Wired wrote about the unnamed next-gen PlayStation console, which was called the „as-yet-unnamed console that will replace [the] PlayStation 4.”
Multiple things were previously heard, so the rumours weren’t that far off – you might be familiar with a few functions. So, Wired went to Foster City in California, where Sony Interactive Entertainment’s headquarters are located. They met Mark Cerny, who was the lead architect of the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita, and he might be having a similar role here as well.
The next PlayStation is going to have an eight-core AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU (with 7nm technology), and a Radeon Navi GPU. We are saying this with confidence, as even Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, has confirmed it on Twitter, and these will support ray-tracing as well (which was starting to go into the mainstream on PC with NVidia’s RTX 2XXX GPUs). Sony has recently sped up sending out the developer kits – until now, only a few teams had them, but this is going to change.
It’s not the major surprise, though. The next PlayStation is going to be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4 titles, but no such thing has been confirmed with the previous generations. It is also going to have an SSD instead of a regular HDD, and this special solid-state drive would have a higher bandwidth than what the PC SSDs have! Cerny has presented this fact by showing off Spider-Man. On a PlayStation 4, a fast-travelling sequence took fifteen seconds, while a „low-speed”, early version next-gen devkit took only 0.8 (eight tenths!). From fifteen to zero point eight is a major improvement. The other positive side to the SSD is that the console can render the game’s world faster, allowing higher speeds for the character (Cerny said here that Spider-Man’s speed from the pace of web-slinging goes to something of a fighter jet’s), and by pausing the game, Cerny also showed how the world remains „perfectly crisp.”
The next-gen PlayStation (which will continue to support physical media, and go even as high as 8K resolution) will have 3D audio as well. Cerny thinks it’s a good thing as the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 did not see a major jump between the two on this front (and we think it could help with higher immersion). Cerny didn’t talk about the PlayStation VR‘s details, but he said that the current model will be supported, and Sony’s strategy will continue to focus on the VR headset.
We don’t know about other functions and services yet, but Wired asked whether Death Stranding will be a next-gen PlayStation title or not. Cerny’s response was a silent smile, which means it could possibly be a cross-gen title. Cerny also said this: „We are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch.”
So to recap: the PlayStation 5, which will not launch in 2019 (!), will support the PlayStation 4 titles, have a ray-tracing supporting AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU and Radeon Navi GPU, an SSD with higher bandwidth than the current PCs have, and there will also be 3D audio, as well as VR support. These sound tough. And since all these are confirmed, these are no longer rumours. Sure, we don’t know any specs yet, but it’s good for a starting point.