5 PS5 features you need to know about

PS5 logo
(Image credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com)

Sony has been drip-feeding us information about the PlayStation 5 and, while we don't know much about which games we'll be playing or how the console will look, we have a pretty good idea about what the PS5 is packing under its hood and what features it will boast.

The PS5 is shaping up to be an extremely powerful next-gen console and, the more we learn about it, the more excited we get for its release in late 2020.

But what is the key information to know about the PS5? We've put together a list of the five most exciting PS5 features we've heard about so far.

1. PS5 loading times will be super fast


(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5's ultra-fast SSD will drastically reduce loading times. Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the PS5, previously showcased how the SSD will shorten loading times, using Marvel's Spider-Man as an example. 

On the PS4 Pro, the game took 8.10 seconds to load, whereas on the PS5, the loading time was reduced to a mere 0.8 seconds.

SSDs have more bandwidth, so data can be loaded from the SSD when it’s needed, rather than heaps of potentially needless data being loaded into RAM. That means that load times will be hugely reduced and booting up from standby should be generally much faster, too.

2. Immersive 3D audio tech


(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has created it

Sony has created its own audio technology for the PS5 called the Tempest 3D Audio Engine. It uses custom-built hardware as well as software algorithms to make in-game audio sound more realistic and true-to-life. In other words, it'll be much more immersive. 

The difference, says Cerny, is that the custom solution will work with all stereo headphones on the market, and eventually soundbars, TV speakers and home entertainment systems – unlike Dolby Atmos.

3. Backwards compatibility with PS4 games

God of War

(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games. According to Cerny, "almost all" of the top 100 PS4 games will be playable at launch. But what PS4 games will be included? According to Cerny, those top 100 games are being ranked by playtime, but we don't know exactly which games will make the cut.

Sony hasn't yet confirmed if the PS5 is backwards compatible with PS3, PS2 or the original PlayStation, but it doesn't look likely. So far, the company has only focused on speaking about backwards compatibility with PS4. 

4. 4K UHD Blu-ray drive


(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 will have a 4K Blu-ray player built-in. That means your PS5 will essentially act as a home entertainment system as well as a gaming console.

While a Blu-ray player was included in the PS3 (and was largely considered as being crucial to the format’s success) the next evolution, a 4K Blu-ray player, was lacking in the PS4 and PS4 Pro. So we're beyond pleased to see the feature making a return, as it means that cinephiles won't need to have a separate Blu-player player set up alongside their PlayStation 5.

5. Instantly launch you into multiplayer mayhem


(Image credit: Blizzard)

The PS5 ultra-fast SSD will allow us to install and remove parts of games rather than the full product. You'll also be able to access those parts separately instantaneously, launching directly into gameplay. In other words, Sony's next-gen console will let players jump straight into aspects of different games (such as match-making, continue save game etc) without having to boot up the full game.

PS5's operating system will allow players to set "templates," meaning you could be able to jump into a game's match-making, for example, straight from your home screen; preventing the need to take steps such as booting up an entire game and selecting particular games modes. It would also make it easier for players to quickly jump between the games they have installed.

Mark Cerny revealed this direct-gameplay-launching system in last year's Wired interview, explaining that Sony wants players to be able to jump into games with little obstacle. 

"We don't want the player to have to boot the game, see what's up, boot the game, see what's up," Cerny said. "Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time."

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.