So that was completely unexpected.
In an article released today on Wired, Mark Cerny, the architect for the PlayStation 4 (and now the PlayStation 5, the presumed title), met with the publication and gave plenty of spicy new details on the upcoming console. We have known for a little while Sony was at least working on something, with Microsoft being the louder of the two about the next generation. With today’s information, Sony now firmly holds a grip on the reader market share, leaving Xbox to decide whether or not E3 is the soonest they want “Project Scarlett” unveiled.
So just what did Mark Cerny have to say about the PlayStation 5? Let me drop a tweet that has the bulletpoints.
BREAKING: PlayStation 5 news
🔳Won’t be coming in 2019
🔳SSD instead of HDD
🔳CPU – AMD Ryzen 3rd gen 8-core
🔳GPU – Custom Radeon Navi
🔳PSVR compatible (current models)
🔳Digital & Physical game support
🔳Backward compatibility with PS4 pic.twitter.com/WUyuhbdYYC
— Gilgamesh (@RinoTheBouncer) April 16, 2019
So, there is way more information there than I ever would have expected in the first true info dump.
First, let’s start with the hardware itself. The CPU will be a custom third generation AMD Rosen 8 core processor, and the GPU a custom Radeon Navi. According to the report the GPU will be powerful enough to support ray tracing, a technique used in Hollywood special effects that has not made its way into console gaming, at least for the moment. It also says ray tracing can be used to improve audio as well, so 3D audio could be an option even without a fancy set up.
A big addition to the system will be a solid state hard drive, allowing devs to create worlds that load in and communicate faster, and that will lead to better performance for players. Cerny demonstrated by showing Marvel’s Spider-Man on a PS4 Pro, with the fast travel clocking in at a fifteen second load time. Upon doing the same action on the “low-speed PS5” dev kit, the same fast travel only took 0.8 seconds to load. Next gen looks like it will not have load times for sure. We do not know if this was a port or just a PS4 title running, but in any case it was impressive.
Another amazing thing I cannot credit Sony more for? The current PlayStation VR headsets will be compatible with the new console. As a PSVR owner, this is incredibly important to me. I understand my VR will not always be the gold standard and down the road I will have to upgrade, just like the PS4 to PS5. But being able to use my current peripheral and not have another $400 headset thrust upon me along with a new $499 (guesstimate) game system is a smart move by Sony and a win for consumers. Along with this, PS4 backwards compatibility will be built in, so playing PSVR titles along with regular PS4 releases will give you a large library right out the gates.
Something else we know, while digital may be “the future”, it is not immediate. The PS5 will in fact use physical media, discs. We do not know if there will be larger capacity BluRay discs for this console iteration, but for now at least we do not have to worry about an all digital next gen. This is better for consumers, as you will be free to shop around for the best deal instead of being bound to the company’s digital storefront.
There is plenty to speculate on, but this was a humongous surprise. I do not believe any of us expected to wake up to legitimate PS5 hardware information. I am extremely excited by the news, even though Sony is not going all out in the name of innovation. Give the consumers what they want, and they will buy it. That worked when the PlayStation 4 released, and Sony seems to be sticking with what is working.
On the plus side as well, unless you just want to, do not worry about saving your pennies. Cerny confirmed we will not see the next PlayStation in 2019. 2020 is looking like a good bet though.
If you would like to read the Wired article and get the full rundown of what the next PlayStation will entail, click here.