Will it or will it not be an upgrade? This vexing question has remained unanswered in the intriguing saga that is the Sony next-gen console, which Sony still refuses to call the PlayStation 5 or PS5.
The very reliable source that is Mark Cerny, lead system architect on the next-gen PlayStation, has just affirmed the upcoming console in the works for four arduous years won’t merely be a simple upgrade.
“The key question is whether the console adds another layer to the sorts of experiences you already have access to, or if it allows for fundamental changes in what a game can be,” Cerny noted in an interview with Wired.
You have to ask why Cerny bothered to ask this question at all when he — and others in the know — know the correct answer is the next-gen console “allows for fundamental changes in what a game can be.” In other words, it’ll be a brand new machine.
The next-gen might also be the true generational shift some tech pundits have said it will be. In the next-gen’s case, the generational shift will mean a shift to more power.
What millions of PS users will get from next-gen will be a more powerful CPU and GPU able to deliver graphical fidelity and visual effects that seemed impossible before. This ultra-realism will demand massive boosts to system memory size and speed. Of course, game files will have to expand to handle these incredible demands. More power also means higher-capacity physical media like discs are a must.
It has seemingly been confirmed the PS5 will use AMD’s Ryzen, which comes with eight cores of AMD’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The new console will rely on the custom Radeon Navi-family GPU that includes support for real-time ray-tracing rendering.
Widely used by Hollywood for realistic visual effects, ray tracing is a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. No gaming console in the world today is capable of ray tracing. Next-gen will be the first — hopefully.
Cerny said next-gen will ship with SSD storage because of the pressing need for fast loading times and larger bandwidth that will make games more immersive. SSD will also support the required content streaming from disc for 8K graphics resolutions.