In an exclusive interview with Mark Cerny, the lead PS4 and PS5 system architect with Wired. We have heard the first details for the upcoming PS5 (Or unnamed.. but we know it’ll end up being the PS5).
Normally I don’t jump in straight away and post about exclusive news etc. because that’s not necessarily what my site is about. But this is a big deal. A big deal because it’s the first solid details about a next gen console, further because it’s a hell of a system.
You can read the article for yourself here but the basic points are as follows:
- No 2019 release
- Four years in development thus far
- CPU: 8 core 7nm Zen 2, based on 3rd gen Ryzen
- GPU: Custom variant of AMD Navi architecture
- Ray tracing support
- Custom unit for 3D audio
- PSVR support OOTB with current PSVR hardware
- Custom SSD claimed to have a bandwidth greater than any SSD currently available
- 8K support to some degree
- Physical media will still be accepted
- Backwards compatible with the PS4
First of all, no 2019 is no surprise to me at this stage. Although I did initially speculate a late 2019 release; leading toward the end of 2018 I figured if there’s basically no information by now, then.. it won’t be releasing next year! Nonetheless hopefully it will be 2020, although likely late 2020 as they tend to do with console releases. Further it kinda makes sense to release a console in 2020 I imagine, because it’s a nice round number that kicks off the next generation in a nice way.. I imagine is what company executives think anyway.
The CPU/GPU is interesting to me as the CPU was really only announced at CES 3 months ago and Navi based Radeon GPU’s are expected to release starting July this year at the earliest. So depending on when the PS5 releases, it will be quite the power house.. and as can be assumed with Dev Kits already out in the wild, it will take a little while for AAA titles to fully start realizing the power at hand of 9th generation consoles.
I don’t suspect the ray tracing support to be too heavily utilized if it’s anything like Nvidia’s RTX line we can expect noticeable graphical improvements at slower framerates, but nothing that’s actually worth the slower framerate. Mark Cerny spent some time detailing the audio application of Ray Tracing, which I’m led to believe is where Ray Tracing is likely getting most of it’s application. Further the 3D audio discussion does sound interesting, I’m not much of an audio buff, but I think that’s likely because I’ve never given myself much of a chance to appreciate it. It will be interesting to see what the PS5 does with their 3D audio solution and just a pair of headphones.
The SSD situation is particularly interesting also, as someone who really appreciates what an SSD can offer, Mark Cerny’s details surrounding their SSD solution makes alot of sense. Games are only getting bigger and are only going to require longer load times on current technology. A custom SSD solution is a very good idea, Spawnwave suggested it could be wired directly to the board which is a very interesting possibility, and if so would be how they are managing faster SSD bandwidth than any current SSD solution today, well, so we are told.
The PSVR situation is something I’m quite happy with as an owner of the first gen PSVR unit, not even the revised model. That being said, I haven’t used it for a long time because it’s a mess to set up and the lack of HDR pass through on my model means I can’t leave it set up if I want HDR.. so I don’t. The article illudes to a new iteration of the PSVR coming for PS5, so if it’s less of a mess.. I’ll probably buy it.
The PS4 backwards compatibility is very welcomed, it means I can move my PS4 to the second room immediately and start gaming straight away on my PS5 when I get it. No info on BC with older Playstation systems, but hopefully there will be some, especially if there’s some kind of support for PS3 games, that would be amazing.
All in all it sounds good to me, it sounds like a solid iteration on the current system, it sounds like probably a bigger leap than the PS3 to PS4 was, it sounds more integrated, and in my opinion has what you’d expect, or even hope for in a console in 2019. Will be interesting to see what Microsoft brings to the table, hopefully something similar, or for their sake better. If it is better, and if Microsoft do develop some decent exclusives with their new swathe of development studios, it could really be a solid head to head battle between the two heading into generation 9.