The man behind the PS4, Mark Cerny, spoke with Wired at the Sony HQ in California, where he and the company have been developing the next console to replace the PS4. According to Cerny, whatever the next console is will be more than just a mere upgrade.
The big news is the new CPU, which allows some very powerful graphics:
The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments.
Ray tracing’s immediate benefits are largely visual. Because it mimics the way light bounces from object to object in a scene, reflective surfaces and refractions through glass or liquid can be rendered much more accurately, even in real-time, leading to heightened realism.
The AMD chip also includes a custom unit for 3D audio for a more immersive experience. It will also be able to support 8K graphics.
The new system will also have a Solid State Drive (SSD), which has done some impressive things for the power of this console. Using Insomniac’s Spider-Man game, Cerny showed off the fast-traveling ability on a PS4 Pro to get to a location, which took 15 seconds for the game to load it. Using a next-gen PlayStation devkit, the same action took 0.8 seconds.
Backwards compatibility is so far accounted for, at least to a degree, as PS4 games and current PSVR headsets will be supported on the new system. It will also still allow for physical discs and not just downloadable content.
As of now, there is no name for the console, although many expect it to be the PS5. However, Cerny offered Wired an “enigmatic smile” when asked about it. Perhaps they will go the route of the XBOX One and name it something very different.
There was no discussion of games, as that still seems to be way off while they work on the architecture of the console.
The system will not be due out this year. In fact, we wont be hearing much about it at all this year, not even at E3 in June. For the first time, Sony won’t be holding a keynote at the annual games show, so take that however you will.
This is the most news we have heard about this system in ages, and it looks like there is still a lot of work to do. Whenever this console arrives, it sounds like it could be a game changer.