The first details of the “PlayStation 5” have been announced today in an exclusive interview for Wired with Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the company’s new console, and producer of the PlayStation 4 and Vita. This is the first time Sony has spoken publicly about their next generation machine.
So what can we expect from the currently unnamed console, dubbed the PlayStation 5?
Firstly, Cerny is saying that this new console will not just be an upgrade, but could potentially allow for “fundamental changes in what a game could be”.
This new system hopes to be the first to incorporate ray-tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. It mimics the way light bounces from object to object in a scene, reflective surfaces and refractions through glass or liquid and can be rendered much more accurately, even in real-time, leading to heightened realism. PlayStation has expanded their partnership with AMD whose first-class chip software is at the centre of the PS5’s internal architecture.
One of the big new things included is a Solid State Drive, which the PS4 does not have. This will dramatically improve loading and rendering times for big budget games. To show this off, Cerny played Spider-Man PS4 running on a developer kit of the PS5, and the open world’s loading time dropped from its usual 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro to 0.8 seconds. That is impressive.
Moreover, the PS5 will support 8K resolutions and will be compatible with PS VR kits, including both present and future variants of the product. Admittedly there aren’t many TV’s that exist out there yet to support 8K but I guess Sony must know they are about to hit the shelves.
The AMD chip will also include a custom unit for 3D Audio which Cerny believes will redefine what sound can do in a videogame. We can expect to feel more immersed in the gameplay, as sounds come at you from above, from behind, and from the side. While the effect will require no external hardware—it will work through TV speakers and visual surround sound—Cerny says that “the gold standard will be headphone audio.”
The new console has been in development for four years and a number of studios are already working on next-gen games. It has a disc drive and will be backwards compatible, meaning that you will be able to play your old PlayStation 4 games on it. Cerny also hinted that upcoming PS4 games like Death Stranding will be multi-platform titles, releasing first on the PS4 and then on the PS5.
The PS5 will run an 8-core processor, based on the 3rd gen AMD Ryzen CPU’s. The mid-range Ryzen 5 for example, runs at a base clock of 3.6Ghz–the current PS4 pro processor is only at 2.13Ghz, so if it matches up with the current Ryzen speeds it would be a significant upgrade.
While no date has been given for the PS5 release, it will definitely not happen in 2019. 2020 is more plausible. Sony is not attending E3 this year, and it seems unlikely that any more news will be revealed at the event in June. We will be keeping our ears to the ground though, so stay tuned for more Gaming news here at 25YL.