Much to everyone’s surprise, Sony hosted a livestream this week to provide a preview at the company’s next flagship console, the PlayStation 5. While Sony didn’t exactly reveal the unit’s price and any game footage, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny took the viewers into the console’s framework, unveiling the technical inner workings of the platform.
The PS5 will house a custom eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked in at 3.5GHz, and a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture hardware that’s said to yield 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz. The console will also feature 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, and a custom 825GB SSD for its hard drive.
In addition, PS5 will also support backwards compatibility for PS4 games, thanks to the former’s unique system architecture and custom processor. Cerny promises that more than 100 PS4 titles will be available for the PS5 once it launches globally.
Cerny devoted a huge bulk of the livestream to discuss the potential capacity of the SSD. As previously reported by the media, the PS5 will shift to SSD storage to offer faster loading times than the PS4. As explained by Cerny, the SSD feature will allow the PS4 to reach a bandwidth rate of 5GB per second, an estimated load time of 2GB in 0.28 seconds, and an instantaneous seek time for most games.
He added that an SSD feature will also help developers create expansive worlds for their titles. With the SSDs’ capacity to enable efficient usage of system memory, developers need not worry about any restrictions in terms of building games.
Cerny also revealed that the PS5 will feature 3D audio capabilities through the inclusion of the Tempest Engine, a re-purposed GPU designed to support over 100 audio sources. As Cerny explained, the feature will allow players to hear individual raindrops in a rainfall or shower cutscene. He referred to this function as “locality,” which takes into account the precise shape of your ear and head to further thrust you into the virtual world.
The PS5 makes it possible by scanning the player’s image, either through his/her photo, or by placing test subjects inside special rooms to get an accurate Head-related Transfer Function (HRTF) reading of their ears. Sony recognized that this may be impossible, so Cerny revealed that the PS5 will offer around five of these HRTF profiles that would cover common ear shapes at the launch.
Finally, Cerny promises that the PS5 will provide a more immersive experience by incorporating the haptic feedback feature. Whereas ray tracing is about enhancing the visual fidelity and overall look of our games, heightening the realism of textures, shadows, and reflections in particular, haptic feedback will work to enable actual physical feedback through the controller in a more nuanced manner than the traditional gaming feedback.
Unlike regular vibrating mechanisms, haptic feedback produces precise vibrations that will allow a player to actually feel what his/her character interacts within the game, ranging from water splashes to even explosions.
“This is a journey we’ll all be taking together over the next few years. Ultimately, we’re committed to enabling everyone to experience that next level of realism,” said Cerny.
The PlayStation 5 will be released during Holiday 2020.
What do you think of the PlayStation 5’s specs? Let us know in the comments!
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