Sony PlayStation 5 news: What developers need to know

Last week was a big week for gamers everywhere with the Xbox Series X launching on November 10th, and the Sony PlayStation 5 debuting November 12th. If you’re looking for the latest PlayStation 5 news geared for game developers, you’ve made it to the right place. 

Even if you’ve loved all the PlayStation consoles that led up to this moment, you’ll be pleased to know that Sony has re-imagined some major parts of the gaming experience with the Sony PlayStation 5 console. This covers everything from a brand new well thought out user interface, and simpler setup to a revolutionary game controller — plus many added bonuses that PS Plus members will love. The result is a gaming console that we can’t help but be impressed with. 

Yes, the PlayStation 5 boasts many great features, but between backward compatibility, technical specs, storage questions, exclusive games, peripherals such as the new DualSense controller, and many other accessories, you have a lot to keep up with.

Well, this article is here to help. We’ll give you the lowdown on

  • What’s new with the PS5, including its two consoles and the DualSense controller   
  • All the new games on the horizon
  • What the new PS5 launch means for you as a game developer
Sony PlayStation 5 news: what it means for game developers

What’s new with the PS5

Breaking down the two PS5 consoles in this launch

Sometimes two is better than one. According to the latest PlayStation 5 news, two different versions of the new PlayStation 5 are hitting the shelves in November. Along with the standard Sony PlayStation 5 console, which has a built-in disc drive – they’re also launching a slightly slimmer version of the console called the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. As you may have guessed, the PS5 Digital Edition doesn’t come with a built-in drive for playing discs.

Other than that, the two versions of the new PlayStation 5 have identical components. Regardless of which console PlayStation players choose, they can look forward to the same graphical performance, storage, and processor options. And to say the least, PlayStation 5 graphics on both consoles are expected to be fantastic. Plus both consoles boast an 8-core Zen 2 processor, which can run at 3.5GHz per core, with up to 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.

We love to see it. 

And while these consoles have already made a splash in some parts of the world (US, Mexico, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand), the rest of the world won’t get their hands on the new PS5 consoles until November 19th, 2020. One notable exception is China — where despite not having an official launch date yet, scalpers are already accepting pre-orders for the coveted consoles for close to $2000 USD.  

Here in the US, the Sony PlayStation 5 console will set you back $499.99, with the Digital Edition doing slightly less damage to your bank account at $399.99. Sure, $100 is a considerable difference, but we think gamers who opt for the standard PS5 can easily make up the difference from discounted discs and borrowing games from their friends.

the new Sony PS5 DualSense controller and what it means for developers

The new DualSense controller

PlayStation 5 news reveals that Sony wants to deepen the feeling of immersion when gamers play PlayStation 5 games, and the new DualSense controller certainly achieves this.

The most effective and visually impressive elements of the PlayStation 5 DualSense are the new adaptive trigger mechanisms. The inside makes use of a spiraled gear, which is controlled by the motor present on the triggers in order to adjust the resistance and feel. This can lead to some very nuanced haptic effects, giving gamers different levels of feedback depending on what’s happening in the game.

Said differently, the adaptive triggers on the new DualSense controller easily simulate different resistances, making gameplay more realistic and nuanced. Basically, gamers can now play around with these triggers to do things like add tension when they’re pulling back a bow in their gameplay.

And if you’ve been into PlayStation for a while, you’ll know that DualShock controllers have for the most part retained a similar design from one generation to the next. Not anymore — the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller is probably the first PS controller that doesn’t look anything like the original.

On top of these visual and sensory changes, the Sony PlayStation 5 console also features a sturdy built-in microphone array. This means that gamers can chat with their friends even when they don’t have their headset connected — we expect this to mean even more peer to peer interaction while playing games on PS5.

PS5 backwards compatibility

If you’re a logged on member of the game dev community, you know that one of the most persistent negative rumors before the release was that the new PS5 console wouldn’t be compatible with any games from the last generation.

Fortunately for game devs and players alike, PlayStation 5 news revealed that that’s not the case with this release. Sony has managed to break from tradition, ensuring the new PlayStation 5 is fully compatible with most PS4 games. In fact, there are plenty of cases where the new console actually enhances the graphics on PS4 games, breathing new life into them for use on the new console.

Sony confirmed through an article published by Famitsu that backward compatibility was a key consideration when they were designing the new console. Although we’re still waiting to find out exactly which games are not backward compatible, we’d bet that the 18 games revealed for the new PlayStation Plus collection will all work on the PlayStation 5 — provided you already own them for PlayStation 4.

That’s because Sony deemed the PlayStation 4 the most important gaming console to support when it comes to backward compatibility, which we think was a great business decision. And as most consoles don’t launch with a complete library of games from the start, we’re sure the PS5 console will continue to impress us.

That said, what gamers make of PS 5’s current game library mainly depends on whether they finished some of the masterpieces from the PlayStation 4’s era, like The Last of Us Part II, God of War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. 

New games on the horizon for PlayStation 5

The list of upcoming PlayStation 5 games grows ever steadily, and we’ll continue to see it grow as the consoles become available to the rest of the world.

From the new PlayStation 5 launch games to those forthcoming titles that’ll be released a while after the new console’s launch, there’s no shortage of games for players to add to their wishlist.

PlayStation 5 games lineup is a pleasing and fun mix of enticing exclusives as well as big third-party hits, which makes for a great launch. Although most gamers will inevitably be drawn to some PlayStation 5 exclusives, like Spider-Man Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls, there will be tons of other games to play at launch because of PlayStation 4 backward compatibility. 

Here are a few first-party video games developed by Sony’s personal studios coming to the new PlayStation 5 — and in many cases for the PS4 too:

  • New God of War 
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Gran Turismo 7 
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Astro’s Playroom

Some other games include:

  • Battlefield 6
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Gods And Monsters
  • Returnal
  • Goodbye Volcano High
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure
  • Solar Ash

Marketing trends and considerations for launching a game for PS5

Game developers everywhere are praising the development architecture of PS5, and praising how simple it is to transition between various generations. That’s great news for players eager to try the latest and greatest, but could mean an even more saturated market for the game devs out there.

With that in mind, here are some marketing considerations if you’re planning to launch a game for PS5.

Have a promotional plan for your video game

There’s no doubt that if you pour larger sums of money into your promotional activities, the chances for success of your PS 5 game will increase exponentially — but it’s still totally possible to make a splash on a humble indie game developer budget.

Don’t let your perception of marketing budgets fool you because you can do a lot with a little, especially if you embrace the DIY ethos of the online gaming community. This free template for a video game press release is a perfect example of what you can do on your own.

Get the word out across social media

It’s mission critical that you share your game’s features and functionalities across all of your social media channels to get the best results. This can help you keep your players engaged and waiting on the edge of their seats for the launch date.

If you’re not working hand in hand with a team of social media experts, consider prioritizing which channels you focus on for promoting your PS5 game. Focus on the channels your target audience uses the most, and the channels where they’re most likely to engage with you.

Work with gaming influencers

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: content is currency in the video game industry. And with gaming influencers, you have a chance to partner with content creators who already have your audience’s attention. This can be especially effective if you’re showing up to the PS5 game developer party a little later than expected.

What the New PS5 Launch Means for Game Developers

While players didn’t get the pleasure of testing what the new PlayStation 5 has in store for them, plenty of developers certainly did. From the time the console was in development, game developers were praising how simple it is to build games for the new console.

Here are some key takeaways on what the new PS5 launch means for game developers.

No more data duplication necessary

Many experts praised PS5’s solid-state drive, saying that it can easily turn loading time from a hassle to just a blink. But it’s not just this loading time improvement at face value that players get excited about — it’s the overall processing efficiency. 

Consider how the hard drive in the game console spins like a 5,400-rpm vinyl record. For the game console to read some information off the drive, it needs to send out the disk head (not dissimilar to a turntable needle) in order to find it. Keep in mind that each “seek” of the information might take up a handful of milliseconds, but the seeks tend to add up. 

You know that game data adds up quite fast. If you consider a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man, some pieces of data are duplicated almost 400 times on the hard drive. Now the new SSD on the PS5 removes the need for all that duping. 

As a result, it not only reads considerably faster than a regular hard drive, but it also saves valuable space. How game developers take advantage of this space is up to them — some may decide to build a more detailed or larger game world. Others may be happy to reduce the size of the patches or games. 

Backward compatibility testing 

You heard it here first: Sony told all PS4 developers that game titles submitted for certification from July 2020 onwards will be compatible with the Sony PlayStation 5 console. This means that all video games submitted to the company for testing will technically be forward compatible. 

If you have games that qualify to be grandfathered into forward compatibility, submit them to Sony. When you do they’ll send you instructions on how you can test software adequately on PlayStation 5 hardware. 

Final thoughts

There’s a lot to love about the new PS5 console, but one of the most impressive things about it is it’s backwards compatibility with PS4 titles, which will still feel new and exciting with the graphical developments on the new console. 

That said, the advent of the PS5 is an exciting moment for anyone developing video games. Touted as an easy-to-use development architecture, developers can spend more time innovating and bringing their graphics-heavy masterpieces to life, and less time getting up to speed on how to develop for the new hardware. We look forward to the next wave of games that will come from this.

If you’re working on a game for the new PS5 console, get in touch with the team at Loopr. We’d love to help you craft a promotional strategy no matter your budget. 

Can’t get enough of this stuff? Check out our video game PR case studies to learn how we’ve helped indie game developers and esports brands just like you.

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