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Sony Reveals First PlayStation 5 Details: SSD, PS4 Backward Compatibility, And More

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Sony's next-generation console, presumably the PlayStation 5, will have an SSD and Ryzen and Radeon chips under the hood, as well as feature backward compatibility with PlayStation 4 games and support for current-gen PlayStation VR headsets.  ( Jeff Klugiewicz | Pixabay )

Sony has revealed the first few official details of its next-generation console — presumably the PlayStation 5, if the company's naming scheme is anything to go by.

The specs and features disclosed are far from complete, but despite that, the new and upcoming hardware is something that fans will be looking forward to.

PlayStation 5 Details

In an interview with Wired, Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the PlayStation 4, divulged some of the core aspects of the PS5. From what can be gathered, it isn't simply going to be an upgrade in terms of specs like the case with the PlayStation 4 Pro, as the guts and innards of the new system will take things to another whole level.

At that, the next-gen console will house an SSD with raw bandwidth that surpasses what the current SSDs for the PC can offer. To illustrate what's in store, Cerny loaded up the 2018 Spider-Man game developed by Insomniac Games on a PS4 Pro and a devkit of the PS5. Fast-traveling took 15 seconds on the PS4 Pro, while only 0.8 seconds elapsed on the PS5 devkit. Cerny also demonstrated how fast the game's environment was rendered with the SSD, allowing Spider-Man to move faster because he was no longer hindered by hardware limitations. He also paused here and there to show that the surroundings stayed sharp and crisp even if the camera was moving around and following the web slinger's fast movements.

The new drive will be working alongside an eight-core processor based on AMD's third-generation Ryzen that was built on the manufacturer's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. In the graphics department, the console is going to have a custom version of the Radeon Navi line that adds ray tracing support to the mix. Cerny also mentioned that the AMD processor comes with a custom unit for 3D audio, which should make for more immersive sounds.

Thanks to all the new hardware under the hood, the PS5 will be capable of offering 8K support, even though TVs of that caliber aren't exactly common just yet.

The PS5 will also have backward compatibility with PS4 games because it's partly based on the architecture of the previous console. While Cerny didn't say anything about a next-gen PlayStation VR headset to complement the new system, he did say that the current PSVR headsets will be compatible with it. The console will also continue using physical copies of games, unlike the route the Microsoft is taking with its disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital edition.

Now there's no word on pricing or any of the upcoming services and games. There's no release date either, of course. Cerny only said the PS5 won't roll out in 2019, but rumors do say that the console could launch sometime in 2020.

PS4 Successor

The PS5 has been the subject of a ton of rumors and reports. Back in February, a report said that it will have backward compatibility support, which was also predicted in a 2017 report. Turns out they really hit the mark on that one. Other reports said that the console would have a 2019 release date, but that's obviously not the case after all.

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