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'PS5' details emerge: AMD chips, SSD, 8K graphics, backwards compatibility

MANILA, Philippines – New details about Sony’s next-generation gaming console have emerged thanks to a Wired interview with lead system architect for the PS4 and the upcoming console, Mark Cerny.

First off, it’s still unconfirmed whether the new console will indeed be called the PlayStation 5, with Cerny referring to the product simply as “next-gen console.” But apart from that, key details have emerged.

The console will be using an AMD CPU and GPU, with the former being based on the third-generation Ryzen line and the latter based on a variant of the upcoming Radeon Navi GPU. With these under the hood, Cerny said that the new console will be able to support 8K resolution and ray tracing, a processor-intensive modeling process that simulates light close to real life.  

These features are cutting-edge – 4K TVs are still in the process of being adopted widely while ray tracing is a rare feature found only in the most high-end of graphics cards.

The new console will also be based on PS4 architecture, allowing it to play PS4 games.

Development kits are already in the hands of some developers, with Cerny saying they’ve expedited the deployment.

Cerny also promised that the console will have greatly improved audio for better immersion.

It will also be compatible with Sony’s VR device, the PSVR, which has moved 4 million units since its 2016 launch.

More than the expected CPU and GPU upgrade, Cerny emphasized the importance of the storage device within the console. He noted that it will be using a very, very fast solid-state drive (SSD) that will allow extremely fast load times, and extremely fast rendering of in-game environments.

Cerny demoed to Wired a scenario in the game Spider-Man wherein the new console loaded and transported a player to a new area of the map in 0.8 seconds as opposed to the PS4 Pro taking 15 seconds to perform the same task. He also showed the game’s in-game camera being able to zoom off incredibly fast across the map thanks to the SSD’s speed in pushing out data. He called their console’s SSD “a true game changer,” considerably faster than most SSDs out there.

The console will also still be accepting physical media and will not be a download-only machine.

With cloud game streaming being a hot trend recently, especially with Google announcing its Stadia  service and the coming of 5G networks, the new console may carry a similar cloud feature. To this, Cerny said that they are “cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch.”

There is no specific release date yet but Wired said it will not be coming out in 2019. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.

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