A few months ago, we learned Sony is bringing out the PlayStation 5 before too long. Now, thanks to a detailed briefing by its lead system architect Mark Cerny, we know what’s going into the PS5’s guts.
The topline takeaway? It’s going to be a fast beast indeed. Second big point? Most PS4 titles will be playable on day one — and in enhanced form no less, thanks to something called “Boost.”
How else does the PS5 improve upon the PS4? Well, pretty much everywhere, as you might imagine. Its 8x Zen 2 Cores from AMD are clocked at 3.5Ghz (variable), and its GPU has 10.28 teraflops. Compare that to 1.6Ghz and 1.84 teraflops for the PS4.
Other big numbers: 825GB SSD storage with a custom SSD slot for expansion, 4K UHD Blu-ray, and 16GB of memory.
In his presentation, Cerny highlighted three factors the team took into account while designing the hardware: “Listening to Developers,” “Balancing Evolution and Revolution,” and “Finding New Dreams.”
The PS5 is set to hit ship this holiday season, Corona-related supply chain issues notwithstanding.
Here’s how Sony’s official blog summarized the presentation:
As Mark discussed in his presentation, PS5’s ultra-high-speed SSD and integrated custom I/O system were developed with the goal of removing barriers to play – specifically loading screens. Developers are able to stream assets into PS5 games at an incredibly fast rate, so PS5 play experiences can be seamless and dynamic, with near-instantaneous fast travel through large game worlds. This enhanced speed will enable game developers to create larger, richer worlds without traditional limitations, such as load times, and also allows gamers to spend more time gaming than waiting.
We also wanted to introduce new capabilities with PS5’s custom GPU. Additional GPU power will allow for higher resolution in games, but a major new feature that benefits the visuals of games even further is ray tracing. Ray tracing simulates the way light moves in real life, and how it bounces off various surfaces. Games that take advantage of this feature will render objects much more accurately, and with heightened realism. Water, glass, light refraction, a character’s hair and so on, will look even more realistic.
PS5 will also allow games to offer a much deeper sense of immersion through 3D audio. Visuals are of course imperative to the gaming experience, but we believe audio plays a crucial role as well. We wanted to deliver a compelling audio experience for all users, not just those who own high-end speaker systems. So we designed and built a custom engine for 3D audio that is equipped with the power and efficiency for ideal audio rendering. With 3D audio on PS5, the sounds you hear while playing will offer a greater sense of presence and locality. You’ll be able to hear raindrops hitting different surfaces all around you, and you can hear and precisely locate where an enemy is lurking behind you.
Lastly, we’re excited to confirm that the backwards compatibility features are working well. We recently took a look at the top 100 PS4 titles as ranked by play time, and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PS5. With more than 4,000 games published on PS4, we will continue the testing process and expand backwards compatibility coverage over time.