PlayStation 5 details revealed - backwards compatible with PS4

PlayStation 5 details revealed - backwards compatible with PS4

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 5 | Sony PlayStation 4 | Sony PSVR

PlayStation's next-generation hardware has been detailed by PS4's lead architect, Mark Cerny, in an exclusive interview and demonstration with Wired.

The article details many of the enhancements that you would come to expect from the next-generation of PlayStation, and one that sounds like a game-changer. A solid-state-drive, ray-tracing, backwards compatibility, 8K support, and a reference to cloud-gaming.

Mark Cerny does not refer to the console as the PlayStation 5, as it is likely to be called, only the "next-gen console". He also confirms that the console, which has been in development for the past four years, will not be launching in 2019, as expected.

Cerny told Wired that the next-gen PlayStation has an AMD chip at its core, with the CPU based on AMD's third generation Ryzen line and "contains eight cores of the company's new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture". The GPU will be a "custom variant of Radeon's Navi family" and will support ray tracing.

Immersive 3D audio is another key component of the next-gen hardware, Cerny says "it's been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. 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.”

What Mark Cerny seems to be more excited about than anything else though, is the inclusion of a specialised solid-state-drive. Cerny calls it a "true game changer" and "the key to the next generation". Essentially, what the next-gen PlayStation can do for load times seems incredible, with Marvel's Spider-Man being used to demonstrate the tech. Wired write, "On the TV, Spidey stands in a small plaza. Cerny presses a button on the controller, initiating a fast-travel interstitial screen. When Spidey reappears in a totally different spot in Manhattan, 15 seconds have elapsed. Then Cerny does the same thing on a next-gen devkit connected to a different TV. (The devkit, an early “low-speed” version, is concealed in a big silver tower, with no visible componentry.) What took 15 seconds now takes less than one: 0.8 seconds, to be exact".

When asked about whether there would be a next-gen PlayStation VR, Cerny told Wired, "I won't go into the details of our VR strategy today, beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console". This will surely be music to the ears of PSVR players, I for one am very excited that PlayStation won't be abandoning the VR arena.

Cerny also spoke about other aspects of the new console; it will still accept physical media, will have support for 8K, and it will be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4. Here's hoping we can play games from the original PlayStation, PS2, and PS3 as well.

Google Stadia is aiming for accessible cloud-gaming.

One thing barely mentioned in the article is cloud-gaming, with Google Stadia and Microsoft's Project xCloud coming this year, PlayStation couldn't be letting themselves get left behind, could they? Mark Cerny simply told Wired that "we are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch".

Please do read Peter Rubin's excellent Wired article for the full breakdown of what the next PlayStation will be.

New console talk is getting us very excited here at The Digital Fix, we'll be here with all the latest next-gen announcements when we hear them.

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