While Microsoft evokes the new Xbox since the last E3, Sony has remained very discreet so far with its new console, the PS5. But that was before today, when the first concrete details come to us quite officially from the Japanese giant.
A reporter from Wired was able to attend a meeting at Sony in Foster City, in which Mark Cerny details quite precisely what players can expect with the future Playstation, the PS5. With the approach of the E3, here is thus a rather interesting way for Sony to communicate on its future console, while passing by a third site, in the manner of what had done Microsoft at the time with the Xbox One X and Digital Foundry.
New CPUs and GPUs
The processors of the PS5 will obviously be more powerful than what is found in the current PS4 Pro. It is now official, the chip will come from AMD with a third-generation 8-core Ryzen CPU engraved in 7nm on Zen2 architecture.
The GPU, it will be a derivative of Navi from Radeon, which will support ray-tracing, which we have been talking about for many months on Xboxygen. Ray-tracing is a new technology that aims to improve the graphic rendering of light and objects, based on reflection, transparency, shadows, etc. Ah, and the 8K will be supported by the PS5.
Better sound reproduction and compatible PSVR
Mark Cerny did not just talk about graphical improvements. For him, a big focus will be made on the sound. The AMD chip will include a portion specifically dedicated to 3D audio.
As a player, it was a little frustration that the audio part did not change much between the Playstation 3 and the Playstation 4. With the next console, the dream is to show how much the audio experience can be dramatically different when we have a powerful hardware.
The idea is to immerse more the player with a sound that will come from the sides, from above or from below, without the need to buy an external device since these effects will be palpable with a simple TV.
Asked about the Playstation VR, Sony's virtual reality headset, Mark Cerny has not wanted to confirm for now the release of a new version of the headset but says the current PSVR will be compatible with the PS5.
SSD hard drive on PS5: the game changer
What really threatens to change the lives of the players lies in a metal box: the hard drive. Mark Cerny started talking to developers in late 2015 about what they would like to have in the next console. And many times, they asked that an SSD hard drive be implemented. Mark Cerny does not speak strictly speaking SSD hard drive but we guess in his words that we will get very close and it will be a custom SSD because according to him, it is faster than n any SSD PC hard drive currently.
A demo was presented on Spiderman, exclusive PS4 launched last year. Mark Cerny then presses a button to activate the quick trip to a new location on Manhattan, which takes about 15 seconds. The same manipulation is then made on a development kit "low speed" of the future PS5 and the same loading now takes 0.8 seconds. We imagine that it will be the same for the Xbox Scarlett Microsoft, which, too, will have an SSD hard drive according to the latest rumors.
Backward compatible yes, but how far?
If Sony has shunned the backward compatibility on this generation, it seems that the PS5 can not escape. Indeed, facing a Microsoft fully invested in this niche, difficult to imagine a next-gen overlooking the catalog of games purchased by more than 90 million players for the Japanese firm. The question is how far back this compatibility will go, if we remember the rumors of complete backward compatibility (PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4). Mark Cerny first states that the first-generation PSVR will be compatible with the new console, before adding:
The new generation console will always accept physical media, it will not be a machine made only for downloading. Because it will be partially based on the architecture of the PS4, it will be backward compatible with the games of the latter.
He also talks about the transition between the two machines and a certain Death Stranding:
As in many other generational transitions, this one will be sweet, with the release of many new games on both PS4 and the next console.
When Death Stranding is mentioned, a spokesman confirms that it will be released on PS4, but the smile and pose of Mark Cerny suggest that it will be a cross-gen game.
By revealing this first accurate information to almost two months of the E3, Sony takes the floor after months of silence, and occupies the media space even ahead of Microsoft in some areas. It's a safe bet that Sony will unveil its plans this year for the PS5. As for the cloud, Mark Cerny did not want to comment further, but said that Sony is a pioneer of cloud gaming. There is no doubt that this is a track for the future, but it is still too early for the details to be unveiled.
We are pioneers in cloud gaming, and our vision will be clearer as we move toward launch.
One thing is for sure, the PS5 will not come out in 2019. 2020 is not explicitly mentioned, but doubt is no longer allowed.