Outside of a big PlayStation Meeting event or E3 press conference, Sony have quietly dropped a huge amount of technical information about their next PlayStation home console. While they’ve not named it or shown it in a more final form, Sony lead architect Mark Cerny gave a behind closed doors look at some of the key technological leaps that the console will make as and when it replaces the PlayStation 4 – incidentally, that won’t be in 2019.
Industry watchers will have already been able to piece a lot of this together, but Cerny confirmed that the console will still be based off AMD’s CPU and GPU technology. In particular, it will be using their third generation Ryzen CPUs with eight Zen 2 cores at 7nm, while the GPU will be a custom version of the Radeon Navi GPUs, with support for ray tracing built in and output up to 8K output. Both of these chips are yet to be released for PC, but expected to arrive around the middle of this year.
While we can expect the ray tracing effects to be roughly equivalent to those making their way into PC games like Battlefield V and Metro Exodus with NVidia’s backing. Cerny explained to Wired that this is more than about visual effects, tying into the custom 3D audio chip. “If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that. It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.”
Beyond that, expect lightning fast loading times thanks to the next PlayStation featuring an SSD – the “low power” demo unit cut Marvel’s Spider-Man loads from 15 second to 0.8 seconds… and that goes a long way to confirming backward compatibility, as well. The SSD is apparently faster than almost anything you’ll find in a PC right now.
The only thing Mark wasn’t going to talk about was the next generation PlayStation VR, outside of the fact that the existing headset will continue to work, or their plans for the cloud.
So, to sum up:
- Eight core third generation AMD Ryzen at 7nm
- Semi-custom Radeon Navi GPU
- SSD hard drive
- Ray traced graphics and audio
- 8K video output
- 3D audio
- Backward compatibility