A Quick and Handy Recap on the PS5 Dev Kit and How to Get It

I thought it’s best if we look back at the time when we were first jazzed about the existence of a PS5 dev kit, and what it was packing.

After all, a new PlayStation VR headset is releasing for the PlayStation 5! Some developers are already working with the VR dev kits.

So, it’s further confirmation that we’re going to see some interesting Virtual Reality games by 2022. But, I digress. We’re here to reminisce about the PS5 dev kit!

So, if you’re not familiar with how the PS5 came to be, then consider this article a refresher. I’ll largely cover:

  • What a dev kit is;
  • The buzz that first surrounded the PS5 dev kit;
  • And how you can get one;
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And if you’re an enthusiastic developer, I highly recommend you buckle in; familiarizing yourself with what a development kit can do can help skip the spinning rims at the beginning.

Especially if you’re dipping your feet into making something really cool!

Based on our analysis, we found a huge interest for new game developers across the world in 2021 and the major contributor is North America.

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And with that, let’s get right into it.

How to Get a PS5 Dev Kit

In order to get your hands on a PS5 dev kit, you’d have to first become a PlayStation developer by signing up for the PlayStation Partners Program.

Now, getting a PlayStation 5 prototype would mean you’ll need to determine what exactly you’re going to use it for. Depending on that, Sony will provide you with the right kind of a PlayStation 5 prototype

I’ll walk you through how you can do that in three ways; using the PlayStation Partners Program, using other business types, and as a student.

The entire process to get PS5 dev kit and use it

How to Get a PS5 Dev Kit via the PlayStation Partners Program

To obtain a PS5 dev kit, sign up through the Partners Program itself:

  • Go to the official PlayStation Partners Program webpage.
  • Pick the options that apply to you best under the Developers and Publishers section.
  • Finish filling the application, and press Submit.
  • If your application is approved, then you can access the SDKs immediately through your PlayStation console!
  • After the final touches, you can market your game’s release, and publish it (either by yourself or through a publisher) on the PlayStation Store!

How to Get a PS5 Dev Kit via Other Business Types

Let’s check out how you can obtain it without direct involvement of the Partners Program:

  • Go to the official PlayStation Partners Program webpage.
  • Click the link that corresponds to the location you’re in under the Other Business Types section.
  • If you plan to develop your app on PlayStation Mobile, make sure you keep it checked.
  • Follow any on-screen instructions, and you’ll be done eventually!

There is a difference between the development pipelines between the PlayStation Mobile and the PlayStation console platforms.

So, you’ll be given a separate SDK for PS Mobile, if your application is approved.

How to Get a PS5 Dev Kit as an Academic Student

Now, let’s say you’re an academic student making an exciting PlayStation project either solo or with a group. Here’s how you can get access to the PS5 dev kit:

  • Go to the official PlayStation Partners Program webpage.
  • Select University/Academia Programs to obtain an SDK through their programs.
  • Select your platform, distribution method, and any important information the form asks of you.
  • Once you submit your filled form, it’ll take a while for your application to be processed. On acceptance, you may use your shiny PlayStation SDK pretty soon!
  • Student verification procedures are likely involved, so keep all your details or documents ready as well.

PS5 Dev Kit Proprietary Conditions

The PS5 prototype is proprietary. Which means there are a few points to keep in mind. The first of which is the idea that a PS5 dev kit (or the PlayStation 5 prototype) is for sale. 

Well, folks, I’ve got to debunk that myth; the PS5 prototype isn’t and never will be for either sale or resale.

Its purchase is exclusive to official Sony or PlayStation channels. Once you’ve finished producing a game with the dev kit, you’re to return it back to Sony.

Remember, you’re not paying for the kit, you’re paying for the license to use it.

Next up, the PlayStation 5 prototype is protected by a non-disclosure agreement. You’ll be required to sign it.

Once you do, you’ll be able to use the dev kit freely. (But you can’t talk about it, including sharing its specifications and other related details.) To add to the security measures, the PS5 prototype is IP-locked.

You can neither travel with it nor use another connection on it. So, you better dust off that old calendar of yours and manage your time budget well!

There’s also licenses to worry about. You have to pay a certain amount of licensing fee to use the PS5 prototype.

This is nowhere close to cheap; the PS4 dev kit cost $2,500 alone. We have to assume that the PS5 dev kit price is likely higher.

And finally, the PS5 prototype has an expiration date. Paying another round of the annual licensing fee will keep it active lest you leave it for decommissioning.

PS5 Dev Kit Leaked

Around early 2019, we came across a couple of reports and photographs of the official PS5 dev kit leaked to the general public.

Nobody believed what they saw at the time, but given its appearance, the reaction was reasonable. Even so, it garnered enough buzz that even Gizmodo went deeper into the rabbit hole.

Here’s the cooling system blueprint:

PS5 Dev Kit Cooling System
(Credits go to LetsGoDigital @ nl.letsgodigital.org)

You can see clearly that Sony went all out with performance optimization. In retrospect, users complained that their PlayStation 4 systems tend to sound like airplanes taking off when under performance duress.

This seemed like a good move to make, so I’m sure some similarities are reflected in the final PS5 systems that we’ve got today.

The other, stronger source is the following Tweet by a developer — Alkoholikaust — who shows the PS5 dev kit in action.

Sure enough, the photos do match the renders and the patent photos presented everywhere.

There are two more things that are juicier than the dev kit, though.

One: Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have got a new challenger; Sony filed a patent for an AI-based voice assistant back in early March 2019. Time will tell when we’ll see it in action.

And two: The official registration documents for the PlayStation 5 (along with some additional scans, of course).

In time, Sony finally announced the release date of the PS5, which was holiday 2020. And what do you know — it’s been months now, and people are loving it to bits!

And that’s pretty much all there is to say about the PS5 dev kit. If you’re still not sure what a dev kit does, then maybe the quick-and-dirty write-up I gave below might help!

What is a Dev Kit?

This is something you won’t be familiar with unless you were a software developer. A development kit, or a prototype, is either a tool or a collection of tools that developers need in order to build software!

They’re called SDKs, for short. It doesn’t just stop at apps, of course.

Depending on what you want to build, you’ll deal with different kinds of SDKs — mobile, console, computer, web, you name it!

Dev kits usually have:

  • Documentation files; they explain how you can use the SDK.
  • Sample code snippets; they demonstrate how the programming scripts work.
  • Code libraries; to put it simply, they help extend your coding scripts’ capabilities on certain platforms and machines.
  • An Application Programming Interface; API, for short.

A lot of folks get confused between APIs and SDKs. But, the differences are simple.

SDKs are tools to build apps. APIs create a link between your app, and another service that you can’t build (or you could… but it’s too much work).

Basically, they’re just add-ons for your product, so it gets rid of any need for you to build a service from scratch.

Let’s take an e-commerce website as an example. You use the appropriate SDKs to write your own website.

Now, writing your own payment system will take way too much time. So, it’s always better to plug in a payment API within your website.

If you notice any website that allows payments via PayPal or Stripe, chances are they plugged the appropriate API, and that’s it — they’d get it working with little to no code written, and it wouldn’t yet be lunchtime!

How to Use a Dev Kit

Let’s say you wanted to make an application for a system. You would need to:

  • decide which platform’s market you want to release it on, and;
  • decide which SDKs you want to use to build your apps with.

For instance, if you want to build an app on Android (which is a platform you choose), then you’re going to need an Android SDK, an Android Native Development Kit (NDK, for short), and a Java Development Kit (JDK, for short).

Depending on the platform you choose, you’ll deal with different kinds of SDKs and other add-ons.

Unfortunately, every dev kit is different in terms of functionalities, practices, design, and your needs.

So there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question.

But, if you have a bright background in computer science, and a will to learn, then getting around it shouldn’t be too big a problem.

After all, development is all about trying new things!

And that’s about all you need to know about dev kits… or the basics of it, at least.

How much does a PS5 dev kit cost?

It’s hard to say. Sony has not revealed any official reports on the PS5 dev kit price. But, it’s reasonable to think that it would cost an upwards of $2,500 to $3,000. The PS4 dev kit costs a total of $2,500.

What is a PS5 Dev Kit?

Well, it’s a dev kit for a PS5! If you’re not sure what a dev kit is, then the explanation I provided in the article should give you the basic idea. The only difference here is that this particular dev kit is for the PS5 exclusively. It’s also proprietary, which means you’ll need to sign an NDA and pay for the licenses involved after its expiration in order to use it for your game development journey.

When did the PS5 dev kit come out?

Dev kits change a lot during the development phase. The current iterations we see in the images provided suggest that the design of the dev kit was to help test the heat dissipation system (you’d commonly call them as “cooling systems”). There’s no telling when the PS5 dev kit came out, or what the PS5 dev kit release date is. Such information is usually kept internally, so there’s no way to know unless you knew a developer working closely with PlayStation. (Or someone who works there!)

Is the PS5 dev kit real?

You can be sure that the PS5 dev kit was real. Dev kits are what you’d call an ‘early build’ of an existing console. The images provided show exactly how the PS5 dev kit looked like at the time of its leaks. The sources of the images are reliable media outlets.

What would the PS5 look like?

The PlayStation 5 looks radically different from the PS5 dev kit you see above. It’s sleek, and bears an eye-catching monochromatic scheme with blue lighting elements to accentuate itself from the crowd.
Compared to the previous consoles, it appears more “organic” due to the emphasis given to the model’s curvature, smoothness, and its minimalist appearance. During his interview with the Washington Post, Yurin Morisawa stated that his inspirations came from thinking in terms of “five dimensions”; he wanted the PS5 to appear as if it were technology from a parallel world.
The PS5 released in November 2020, so you can check it out on the official page. It’s worth knowing everything about the PS5, if you don’t already.

Are You Planning to Get a PS5 Dev Kit?

Take a look at the costs involved. The time that could sink into it to make something of it. The barrier of entry to be crossed.

All of these are factors that play towards your efficiency in using the PS5 dev kit.

This question is worth thinking about before you go all in and get it for yourself for development reasons. Considering all of those factors, you’ll have to know for sure that your game will make a great ROI.

But hey, if you’ve got a game that’s performing well on the other markets and are now planning to push it to consoles, then congratulations!

It’s tough to make games, let alone make them for consoles.

With that said, what’re your thoughts on Sony’s transparency with developers?

Share ‘em if you got ‘em!

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