Sony’s next-gen console will feature ray tracing, backward compatibility, and more
The lead system architect behind the PlayStation 4 and Vita, Mark Cerny, has revealed some details on what we will see in Sony’s next-generation PlayStation console, for which he is serving as the lead architect once again. Although neither Sony or Cerny has officially named the upcoming console, we will call it the PlayStation 5 for clarity’s sake.
Speaking to Wired, Cerny revealed that just like with the PlayStation 4, the upcoming console’s innards will be made up of AMD parts, featuring an eight-core Ryzen CPU from the 7nm Zen 2 line, along with a custom Navi chip powering the graphics side of things. This next-gen GPU will provide ray tracing support for the Sony console for both visual effects and other applications, much like the current Nvidia chips that give that capability to PC games.
3D audio is also something the PlayStation 5 will focus on delivering using a custom unit that’s built into the AMD chip. “With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it,” said Cerny.
When asked whether there will be a new PlayStation VR system to go with the PlayStation 5’s new capabilities, Cerny only said, “VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.”
Beyond that, the PlayStation 5 will come included with a high-performance internal solid-state drive instead of the standard hard drives we have seen on consoles for generations. Adding to that, Cerny has said that these SSDs will feature raw bandwidth speeds higher than any store bought SSDs, with a level loading test running on a PlayStation 5 devkit being 19 times faster than an HDD.
Unlike Sony’s previous generation, the PlayStation 5 will be able to run PlayStation 4 games natively, and it will still come with a disc slot for physical media. The console has been in development for the past four years, with devkits already being sent out developers. However, Mark Cerny confirmed that we won’t get to get our hands on it in 2019.
There’s only a couple of months until E3 is back in action again, and while Sony is skipping the event this year, Microsoft could be preparing to unveil a next-generation Xbox console of its own. It won’t be that surprising if the hardware is similar to what Sony’s working on.