Sony’s next PlayStation tech specs officially revealed, and it’ll be backward compatible

What's in the box?

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

Source: Wired

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I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!

22 Comments

  1. Yes please. I shall take two.

  2. I’m most concerned about the cooling. My ps4 is louder than a 360.

    • The first pro is loud, my spiderman pro is quiet and im sure they’ve had a bewer model of the pro recently

    • Both Ryzen and Navi will be on 7nm, which should make them much more efficient while also delivering a huge boost in power. That said, Sony should try and emphasise cooling a bit better, especially when the Xbox One X is so, so very quiet and smaller than the Pro.

  3. Count me in (as if I never was).

    Hype train commence.

  4. 8K Video Output sounds like it’ll be okay for 4K across the board with 8K being reserved to potential playback of films when we get there and also the PS5’s desktop and maybe simpler games. Either way, bags of grunt under the bonnet.

  5. An SSD drive suggests it’s either going to be more expensive than anyone wants, or you’ll be running out of space very quickly. Especially as he’s making such a big deal out of it being faster than anything in a PC.

    How much can you flog off a PS4 for? Probably not much once the PS5 launches and everyone’s selling off PS4s.

    At least we don’t have to buy a new Fancyhat straight away.

    • With the bandwidth of the SSD is more than a top end pc it does sound expensive but prices of these drives have fallen a fair bit over the last six months, and it could be another year until release it may not be expensive then.

      I was quite impressed when I read the news on wired earlier.

      • Yes, they’ll be cheaper in 12 to 18 months or so. Which means a 1Tb SSD might be possible if they want to avoid another PS3 price disaster.

        But 1Tb is a shit amount of space. So plug in an external drive? Good luck getting a decent sized one with those speeds for a sensible price.

        From the big deal he’s making of it, it sounds like it’s a necessary thing, rather than just a nice thing to have to speed up loading times. If you quickly use up all your storage space (and PS5 games are presumably going to be a lot larger), what happens when you’ve either got to make space for something, or stick it on a slower external drive where the performance of the game might be unacceptable?

        I’ve a horrible feeling the PS5 might end up costing a bit much. If it’s £400+, then there’s going to be a problem.

      • I’m expecting £400. Its a beast of a machine so aint going to be cheap. That hasn’t been a problem before, PS4 was £400 at launch, PS3 was 350 I think.

      • PS4 was £349 while the XBone was £429. How did that work out?

        PS3 was £425 and the XBox 360 was £280 or £210, and it took Sony a while to catch up.

        £399 does seem like the most likely price though. Anything else really is going to end badly.

        On the other hand, with BC confirmed, and stupid numbers of PS4s sold, maybe they can get away with a higher launch price and market it as a massive upgrade to the PS4 rather than a new generation? Then lower the price later.

      • Ah I was looking dollars, not £s.

        MS are going to have to at least match the PS5 so their price is going to be similar.

      • PS4 Pro is €400 so i would expect PS5 to be €500 but i wouldn’t be happy having to pay more than that.

      • Why would you expect the PS5 to cost more than the Pro? Or at least cost that much because of the current Pro price?

        If the PS4 launched at £349, and the Pro is £349 now, then late next year, the PS5 shouldn’t be much more. £349 for a PS5? May just be possible in 18 months. But £399 really is the top price they need to avoid going over.

        I guess there’s the issue of (a) what MS do, and (b) some luck gambling on how much various components will cost later. (Wasn’t the memory in the PS4 a huge gamble that somehow worked out OK in the end? Could have ended up with the PS4 costing a lot more)

    • Most PC SSDs are SATA, which goes up to about 6Gbps or just under 1GB/s. The faster SSD in the PS5 might be based on the M.2 standard, which has a practical top speed of over 3GB/s, but is around £250/TB

    • I guess the PS4 Pro might see a price reduction before or around the PS5 launch but how much realistically? €50? I don’t expect it to see a €100 drop, at least not in one go. Depends if they reduce it sooner but when PS5 launches it’ll be a new generation of hardware and i would expect a significant price factor bewteen the two generations. Plus, twice now a rumour has surfaced that suggests it will cost $500 – just rumours but then i’m just speculating.

      And i paid €630 for my launch PS3 so it’d still be cheap! :P

  6. Christ that sounds expensive! But also beastly…

  7. I was a bit surprised to see so much info on the PS5 today as it’s not meant to be turning up until 2020 at the earliest………. Unless it was put out there to take the shine off MS’s (soon to be released) Xbox One digital?

    • I think the leaked price for that took the shine off it quite quickly, didn’t it?

      Unless it was deliberately leaked by MS and they’ll suddenly announce a much more reasonable price? That could be a tactic. Possibly a tactic you can only use once, because nobody will believe it next time.

    • I’m quite surprised too, didn’t expect to hear anything more specific this soon.
      I agree it may just be to be out first, but I doubt anyone is that excited about another version of the XBox One this late in the cycle they messed up long ago.

  8. £200 upfront. £20 pcm for 24 months. With PS Plus included for the duration of the contract (£680 total). Wouldn’t mind something like this tbh. Or even £30 pcm for 24 months with no upfront cost (£720 total).

    If price is an issue for people this is certainly a way around it (especially with plus thrown in).

    They could have a base model that can be bought outright (for less obvs) if you don’t want the premium model with all the bells and whistles.

  9. Oh, and it’s great to hear it will work with the current PSVR..! I was rather annoyed back then, when my steering wheel didn’t work any longer with the PS4.

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