Sony hardware architect Mark Cerny announced that the company was working on the PlayStation 5 in an exclusive interview with Wired Tuesday. After months of speculation and rumours, the company decided it was the right time to make things official and tell everyone a few details as to what the follow-up to their best selling PS4 console will be.
The biggest idea being discussed in the interview was “upgrades” versus real progress. Cerny wants everyone to know that this new console will be “no mere upgrade”. In progress for over four years, the next gen console looks to beef up everything from graphics to loading times to general performance issues. Utilizing a new AMD chip (to help make the console’s CPU more powerful) and introducing a brand new GPU that will support ray tracing will help convey just how much of an upgrade this console will be. Ray tracing is used most notably in Hollywood to help make special effects look all the more realistic. No video game console has been capable of supporting the technology, so it goes without saying that this would be a monumental shift forward graphically.
The biggest technical advancement is the addition of an SSD. An SSD (or Solid State Disk) is a form of hard drive that contains no moving parts. Introducing this to the system will allow games to load at times we haven’t ever seen. To provide an example of this, Cerny booted up Sony’s newest exclusive, Spider-Man. On a PlayStation 4 Pro the game took about 15 seconds to load a new location via fast travel. On the prototype of the new console, it took 0.8 seconds. With tech like this, it’s easy to imagine the amazing things developers will be able to create when the shackles of loading times have been released.
All these technical upgrades are really nice and will change the way we play, but one of the most exciting developments stemming from this interview is that the console will be backwards compatible. That means most (if not all) of your PS4 games will be able to be played on the new console. This alone makes the console worth whatever price they decide to sell it at.
What exactly will that price be? Well no one knows yet. Cerny wouldn’t make an official statement, instead saying “I believe that we will be able to release it at price that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set.” Sony has been a bit unpredictable with their initial console price points in the past. The PlayStation 3 released to mass mockery as it was tagged at a steep $599. Learning their lesson, the next console released (the PS4) was a mere $399 initially. This in turn helped the PlayStation 4 become the highest selling console since the Nintendo Wii.
With gaming becoming more and more streaming focused, many had doubts this console would even exist. While Sony has put those rumours to bed, it’s becoming ever more clear that this may very well be the last PlayStation console. I’d suggest buying this console if you like video games at all, because consoles in general will soon become a thing of the past.
Header photo courtesy of Flickr.