After many months of hearsay, rumour and innuendo, the specifications of the PlayStation 5 console are finally available and out in the open.
The console’s system architect, Mark Cerny delivered a hardware-focused presentation yesterday, taking a deep dive into the nature of the new tech and the ways the new generation is so vastly different from the last.
Eurogamer notes that Sony’s new vision for next-gen via the PS5 recaptures some of the spirit the early PlayStation consoles. The PS5 delivers “state-of-the-art exotic custom silicone” with a focus on taking the gaming experience to an all-new level.
The design likewise embraces the developer-friendly ethos that made the PS4 so successful – the idea that developers can ease into the PS5’s new hardware and features, comfortably getting to grips with the basics of PS5 because of its compatibility with the PS4.
The PlayStation 5 uses AMD’s Zen 2 CPU tech, with eight physical cores and 16 threads. The CPU delivers frequencies of up to 3.5GHz (the PS4 only managed 1,6GHz). Cerny describes the CPU frequencies as ‘capped’, meaning that 3.5 will be the maximum the machine can run, however, it can run at slower frequencies at times. Cerny confirms that 3.5 will be its average speed.
Sony’s new custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU has frequencies capped at 2.23Ghz, delivering a staggering 10.28 Teraflops (the raw mathematical performance of the GPU), while the PS4 delivered only around 1 Teraflop.
With this, the PS5 is capable of tonnes more power than its predecessor, and in the graphics space, the console is capable of producing the same results as seen at the very top of the upcoming PC landscape with very little to no dips in performance, especially with the implementation of hardware-accelerated ray tracing through the Intersection Engine.
Cerny describes even in the worst-case scenarios, where games consume enormous amounts of power, dips in CPU and GPU frequencies will only be in the tens of per cent.
“How far can we go? I’m starting to get quite bullish,” says Cerny. “I’ve already seen a PS5 title that is successfully using ray-tracing-based reflections in complex animated scenes, with only modest [performance] costs.”
In terms of audio, PS5’s new Tempest 3D Audio Engine is ‘unprecedented’ – capable of supporting hundreds of sound sources with much higher quality than the current generation can support. The Tempest also uses a complex algorithm to account for both the shape of your ears and the size and shape of your head to produce the best possible sound for you as an individual.
The PS5 will also offer the much-fabled backwards compatibility for PlayStation 4 games, with Cerny saying “We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime, and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”