Rumors surrounding the possible release date and expected specs for the next-generation PlayStation console, supposedly called PlayStation 5, have been circulating the Internet and social media. SemiAccurate has some alleged inside information surrounding the specs of the PlayStation 5, but Mark Cerny, who was the architect of PlayStation 4, has apparently started visiting developers to share details on the next generation of Sony console.
While Sony is unlikely to share what Mark Cerny's "roadshow" entails, Eurogamer has made some educated guesses about the PlayStation 5's release, date, specs, and more. The first thing that gamers are curious about is the possible release date for Sony's next-generation PlayStation console. Some have predicted the release date for the console to be as early as the end of 2018, but the scarcity of a smaller, denser process for manufacturing the system's main processor, as well as newer, faster memory might set the release date back to 2019 at the earliest.
The manufacturing process that will most likely be used by PlayStation 5 will be TSMC's upcoming 7nm FinFET technology, which will typically take at least a year to make console production possible. The GDDR6 memory technology that the PlayStation 5 will be likely to use is also not available yet, and for this reason, the release date is highly unlikely to be in 2018.
In terms of CPU, Digital Foundry expects Sony to partner with AMD again to provide the central processor for the PlayStation 5. AMD has successfully put its Rhyzen CPU technology into a desktop computer and a single Ryzen CCX (or core complex) at 7nm should occupy around the same equivalent silicon area as a Jaguar cluster in the existing consoles at 16nm.
So there are likely to be two CCXs in a prospective next-generation PlayStation 5 console, meaning that the new machines could deliver eight full cores and 16 threads. These specs are basically the console equivalent of AMD's impressive desktop Ryzen 7 line. The next-generation PlayStation is therefore likely to offer desktop CPU-level performance by using AMD's Zen core.
Another aspect of the PlayStation 5 that gamers should be interested in is the console's graphics. AMD has revealed 'next-generation memory', supposedly called 'Navi', but there is still very little known about it. A generational leap in terms of graphics, though, would mean that there should be a 6x to 8x jump in power, which is impossible to deliver using current technology. A 6x to 8x leap pushes the teraflops up from 11 to 15, making it run at 1950MHz, which is a very large jump and highly unfeasible for consoles right now. If Navi, even though it is still based on AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) technology, will be able to provide these jumps in power, it is highly likely that it will be used in the PlayStation 5.
Compute units, clock-speeds, and teraflops will also be important for the next-generation. A strong emphasis has been placed so far on hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which is a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects. This nevertheless provides incredible real-time global illumination in a game. Up to this point, only Nvidia showed that it will provide hardware acceleration support for ray tracing, but Microsoft is also building support for the technology into its DirectX API driver. We are yet to see what driver the PlayStation 5 might use, but it is likely to be Nvidia due to ray-tracing support.
Some gamers feel that Sony is trying to release a new console too early, as most gamers still have a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro console that is in perfect working order. Some feel that a PlayStation 5 isn't viable at all, especially if one looks at the current technology available compared to the technology that will actually be able to provide a generational leap. Additionally, if one looks at the costs of the new technology, a PlayStation 5 release might not only be far-off, but it will also be very expensive to purchase.