Thanks to Wired’s interview with Mark Cerny, we finally have confirmation on what can be expected from the next-gen console and what will it bring to the table.
Even though the name hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s a pretty safe guess that it will be the PlayStation 5. What was confirmed is an impressive list of components.
The heart of the new PlayStation will be an AMD chip based on the third generation of the Ryzen line, it will be an octa-core on the brand new Zen 2 7 nm microarchitecture.
The GPU will be from AMD’s Nami family and it will support ray tracing, something consoles haven’t managed yet. It is unclear how well that implementation will go since even some of the strongest GPUs available have a hard time handling ray tracing on PCs.
Another very important thing that will be packed into the PlayStation 5 is an SSD. In the interview, it is mentioned that Cerny demonstrated the impact that it will make by showing a comparison of load screens in Spider-man on the PlayStation 4 and the early devkit PlayStation 5. The difference is quite impressive, 15 seconds for a fast-travel on the PS4 and less than a second on the devkit.
Something that is nice to hear is the fact that the new PlayStation will have complete backward compatibility with the current-gen PlayStation 4, including the PSVR headset, which is possible due to the similar architecture of the two consoles.
Cerny also mentioned that the new PlayStation will support 8k graphics, as long as you actually have a TV that does too. Sony is also putting a lot of effort into audio since the chip has a custom unit for 3D audio, they hope to make audio more immersive than ever.
Developers have started receiving devkits to get accustomed to the new environment and to have a chance to play with it to see what new possibilities it brings. If all goes well, the PlayStation 5 will have a strong start with some great games on release.
Talking about the release, no release date was given, but it has been confirmed that it most definitely will not be in 2019. A report from DigiTimes does give some insight into a release window. According to their report, the AMD chips will be ready Q3 2020. This means that we can most probably expect to see the PlayStation 5 start rolling out in Q4, it gives them just enough time for final tests and a release in the late October early November period.