Sony PlayStation 5 UK release date, price and specs rumours: When is the PS5 coming out? 4K PlayStation 4.5 NEO needed for VR, PSVR on a launch PS4 ‘was going to be terrible’

Those of us eagerly awaiting the PS5 might be surprised to learn that the next console to come from Sony will in fact be the 4K PlayStation 4.5, which is expected to arrive in September. We reveal all there is to know about the next PlayStation UK release date and specs.

Giant Bomb also says the hard drive is different to that in the PS4, but it’s not yet clear whether it will be higher in capacity or have a faster connection speed. We hope that the PS4.5 will feature faster Wi-Fi capabilities too, but this is unconfirmed at this stage.

Fortunately for those who don’t want to upgrade to the PS4.5, the console will not be getting its own games or exclusive features, according to the site. From October every PS4 game will come with a “base” mode and a “NEO” mode, making it compatible with either console. Players will be able to keep the games bought on PS4, and although the NEO supports 4K, the games won’t have to.

But why release a new PlayStation 4 at all? According to one source described as a “chief technical officer working in the industry”, the current PlayStation 4 may not offer the best experience for those looking to buy a PlayStation VR headset, due out in October 2016. IBTimes reports that a feature in the latest issue of ‘Edge’ quotes the source as saying “PSVR was going to be terrible on a [launch] PS4. It was going to be truly awful. Something a bit more powerful starts to bring VR into range. If you want to deal with crazy requirements for performance in VR, you absolutely have to do this.

This was followed by a note from an anonymous lead designer from a European developer, adding “There hasn’t been a real outcry for more power, apart from developers making VR stuff – and those are weighted more heavily at the moment. VR is the most exciting development in the industry right now, and if it’s here to stay then there will be a lot of demand for more powerful hardware.

Whatever the reason for developing a more powerful PlayStation 4, we won’t have much longer to wait until it’s announced – see below for more information. Giant Bomb suggests the PS4.5 NEO is likely to go on sale at $399, with UK pricing still unclear at this time.

Sony PlayStation 4.5 UK release date: When is the PS4.5 coming out?

According to the Wall Street Journal, we should expect an announcement before PlayStation VR‘s release in October, with the PS4.5 hitting shop shelves before Christmas. Other rumours suggest that we could see an announcement at E3 with the upgraded console going on sale at some point before the PlayStation VR headset is released in October 2016.

Sony PlayStation 5: Will there be a PS5?

With the release of PlayStation Now many have speculated that physical consoles are a thing of the past. PlayStation Now is a cloud-based gaming service that lets you play PS3 games on the PS4, PS Vita and Bravia TVs, while support for non-Sony and -PlayStation devices will come later. It’s a bit like Netflix, but for games rather than films.

Yet we still think there will be a PS5. Not only does the PS4 bring in a huge amount of profit, Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida has been quoted as saying the future of the PlayStation is up to developers. Indeed, if rumours are to be believed it’s about to launch two new PS4 models in 2015, so it won’t be turning its back on the platform anytime soon.

“If they still feel that we need more machine power – ‘we want to realise this and that and that, but we cannot do it with the PS4’ – there’s a good reason to have the PS5 so developers can create their vision,” said Yoshida.

The PS4 is immensely powerful but, unlike the thousands of gaming PCs with which it competes, Sony’s console doesn’t benefit from the possibility of regular processor and graphics updates. One day we will reach the stage where the PS4 is notably inferior to PCs, and then game developers will demand more power. Also see: PS4 vs Xbox One vs gaming PCs and Best gaming PCs 2016.

Plus, with PlayStation Now Sony will be able to keep customers happy by allowing them to continue using their PS4 games on a new PS5.

Sony PlayStation 5: Potential PS5 UK release date

It’s been 20 years since the first PlayStation was released, and there were seven years between the launches of the PS3 and PS4. That was the longest stretch, with the PS2 appearing five years three months after the PS1, and the PS3 six years eight months after the PS2. It’s fairly safe to say Sony doesn’t follow a strict pattern with its console releases.

Games consoles are naturally long-lifecycle products, with customers investing considerable expense in both the platform and its proprietary titles. However, Sony is reportedly working on shorter timeframes between its PlayStation launches – at least that’s the impression given by AMD, which manufactured the hardware powering the PS4.

CFO Devinder Kumar, speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference, said AMD had made a real impact with the release of the PS4 in 2013. Around 2016, he added, AMD would again be a very different company. Although he may not have been referring specifically to a new console release from Sony, such devices are extremely profitable to AMD and it is always thinking about what’s coming next.

“Three years before you introduce a product a decision is made to use a particular company. In this case it was AMD. Then you co-develop the product with funding dollars, mostly coming from our customers. When you introduce the product there are no R&D, sales and marketing expenses – however many dollars you generate fall to the bottom line, and that’s what excites us,” said Kumar.

Earlier this year Sony’s software product development head Scott Rhode told MTV: “Very soon we’ll start thinking about what we’ll do next. That’s the culture at Sony. We always have to do something that’s bigger and better than what’s already been done.”

Sony UK boss Fergal Gara added that “It’s probably a sign of the times and how much has changed in seven years, but I think the willingness and the appetite to pick up new technology fast has probably changed quite a bit.” For the next few years, though, he said Sony will be putting its weight behind the PS4.

So, rather than waiting another seven years for the PS5, which would peg its launch in 2020, the fast-paced development of technology could mean the PS5 rears its head much sooner – but could it really be as soon as 2016? We suspect that even if Sony is able to shorten the time between its PlayStation releases, we’ll still be waiting until at least 2018 before the PS5 becomes a realistic option.

Of course, we’ll update this article as soon as more concrete details on the PS5 release date are available.

Concept images of the PS5 have already popped up on the web, including those used to illustrate this article (courtesy of David Hansson). We suspect it will retain the black box, blue light theme, but will be sleeker and more stylish than before. And if PlayStation Now is able to let it do away with discs, it could even be more compact too.

Sony PlayStation 5: PS5 specs

As you might expect, very little is known about the PS5’s hardware. Going by AMD’s enthusiasm over the PS4, we can only assume it will remain onboard the Sony ship for the PS5.

Something else that might become a ‘thing’ with the PS5 is virtual reality. Project Morpheus, a virtual-reality system that works with PS4, suggests Sony is looking in this direction for future consoles. Such technology should allow for truly immersive gameplay, allowing you to really feel as though you are in the game.

And PlayStation TV may also be important to the PS5’s development. Could we see this wireless streaming functionality built into the PS5?

It’s possible that PlayStation Now will allow Sony to remove the optical drive, although some sort of provision for offline gaming – perhaps a flash storage drive – would be necessary. Not everyone in the UK has constant – if any – access to super-fast broadband.

Again, we’ll update this article as more details become available.

Sony PlayStation 5: PS5 UK price

Without knowing exactly what’s on offer, it’s impossible to accurately predict how much the PS5 will cost. With the PS2 costing £300, the PS3 £425 and the PS4 £349, we can only assume Sony will stick around the £400 mark. After all, it has other consoles and gaming PCs with which to compete.

Very little is known about the PlayStation 5, which isn’t surprising given that its launch is likely years rather than months away, but in this article we’ll discuss the rumours and speculation surrounding the PS5 and see what details we can glean. We also delve into the PS4.5 rumours, which looks to be a mid-generation upgrade possibly offering enhanced graphics performance and 4K output.

Last updated to include rumours that suggest the PS4.5 NEO is required for a decent PSVR experience
Sony PlayStation 4.5 NEO rumours: What to expect from the PS4.5
The next console coming from Sony will be the 4K PlayStation 4.5, not the PS5 as originally thought. The PS4.5 is said to be more suited to incredibly graphics-heavy games and the likes of VR, with better performance and 4K support. We assume that the upgraded internals of the mid-generation upgrade will negate the need for the secondary box to power the PlayStation VR headset, a requirement for current PS4 owners.

It’s expected to launch during September’s Tokyo Games Show, according to VRWorld, although Digital Spy suggests we’ll see an announcement earlier at Sony’s E3 press conference in June 2016. This takes place at 6pm PT 13 June/2am UK 14 June, and we will of course be bringing you a live stream – more details to follow. You can find out all about the E3 2016 schedule here: What to expect at E3 2016
According to Giant Bomb, the project known internally as NEO will feature a higher clock speed than the original PS4, an improved GPU, and higher bandwidth on the memory. It says NEO will have eight Jaguar CPU cores running at 2.1GHz rather than the 1.6GHz in the PS4, an improved AMD GCN with 36 rather than 18 CUs running at the higher rate of 911MHz over 800MHz, and faster GDDR5 memory – 8GB at 218GB/s instead of 176GB/s.