Steven R. April 17, 2019
After months of whispers across social media and rumors on gaming sites, Sony has finally opened up on its next generation console that fans have preemptively dubbed the PlayStation 5.
At long last, the manufacturer acknowledged the console’s existence and gave a handful of details on its technical capabilities during an interview with Wired. Though there is still a great deal of mystery around console, fans are no longer clawing in the dark about what to expect.
PlayStation lead system architect Mark Cerny ran a number of demonstrations with an early build of the console.
As one would expect, the next generation console is a big step forward in terms of pure technological muscle. It sports more powerful hardware across the board, including a stronger CPU, GPU, and a new custom audio unit. The biggest change comes with the introduction of a solid state drive.
The standardization of SSDs over HDDs opens up a number of opportunities for game developers and makes things easier for gamers. Cerny demonstrated this in a number of ways using Spider-Man, the 2018 PlayStation 4 exclusive.
The first was a “race” to clear a loading screen in the game. Cerny ran a side-by-side demonstration of how quickly an area can be loaded after fast traveling in Spider-Man, with the PlayStation 4 loading the stage in 15 seconds and the new console doing the same in less than one.
The other demonstration was simply flying through the world to see how quickly things can load around the camera. The game itself was designed around the PlayStation 4’s limitations, with the console loading the world about as quickly as Spider-Man was capable of moving through it. By comparison, Wired stated the next-gen PlayStation could render the world around something moving as quickly as would a fighter jet.
Beyond demonstrations of its technical prowess were a handful of details on compatibility features with the new console. The platform will support 8K graphics and will be backward compatible with the PlayStation 4 games. It will also continue supporting physical media, meaning its games will not be exclusively distributed via digital download.
So when is the PlayStation 5 coming out? Should fans start clearing off their calendar for Bloodborne 2 and the sequel to the new God of War? How much will it cost? Unfortunately, that all remains a mystery.
No information was given on the console’s release outside of confirmation that it will not be launching in 2019. As for games, Sony only recently began accelerating the distribution of devkits to publishers and development teams. The only detail Wired could get from Cerny outside of hardware was that there will be a transitional phase between the PlayStation 4 and 5 similar to other recent jumps, which have seen games like Metal Gear Solid V released across multiple generations of consoles.
The next-gen PlayStation won’t be around any time soon, but gamers can officially start getting excited about the new console.