We’ve known for a while that Sony is working on its new PlayStation 5 console, but today we’ve got even more details on the new hardware expected, thanks to Wired. Specifically, Sony stateed that their new console will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, super fast SSDs and backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games.
According to Mark Cerny, who served as the lead system architect for the PS4, the new console isn’t just a spec-boosted upgrade of the PS4, like the PS4 Pro was. There’s entirely new hardware inside the PlayStation 5, including an eight-core CPU based on AMD’s third-gen Ryzen line built on the chip company’s latest 7nm Zen 2 process and a custom GPU based on AMD’s Radeon Navi hardware, which will bring ray-tracing graphics to a game console for the first time. The end result of all those hardware improvements: the PS5 will support 8K graphics, assuming you’ve got a TV that supports that kind of resolution.
Sony is also paying close attention on 3D audio for the PlayStation 5. Their new AMD chip includes a custom unit just for that, which Sony hopes will lead to immersive gaming for both TV speakers and headphones.
Another big change on the upcoming console is the replacement of the PlayStation’s 4 hard drive with an SSD on PlayStation 5, which Sony promises will improve load time and gameplay beyond anything possible with a hard drive. (In a demo described by Wired, fast-traveling in Spider-Man for the PS4 took only 0.8 seconds on an early devkit for the PS5, compared to 15 seconds on a PS4.)
Other details that Sony revealed about the PS5 include the fact that it’ll be backwards compatible with existing PlayStation 4 games. Unlike the PS3 to PS4 transition, the PS4 and PS5 share similar architectures, making cross-generational support much easier. There will still be physical copies of games to buy, not just downloads (although Sony has yet to reveal if these will be Blu-ray discs or something more exotic). The company is also promising that when the PS5 does roll around, it’ll be a slower transition, with multiple new games releasing for both the PS4 and PS5 — at least at the start.
While the company wouldn’t say anything about a new PSVR coming alongside the new PlayStation 5, it confirmed that the existing PSVR headset will continue to work with the PlayStation 5.
For now Sony only seems to be informing us about the hardware features. There’s no word yet on games and media features, for example. It could be some time until we learn more. The PlayStation 5 won’t be likely making an appearance at E3 this year, as the company is sitting out the show.