the PS4 Pro. Don’t buy them at that price, but rather expect pack promotions at trade events. And if the deals aren’t that great, go your way and save for a much longer lifespan PS5, unless you get a bargain secondhand for a PS4 Pro.
As we have seen previously, the PS5 is much more powerful than the two PS4 models currently available. But it is clear that it is unlikely to benefit from it in its early days with a catalog of games based on PS4 or cross-gen titles that were not developed with the PS5 in mind. Gradually, the arrival of real next gen games and the PS VR 2 will make the purchase of the console much more interesting.
If you already own a PS4, there is no rush to switch to the PS5 immediately. But if you are certain that you will acquire it within the next 12 or 24 months, you might as well buy it now since its price will not drop. If you think your PS4 can still do great service for 3-4 years, the PS5 can wait.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a PS4 and you hesitate between the two, it is better to turn to the PS5 now in the majority of cases. You will thus already have a foothold in the next generation and no longer need to reinvest in the future. Above all, the PlayStation Collection offer allowing PS Plus subscribers to access an interesting catalog of PS4 games at no additional cost gives the possibility of discovering excellent titles without spending an additional sum on games.
A significant proportion of players want a console to play only 2-3 titles: FIFA, Rocket League, Fortnite… In this case, buying a PS4 to reduce costs can be interesting.