PlayStation fans got their first details on the upcoming PS5 today. Sony’s own Mark Cerny spoke with Wired magazine, confirming that the new consoles will utilize high-capacity SSDs for faster loading times and offer ray tracing support in-games. Cerny was a lead system architect on the PS4 and continued his work with the PS5. The PlayStation 5 title isn’t official, Sony hasn’t confirmed the name of the next console, but it’s the current front-runner at this time.
The details might be exciting for fans to hear, but don’t expect a PS5 in 2019. Cerny made it clear that a surprise launch isn’t on the schedule anytime soon, and the console will get an excellent introduction before releasing to the public. The SSDs in the devkit that Cerny used in the interview weren’t named, but showed an extreme difference when demoing “Spider-Man”. A loading-screen in the game after Spider-Man moves locations, which normally would take 15 seconds on the PS4, took only 0.8 seconds on the current PS5 model. So these aren’t just regular SATA SSDs, and are most likely PCIE 4.0, but we will have to wait for Sony to confirm there design when the PS5 is officially announced.
The most significant improvements to the PS5 so far are all under the hood, where Cerny stated that the new CPU will be based on the “third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line,” which has eight cores built on the Zen 2 micro-architecture. The new chip will also bring new audio enhancements, allowing the PS5 to support 3D Audio natively.
As for the GPU, no exact specs were offered in the interview, but the GPU will be a custom version of AMD’s Radeon Navi line. Currently, NVIDIA has the only GPU that supports ray tracing, but it seems that AMD is working on the feature as well. While ray tracing is an impressive achievement in GPU technology, it has been known to drastically cut-down frame-rates in game, at least the NVIDIA version does, so we will have to wait and see how the new Navi line handles the workload in a custom PS5 chip. PC games that support ray tracing offer players the chance to turn the feature on or off, or control it in settings and the PS5 will most likely offer the same options. All of this horsepower means that the PS5 will be able to support 8K graphics, but you’ll need an 8K TV to benefit from that tech and there’s no confirmation on what frame-rate you would be playing at.
Cerny didn’t elaborate on pricing or offer a release date, but his comments indicated that the PSVR headset will be compatible and that the PS5 will allow physical media input. A physical media input enables the PS5 to be backward compatible with the PS4, so players won’t lose their library when upgrading consoles. Sony decided to skip E3 this year so fans probably won’t get any new information on the console for a few months.
While the next-gen console will support 8K graphics, TVs that deliver it are few and far between, so we’re using a 4K TV.)