Sony will launch the PlayStation 5 in time for Christmas 2020, the Tokyo-based company has revealed.
Among its improvements will be faster hardware, better graphics and a change to the way vibrations work in the controllers.
Jim Ryan, Sony’s president, said the firm wanted to use the handheld controller to ‘deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games’.
Speculation began growing over the company’s next console after it filed a patent for a box-like ‘unknown electronic device’ earlier this year.
The PS5 will support ray-tracing, a digital technology which enables more realistic recreation of lighting in the virtual 3D environments found in modern video games.
The updates appear similar to those Microsoft promised for its own next-generation Xbox, currently known as Project Scarlett, which is also due to be released at the end of next year.
In a blog post on the PlayStation website, Mr Ryan said the new PlayStation 5 controller would help make gaming more realistic on the new console.
‘There are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller,’ he wrote.
‘First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the “rumble” technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles.
‘With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field.
‘You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.’
COULD THIS BE SONY’S NEW VR MOTION CONTROLLER?
Two Sony patents, filed a few years ago, were made public in January 2018.
One patent shows off a new motion controller design with an analog stick and buttons on top, and a trigger controlled by the index finger on the bottom
It also had a hand strap to allow for greater control of the device.
The other patent described a new finger-tracking technology, which would sync with Sony’s PlayStation VR gaming headset, instead of the PlayStation console’s camera.
Many believed the controller prototype could replace PlayStation’s Move controller, which was released in 2010 in response to the Nintendo Wii and hasn’t been updated since.
Mr Ryan added that controllers would also be fitted with ‘adaptive’ triggers incorporated into the L2 and R2 buttons.
He said: ‘Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain.
‘In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions.’
Sony has not yet released any images of the console or confirmed any launch games, but Mr Ryan said the company would share more details about the console in the months to come.
Earlier this year Sony’s technical director, Yusuhiro Ootori, filed a patent at the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property.
The plans for what was named Unknown Electronic Device was then registered at the World Intellectual Property Office database in August.
As noted by Let’s Go Digital at the time, the request only featured a brief description of the prototype, which said: ‘configuration applied to/in electronic device’.
It was categorised as Class 14.02, which was the same classification given to the PS4.
And the patent for the PS4 was also registered by Mr Ootori, who oversees all of the commissioning, design and production of Sony’s gaming products, including Playstation.
The documents for both the new device and 2018’s PS4 are remarkably similar, suggesting it could very well be the next incarnation of the popular product.
Fans were quick to notice the prototype design has a ‘V’ shape, which may refer to the Roman numeral V for five, relating to PS5.
Let’s Go Digital’s Ilse Jurrien said: ‘Looking at the design, the device seems to have something to do with gaming.’