PS5 is also ditching the classic optical port.
The PlayStation 5 will not have an optical audio out port like PS4 and PS4 Pro. Sony elected not to bring back optical, just like Microsoft decided to with Xbox Series X.
The confirmation didn’t come directly from Sony, because the platform holder has yet to actually show the back of the PS5. Instead, headset manufacturer Astro revealed to the press which of its various headsets are going to work with PS5 and Xbox Series X.
In a briefing attended by Destructoid, Astro confirmed that it will be offering an HDMI-to-optical splitter on PS5. The unit splits the audio signal out of HDMI while allowing 4k passthrough for video. Astro says the adapter does not introduce any lag to the signal, and supports HDMI 2.1 and HDCP.
Every headset is different, and things are generally slightly more complicated on PS5 compared to Xbox Series X, so it’s worth consulting the link to see which of your Astro headsets will work and what new adapter (if any) you might need. Astro’s official site is supposed to have detailed pages with the same information, but the links are dead at the time of writing.
The news isn’t particularly surprising; optical audio has been on its way out for a while. It served a purpose, of course, which was to get audio out away from HDMI, leaving the latter dedicated to video. Some setups relied on having both connected at the same time, while alternating between audio sources in the consoles’ own dashboards.
Nonetheless, it is disappointing that Sony didn’t find this information significant enough to communicate in the months since PS5 has been announced. It is worth stressing that we’re mere months away from release and the back of the PS5 has yet to be shown publicly.