Back in 2013 (2014 in Japan), the latest iteration of Sony‘s videogaming console, the PlayStation 4 launched, and became the leading console of the current home console videogame generation. In 2016 a new model with upgraded specs launched named the PlayStation 4 Pro. In the world of tech and gaming however, 3 years (and 6 years from the OG) is too long, so today begins the road to Sony’s next console.
Lead PlayStation architect Mark Cerny gave an interview to Wired magazine about what you can expect for Sony’s don’t-call-it-PlayStation5-(yet) “next-gen” console. Only hardware teases were discussed, no information on services and the like were confirmed for the future platform. Of course the specs of the upcoming machine will be upgraded (memory, speed, etc) and it looks like Sony is sticking with chip manufacturer AMD:
The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. While ray tracing is a staple of Hollywood visual effects and is beginning to worm its way into high-end processors and Nvidia’s recently announced RTX line, no game console has been able to manage it. Yet.
Got that? Cerny also touts the upcoming system’s audio which supports 3D audio, which he says will be more immersive. Speaking of immersion, though he would not go into detail, Playstation VR is still important to the company and support for the current gear will be supported in the next-gen.
Cerny detailed what he considers to be “a true game changer” or the not-yet-PlayStation 5, its hard drive. Sony is planning to equip the future console with a solid-state drive (SSD), which will allow for speedier loading, access, and delivery. It’s not just any SSD though, as Cerny claims:
“… it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs”
It will need a lot a bandwidth and speed, not only to do the previously noted ray tracing, but also because the console will support 8K graphics.
PlayStation 4 fans should be happy to hear that Sony is planning to have the next-gen console be backwards compatible and will also be able to accept physical media (aka. game discs).
The console was not revealed to the interviewer, being sealed away in a silver tower (probably just a dev kit anyway). It is not expected to arrive any time in 2019, and Sony for the first time is skipping the Electronic Electronic Expo (E3) this June, so we’re not sure when we’ll hear more… but it probably won’t be that long…