Five years after its launch, the PlayStation 4 appears to be coming to the end of its lifecycle. Sony has started to slowly release information regarding their next system, PlayStation 5. Although an official release date has not yet been specified, the PS5 system is expected to be released sometime in 2020.
Since the PS5’s internal architecture will be similar to the architecture of the PS4, the PS5 will have backwards compatibility with PS4 games. This is great news for all gamers who were disappointed that the PS4 wasn’t backwards compatible with PS3, PS2 and PS1 games. In addition to this, PS4 games are expected to run even faster on the PS5 system than they did on the PS4, because the PS5 contains a solid-state drive, as opposed to hard drives that consoles currently use now.
To prove this, Mark Cerny, lead systems architect of the PS4, has demonstrated a load screen from Insomniac’s Spider Man taking less than a second to load on a PS5 development kit. When loading this same exact game on the PS4 Pro, it took upwards of 15 seconds to load the game. Aside from faster loading times, solid state drives (SSDs) also can handle more objects on screen at once, as well as allow characters and cameras to move through game worlds more quickly.
In addition to the SSD that Sony is adding to their newest gaming console, they will also be adding a bespoke 8-core AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen architecture, as well as a graphics chip that supports ray tracing. Although ray tracing is traditionally thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this could improve game audio. In fact, the PS5 will fully support 3D audio. The console will also support 8K gaming.
Sony has not released any information regarding a new VR system, but Cerny has stated that “VR is very important to use and that the current PSVR headset will be compatible with the new console.” We also know that PS5 will not go toward the route of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn’t include a disc drive. It is confirmed that the PS5 will include a disk drive, so gamers will still be able to purchase physical games.
Even though the console won’t be released until 2020, it is exciting to see how the PS5 shapes up against older and current consoles. It looks like Microsoft will have some competition for their next-gen console.