We’ve had plenty of renders and dodgy leaks regarding the PlayStation 5 development kit’s design but it now appears, with a year to go until launch, the final hardware is in plenty of developers’ hands.
Yet another leaked image has emerged this weekend, matching up almost exactly with the the ‘Letsgo Digital’ renders which were revealed earlier in the year. The PS5 devkit sports a very unique inverted V-shape design with more vents than the Nostromo, presumably packing plenty of cooling for the next-gen hardware provided by AMD.
Based on other console devkits, and indeed, the utilitarian PS4 devkit, the end product probably won’t end up looking anything like this. The V-shape is a tough sell for the mass market; it’s very in-your-face and not exactly the typical unassuming, svelte box most want tucked in their home entertainment system.
What’s certainly interesting though is the picture also includes our first look at the PlayStation 5 controller, also known as the DualShock 5. Based on the picture and patents from last month, Sony is taking an if ain’t broke approach with its next-gen controller design. Functionally, the DS5 looks almost identical to the DS4, sans the battery-draining lightbar. This is almost certainly for the best, the light bar added very little to the DualShock 4 and we know from using the controller on PC and disabling the lightbar that it’s a big contributor to the DS4’s relatively short battery life.
Aside from this though, the DualShock 5 looks very, very similar to the DualShock 4. Sony isn’t going to want to break backward compatibility so the large touchpad remains intact. I still feel this feature is vastly under-utilised, particularly in terms of adding extra controller functions such as swipe up for inventory, swipe down for quick save, etc. The one other external change is the switch to USB-C for charging, a modern, universal standard.
It’s the internals where we’re set to get the key differences though, with lead architect Mark Cerny confirming advanced haptic feedback, resistive triggers which can provide tension, and the possibility of an internal microphone for voice commands.
Based on what know of the DualShock 5, Sony is at least tackling our biggest bugbear with the DS4. It’s a great controller, no doubt about that, but the battery life does absolutely let it down. Losing the light bar is going to help considerably here, although it remains to be seen just how draining the battery feedback is.
Things look as if they’re progressing rapidly behind the scenes for Sony then, while the same perhaps can’t be said for Microsoft’s Project Scarlett. According to The Verge editor Tom Warren, barely any developers have been able to get their hands on Scarlett devkits at this point. They’re also “nowhere near final”. Whether this means Microsoft wants to surprise Sony with its next-gen hardware remains to be seen, but taking a little extra time could potentially signify higher-end hardware.
The pieces are beginning to slot into play for the next-gen consoles then. It’s advantage Sony right now, although we expect both consoles will be kitted out with some top spec AMD CPU and GPU hardware.