Sony Outlines PlayStation 5 Specs and Backward Compatibility

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The PS5 will prefer its monster solid-state drive to create gaming more seamless.

Last month, Microsoft put the first bet on the prospect of console gaming when it publicized the Xbox Series X’s specs. Today, Sony revealed its PlayStation 5 cards as well.

PlayStation 5 lead systems designer Mark Cerny shared a dry talk Wednesday describing the hardware specifications of the forthcoming system. Sony had previously revealed some details: The console will back a custom AMD Ryzen chip, 8K gaming resolutions and ray tracing, a modern rendering technique that generates hyperrealistic graphics by following the movements of virtual light beams. The upcoming PS5’s processor supports 3D audio, which also needs no external hardware. And gratefully, Sony’s next-generation offering will provide environmentally conscious players the cability to “suspend gameplay with much lesser power consumption than PS4.”

Cerny’s deep dive focused on the forthcoming console’s solid-state drive, backward compatibility and 3D audio capabilities.

“What if we could have not only an SSD but a blindingly fast SSD,” asked Cerny. The PlayStation 5 will have a remarkably big, 825-gigabyte SSD, which Cerny defined as a “game changer and the number-one ask from developers.” An SSD helps remove the sort of bottlenecks that have gamers tearing their hair out as a patch update extends on forever. It also will attain transfer speeds of 5.5 GB per second, which could mean games loading rapidly, comfortable patch download speeds, and, Cerny said, slightly to no load screens. Games’ “fast travel” might really be fast.

Last year, Cerny said that the PlayStation 5 SSD was faster than anything offered on a PC, but now he thinks that better drives will overload the market. PS5 owners can also increase storage with an external drive or by fixing a third-party M2 SSD.

In the past, Cerny has grieved the relative lag console audio has suffered as other technologies progress at a faster pace. Today, he publicized the PlayStation 5’s Tempest Engine, which would offer 3D audio by tracking where in-game objects are situated. Sony intends to go as far as to factor in the form of a player’s ears in customizing their audio experience.

The PlayStation 5’s CPU comprises of 8x Zen 2 Cores running at 3.5 GHz, with changeable frequency. Its GPU, with custom AMD RDNA 2 architecture, will be topped at 10.3 teraflops. It has 448 gigabytes/second of memory bandwidth and 16 gigabytes of GDDR6 system RAM. For those remaining disc collectors, the PlayStation 5 will have a 4K Blu-ray drive.

When it comes to operating PlayStation 4 games and running them in a boosted capacity, things seem more complex. “Testing has to be done on a title by title base,” said Cerny of the PlayStation 5’s backward compatibility. Of the top 100 most-played names on the PlayStation 4, he says, “we’re supposing almost all of them to be playable at launch.” After Microsoft’s statement that the Xbox Series X would present four generations of Xbox games togethervwith players’ existing Xbox One libraries, what we know of the PS5’s backward compatibility feature falls a bit flat.

Specs aren’t the entire thing, but it’s always fun to match, so let’s take a look at the Xbox Series X internals: a custom processor with Radeon RDNA 2 and ZEN 2 architecture. It will support maximum 120 frames per second and manage 12 teraflops of GPU performance. And if you want to swap Cuphead for Forza Horizon 3, the Xbox Series X’s “quick resume” feature erases the time spent transitioning between games.

Coming to the price factor. It’s unknown how much any console will cost, though a recent Bloomberg report claimed that the PlayStation 5’s manufacturing cost could float around $450 per unit. To make a revenue, Sony would have to sell it for at least a little more.

There isn’t a clear winner yet between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hardware, and even if there were it’s difficult to tell which console comes out on top without knowing more about special game deals. Moreover, with the already complex world of supply chains further complicated by the Covid-19 epidemic, who knows when or how- all of this will turn out anyway?

 

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