In a surprising turn of events, Sony has just revealed details of the PS4's successor in an exclusive interview with Wired. Information about the PS5, or as Sony prefers to call it, the "next-generation PlayStation," was unveiled by the upcoming console's lead architect, Mark Cerny. This is the first instance that Sony has spoken intricate details about the PS5, which Cerny confirms, will not be released in 2019.
Among the many technical details that were revealed during the interview, the biggest feature that fans can expect on the PS5 is that it will be backward-compatible to the PS4. Cerny also hinted that several upcoming PS4 games, such as Death Stranding, will be multi-platform titles that will be released on the PS4 first before heading to the PS5.
Given the recent announcements of game streaming services such as Google Stadia, many believed that next-generation consoles, including the PS5, will strictly implement digital downloads as the only way for players to access games. However, Cerny confirms that the PS5 will still include a disc drive, which is good news for fans of physical games.
Performance-wise, the PS5 will feature a Solid State Drive (SSD), which the PS4 doesn't have by default. The addition of the SSD in the PS5 will significantly improve the rendering and load sequences of games, especially those that were developed packed full of content. To demonstrate, Cerny played Spider-Man PS4 on the developer kit of the PS5, and the game's massive open-world was able to load in less than one second, as opposed to the usual 15 on the PS4 Pro.
Talking about the PS5's inner workings, Cerny revealed that the upcoming console will contain an AMD chip that is based on the third-generation Ryzen. It will contain eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip, allowing it to support up to 8K resolution, and will be compatible with PS VR kits. According to Cerny, graphics wise, the PS5 will contain a custom version of Radeon's Navi line, which will support ray tracing, a feature that is becoming popular in movies and video games.
Moreover, the PS5 will also boast improved audio. Cerny admits that he was frustrated when the PS4's audio didn't change too much compared to that of the PS3's. However, the lead architect revealed that the PS5's AMD chip will enable 3D audio, which Cerny believes is an important factor for true immersion.
As of the moment, Cerny did not share any specific details on matters regarding the PS5's software, or the services that it might offer players, given that he only focused on the console's hardware. Up until now, it is unclear what Sony is planning to do to fully reveal the next-generation PlayStation console. Traditionally, a full unveiling is done at E3, but given Sony's announcement that it will be skipping E3 this year, it is likely that the company will opt to make a full-reveal on the PlayStation Experience event, or during its next State of Play Livestream.
While some analysts believe that the next-generation PlayStation and Xbox will be the last consoles ever, it seems that Sony is adamant in ensuring that the PS5 will come out strong once it is released. Although the PS5 is definitely beefier than its predecessor hardware-wise, it is exciting to know how Sony will improve its software and services, given that the looming threat of video game streaming is already on the horizon.