In an exclusive reveal to Wired magazine, PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny(lead architect for the PS4), showed off the part of the system. The console will have some great things under the hood when it launches. Although they have not said what size the hard drive will be, but what they did state is that it will be a SSD(Solid State Drive). It will at least have backwards compatibility with the PS4 as it is built on similar architecture. We do know it will be at least backwards compatible with physical PS4 discs as it will be coming with a disc drive; what we don’t know yet is whether it will be backwards compatible with digitally purchased games. In a demonstration of the PlayStation 5’s power bandwidth and SSD, Mark Cerny did a side by side comparison of the PS4 Pro and the PS5 using Spider-man as the demo game. Mark used the fast travel system to show of the load times or the lack thereof. With the PS4 Pro, it took approximately 15 seconds to load up the next area, where on the PS5 it took less than 1 second. The PS5 they were showing off was even an early low speed dev kit.
When it comes to the remaining hardware under the hood, Sony has said that it will have an AMD chip set based on the AMD’s Ryzen line of CPUs and will have a minimum of 8 cores that use AMD’s new 7mm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, is going to be out of the Radeon Navi family of graphics processors. The key to the inclusion of the Navi is that it will support “ray tracing”. Ray tracing is an effects technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions within 3D environments. This technique is starting to show up in super high end processors, but to date, no console has ever been able to accomplish the feat. According to Mark, this will help audio benefits as well like being able to hear small, subtle sounds like hidden enemies in the environment.
From a personal standpoint, I applaud Sony’s approach to the next generation of consoles. Although game streaming is going to be the way of the feature much like movie streaming is now, the US just doesn’t have the nation wide infrastructure to support it. Also, when you move things to an all digital, streaming model, the internet service provider infrastructure becomes taxed and you have outages. When there are ISP outages, you will not be able to play your games unless you bought the game and installed it on your system. In the case of the PS5, just drop the game disc into the system and you can still enjoy your game. I buy both digital and physical depending on the game. For games that I plan to play over and over again in the future, or it is a series I am fan(fans of the podcast know I am a huge Horizon and Uncharted fan), I will always go physical. If its a game I dont plan to play over and over again, or its a once in awhile thing, I will buy it digitally when its on sale on the PSN or Nintendo Eshop channel. For now, Sony is truly showing it is about inclusion of all players regardless of their economic assess to high speed internet. I, for one, am excited for the PS5 to finally be fully revealed. Until then, I will eagerly await while clearing out the PS4 game backlog.
For the full report, check out the Wired article by Peter Rubin.