Mark Cerny, the chief architect of the Sony PS4 and PS5, has for the first time revealed details of the ‘next-gen console’ being developed in an extensive interview. The game console that Sony has been developing for four years will not be a regular upgrade, according to Cerny.
Both Sony and Microsoft have the life cycle of the PS4 and Xbox One managed to extend the interim by announcing an upgrade in the form of the Sony PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. This time, however, we can expect a completely new video game console. No worries, the PS4 games can also be played on the new game console.
Wired traveled to Foster City in California to conduct an interview. In the conversation, Cerny talks about the ‘next-gen console’. When asked whether it is about the PlayStation 5, the answer was an enigmatic smile. Nevertheless, Cerny has revealed many other details.
So it is more about a revolution than an evolution, according to Cerny. Sony is working on a completely new game console and that is, of course, good news for PlayStation enthusiasts. This means that the PS5 will deliver better CPU and GPU performance and will offer more system memory and higher speed. Combined with an updated and improved game offering, the Sony PS5 must, therefore, create an even more intense gaming experience.
Sony PS5 8K game console with 3D audio
The fifth-generation PlayStation will support 8K images and will be equipped with an AMD chip. The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains 8 cores on the new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture from Sony. The GPU, an adapted variant of the Radeon Navi family, will offer support for ray tracing. This is a technique that simulates sunlight to create complex interactions in 3D environments.
Although ray tracing is already available with some high-end processors and Nvidia’s new RTX line, it would be the first time that ray tracing is applied to a game console. The direct benefits of ray tracing are largely visual. Because it mimics the way light reflects from object to object in a scene, reflective surfaces and refractions through glass or liquid can be rendered much more accurately, even in real time. This leads to an increased sense of realism.
The AMD chip also makes 3D audio possible, which should provide a whole new sound experience. There was very little difference between the audio quality of the PS3 and PS4, which must change with the PS5. You have to immerse the new game console in the game, with the sound coming from above, from behind and from the sides.
New PlayStation gets SSD
The PlayStation VR was also discussed during the interview. However, Cerny did not want to say too much about this, except that VR is very important for Sony and that the current PSVR headset will be compatible with the new game console.
The revelations continued, another ‘real game changer’ being the storage medium. Sony intends to replace the HHD (hard drive) with an SSD. This would entail major benefits, so an SSD is much faster. If the loading time on the PS4 is about 15 seconds, then on the PlayStation 5 with SSD it will be just 0.8 seconds. This would make the ‘next-gen console’ no less than 19x faster.
An SSD not only ensures shorter loading times but also determines the speed at which a world can be represented and the speed at which a character can move through that world. Cerny even gave a demonstration to Wired to demonstrate the differences.
The Sony PS5 will still use physical media. The console will also be backward compatible so that consumers who switch from the PS4 to the PS5 can continue to use their old games.
Google has since announced its own cloud streaming service. And it is also known from Microsoft that the new Xbox is very likely to support cloud gaming. Sony said the following about this: “We are pioneers in the field of cloud gaming, our vision will become clearer as we get closer to launch.”
What will the Sony PS5 cost?
For now, the company only wants to provide information about the hardware. Information regarding the design, new services, and other functions were not covered. The Japanese electronics manufacturer also does not want to reveal any information about the new PlayStation games. Regarding the price, Cerny reported that it will be “an attractive price, given the advanced specifications.” An exact amount was not reported.
Since computers with SSD are considerably more expensive than those with an HDD, you can assume that the PS5 will at least cost more than the PS4. When the Sony PS4 Pro was introduced three years ago, the console received a suggested retail price of € 400. For the Xbox One X, which was launched two years later, the introduction price was € 500. It seems likely that the PS5 will cost at least € 500, possibly even € 550.
As already expected, it will take a while before the new game console will be available in stores, this will not be 2019 anymore. The Sony PS5 will probably come onto the market sometime in 2020. It is possible that the game console will be officially announced later this year. There are usually a few months between the introduction and the launch.