With the PlayStation 5 and its release date officially announced, Sony is free to talk as much as it wants to build hype for the upcoming console. Expect details to start coming faster through the next year, but even the initial announcement packed some exciting information. After months of rumors about what kind of power the PS5 will pack, we finally have some confirmation of what we’ll find under the hood next year.
Sony has been most forthcoming with details about the backbone of the whole system: the PS5’s CPU and GPU. According to an interview in Wired, the PS5 will run on a third-generation AMD Ryzen CPU, specifically an 8-core processor based on AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It also sports an AMD GPU, custom-built for the PS5 based on the Radeon Navi series. In a tweet back in August, hardware leaker Komachi Ensaka claimed that the GPU would run at 2 GHz, enabling twice the power of the Xbox One X. That rumor hasn’t been confirmed or denied by Sony at this point.
BREAKING: THIS IS PS5. According to this leak- the GPU will be clocked at an insane 2ghz.
This equates to 9.2 TF on the RDNA architecture. Or roughly 14 TF on the GCN Architecture aka over double the power of the X1X. Almost RTX2080 power.
In English: it’s very powerful https://t.co/09rB49ugBT
— Ray Traced Parrots Holiday 2020 (@isaparrot) August 13, 2019
Given these are custom chips built for consoles, they’re not comparable to PC hardware in any direct way. Those names alone may not mean much. The important part is that these essential pieces of hardware will be faster and more powerful than anything seen in a console before. However, it’s still too early to say how they’ll compare to the Xbox Scarlett’s specs. The new PS5 hardware will support up to 8k resolutions, and crucially, it’ll enable ray tracing at the hardware level. That means that top-of-the-line lighting effects will be on the table for the PS5, but it’s still up to developers to take advantage of it. The PS5’s chipset will also be capable of 3D audio. System architect Mark Cerny said it would go a long way to immersing players in their environment in a Wired interview before today’s big reveal.
That sense of immersion can be impactful in any game, but it will be essential to selling the VR experience. Thanks to the PS5’s impressive new hardware, VR is likely to be better than ever. Rather than a feature added after the fact as with the PS4, VR has been part of Sony’s plan since before the PS5 was getting discussed. That means its hardware can provide realistic, high-performance VR. The current PS VR headset will be compatible with the PS5 right out of the box, and there are rumors of a next-generation VR headset to come.
While the big-name hardware and VR capabilities are the more headline-grabbing features, the PS5’s hard drive is also getting a significant upgrade. The solid-state drive in the PS5 will use the new PCIe 4.0 connection and allow faster loading times and smaller file sizes. These components allow developers to be able to pack more data into the same amount of space. It can then retrieve it quickly for a nearly seamless experience without the sort of tricks. Players will encounter less slow elevators or complicated door-opening animations currently used to hide loading times.
Despite some signs that disc drives may be on the way out, the PS5 still sports a 4k Bluray player, and physical games will come on 100GB discs. They’ll need to get installed before playing since reading from the SSD so much faster than reading from the disc itself. Thanks to its similar optical disc reader and hardware design, the PS5 will also be backward compatible with PS4 games.