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PlayStation 6: all the features we want to see in Sony’s next console

Three colorful PS5s float together in a line.

As we reach what we expect to be the midpoint of this console generation, we can’t help but look to the future. In four years, there’s a very good chance the hardware hype cycle will start up once again as Sony plans to release a PlayStation 6. While we’re certainly jumping the gun in anticipating it (we’re still waiting for a PS5 Pro, after all), we’ve been taking a moment this month to reflect on this console generation and what we want from the next one based on how its gone.

For the sake of daydreaming, I’ve put together a list of features I’m already hoping to see on PlayStation 6. Think of this less as an impatient glimpse at the future, though. If anything, it’s more of a commentary on what’s currently lacking on PS5. I hope to see the inevitable PS5 Pro address some of these issues, but if it doesn’t, this is what I’ll need to see if the PS6 drops in 2028.

Consistent performance

Cait Sith dances in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Square Enix

At the start of this currently console generation, Sony and Microsoft made some lofty promises. Players thought they would get incredible resolutions — up to 8K! — with games running at 60 frames per second. That hasn’t been the case. Performance has been inconsistent this generation, with a lot of new releases still struggling to run at 4K and 60fps at the same time. That’s something the PS6 needs to fix. With graphical fidelity plateauing, performance is one of the few technical leaps that hardware manufacturers have left. PC-like performance will become a necessity if players are going to spend another $500 on a console when the last one underdelivered. I don’t need 8K or other unrealistic selling points; I just want my PS6 games to run smoothly.

DualSense back buttons

A DualSense Edge sits in front of a blue backdrop.

When it comes to a controller, there’s little I actually want to see changed about the PS5’s DualSense. It’s an excellent gamepad that makes a strong case for haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The only thing I’d actually want from a DualSense 2 is back buttons on day one. If you own something like the Xbox Elite Series 2 or DualSense Edge, you’re likely familiar with this concept. Premium controllers tend to include two to four buttons on their backside that players can map anything too. That feature will change the way you play, allowing for faster and more fluid play. No hardware manufacturer has ever made this a standard  feature that comes with a console, but the PS6 generation should raise that bar.

Sleeker design

An Xbox Series S, PS5 Slim, and PS5 stand next to one another.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

This one is probably a no brainer for anyone who owns the original PS5 model. Sony came into this current console generation in a bold way with the PS5’s enormous design. It’s a statement piece compared to the Xbox Series X, or really any console since the Nintendo GameCube. That gave it an iconic look, but also made it a pain to fit in an entertainment center. The console’s 2023 refresh thankfully made it smaller and more customizable, but there’s still more room to cut down. I hope the PS6 goes back to basics and opts for a design that’s a bit more discrete.

More customization

A PS5 slim sits on a table with different colored face plates.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

Other than size, there’s one other thing that Sony nailed with its PS5 redesign: customization. The console doesn’t just give players more faceplate options, but also supports a detachable disc drive. That feature teased a console future that’s a little closer to the PC world with swappable parts. I’d love to see the PS6 really lean into that more. Give me more options for storage or let me tweak parts that can help optimize it. The appeal of a console is that players don’t need to maintain it like a PC, but I’d be willing to spend some money on extra accessories if it meant I could beef it up and solve some of its shortcomings on the fly instead of waiting for a full hardware upgrade.

Better access to PS3 games

Old snake in a firefight.

Backward compatibility is a given at this point when talking about a new console, so I’ll offer something more specific: Please give me a way to access PS3 games. If you’ve ever tried to play a PS3 game in 2024, you probably know that it’s extremely difficult without the actual console. PS3 discs don’t run on PS5, for starters. What’s worse, though, is that the PS3 games included as part of PS Plus can only be accessed via cloud streaming. And that catalogue barely features any PS3 games to begin with; you still can’t easily play Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot without digging out your PS3. That specifically needs to change with PS6, whether it’s with deeper backward compatibility with physical media or native emulations of old games.

Tear down the walled garden

A Pulse Elite, DualSense, and PlayStation Portal sit on a table.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

This one is more about where PlayStation is headed as opposed to where it is right now. During this console generation, Sony has quietly moved toward a walled garden ecosystem similar to how Apple operates. It really wants players to use Sony products with the PS5 and is going to increasingly great lengths to make that happen. For instance, look at its PlayStation Link audio tech. The new connectivity feature is used on recent Sony audio devices like the Pulse Elite. It’s a handy option, but Sony seems eager to make it the only one players can use. The PlayStation Portal doesn’t include Bluetooth, so players need to buy specific Sony products to get wireless audio on the device. I fear that this is the direction Sony might be moving in more broadly, and the PS6 could solidify that. I hope the PS6 smashes that wall instead, supporting features like Dolby Vision on the platform instead of using Sony’s own solutions.

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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