Sony waited until anticipation reached a fever pitch before releasing its new PlayStation game console, the PS5. Naturally, the exterior gets a makeover—it’s taller and more sculpturally dramatic than its predecessor—but of course it’s what’s inside that counts. For the new unit, Sony swaps the PS4’s main storage hard drive for a solid-state drive (SSD) with data-access speeds roughly 100 times faster.
In addition to contributing innovative computing, storage and data-compression technologies, the SSD boosts visual presentation to a blistering rate of 120 frames per second and also introduces ray tracing—what gamers consider the holy grail of graphics tech. Basically, it’s a digital-rendering technique used by feature films that simulates and tracks every ray of light—even from multiple sources—to generate lifelike textures and mind-blowing shadows. Until the PS5, no console had the power to run it. Add a Tempest 3-D audio engine, and developers are promising games won’t just be more immersive—with smarter AI, more dynamic graphics and improved physics—but will unlock entirely new concepts in gameplay.
Just how good is it? A teased clip from the game NBA 2K21 will leave you tempted to wipe the court after watching sweat drip off star Zion Williamson. Sony expects that the PS5, estimated to cost $499, will ship in time for the holidays. Mop not included.
Setting the Curve
So you’ve gone to the trouble of getting the latest and greatest gaming system. But is your display up to the challenge? For the best in purpose-built gaming monitors, look no further than the new 49-inch Odyssey G9 from Samsung ($1,700), a leader in quantum light-emitting diode (QLED) TVs, which optimize color range and brightness. This is the largest such display on the market, seamlessly improving the widescreen experience of twin 27-inch displays. And the screen’s dramatically curved shape matches the arc of the human eye, which not only immerses you in the action but causes less optic strain, a much-needed benefit when battling zombie hordes for hours (or days) on end.