What to expect from next-gen Sony PlayStation console

    What to expect from next-gen Sony PlayStation console

    What to expect from next-gen Sony PlayStation console


    Posted: 16 Apr 2019
    MARK CERNY WOULD like to get one thing out of the way right now: The videogame console that Sony has spent the past four years building is no mere upgrade.

    You’d have good reason for thinking otherwise. Sony and Microsoft both extended the current console generation via a mid-cycle refresh, with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 spawning mini-sequels (the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro). “The key question,” Cerny says, “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.”

    The answer, in this case, is the latter. It’s why we’re sitting here, secreted away in a conference room at Sony’s headquarters in Foster City, California, where Cerny is finally detailing the inner workings of the as-yet-unnamed console that will replace the PS4.

    If history is any guide, it will eventually be dubbed the PlayStation 5. For now, Cerny responds to that question—and many others—with an enigmatic smile. The “next-gen console,“ as he refers to it repeatedly, won’t be landing in stores anytime in 2019. A number of studios have been working with it, though, and Sony recently accelerated its deployment of devkits so that game creators will have the time they need to adjust to its capabilities.

    As he did with the PS4, Cerny acted as lead system architect for the coming system, integrating developers’ wishes and his own gaming hopes into something that’s much more revolution than evolution. For the more than 90 million people who own PS4s, that's good news indeed. Sony’s got a brand-new box.

    A TRUE GENERATIONAL shift tends to include a few foundational adjustments. A console’s CPU and GPU become more powerful, able to deliver previously unattainable graphical fidelity and visual effects; system memory increases in size and speed; and game files grow to match, necessitating larger downloads or higher-capacity physical media like discs.

    PlayStation’s next-generation console ticks all those boxes, starting with an AMD chip at the heart of the device. (Warning: some alphabet soup follows.) The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. While ray tracing is a staple of Hollywood visual effects and is beginning to worm its way into $10,000 high-end processors, no game console has been able to manage it. Yet.

    Ray tracing’s immediate benefits are largely visual. Because it mimics the way light bounces from object to object in a scene, reflective surfaces and refractions through glass or liquid can be rendered much more accurately, even in real-time, leading to heightened realism. According to Cerny, the applications go beyond graphic implications. “If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that,” he says. “It's all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.”

    The AMD chip also includes a custom unit for 3D audio that Cerny thinks will redefine what sound can do in a videogame. “As a gamer,” he says, “it's been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it.”

    The result, Cerny says, will make you feel more immersed in the game as sounds come at you from above, from behind, and from the side. While the effect will require no external hardware—it will work through TV speakers and visual surround sound—he allows that the “gold standard” will be headphone audio.

    One of the words Cerny uses to describe the audio may be a familiar to those who follow virtual reality: presence, that feeling of existing inside a simulated environment. When he mentions it, I ask him about PlayStation VR, the peripheral system that has sold more than 4 million units since its 2016 release. Specifically, I ask if there will be a next-gen PSVR to go alongside this next console. “I won't go into the details of our VR strategy today,” he says, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.”

    So. New CPU, new GPU, the ability to deliver unprecedented visual and audio effects in a game (and maybe a PSVR sequel at some point). That’s all great, but there’s something else that excites Cerny even more. Something that he calls “a true game changer,” something that more than anything else is “the key to the next generation.” It’s a hard drive...


    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/exclusiv...xt-gen-console

    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    16 Apr 2019

  1. Demonlord4lf's Avatar
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
       #1

    FINALLY!!!! They're putting in a SSD into the console!!! Wonder what size it'll be and how much the console will be?
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  2. Bastet's Avatar
    Posts : 1,164
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit
       #2

    There’s rumours that it’ll be backwards compatible although no word on whether this means PS1-4 or just for PS4 games.
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  3. Demonlord4lf's Avatar
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
       #3

    Bastet said:
    There’s rumours that it’ll be backwards compatible although no word on whether this means PS1-4 or just for PS4 games.
    I've only heard them say it'll be backwards compatible for the ps4 only. Where have you heard it also might be for the PS1-3?
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  4. Bastet's Avatar
    Posts : 1,164
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit
       #4

    Demonlord4lf said:
    I've only heard them say it'll be backwards compatible for the ps4 only. Where have you heard it also might be for the PS1-3?
    I’ve only read of the backwards compatibility, not heard anything as to whether this is PS1-3 or just PS4.
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  5. Demonlord4lf's Avatar
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
       #5

    I'm hearing rumors that they might get rid of the optical drive. If they do that, I'll be livid! I don't like downloading games and I know a lot of people don't have access to high speed internet. Hopefully this rumor is wrong.
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  6. Scottyboy99's Avatar
    Posts : 2,193
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
       #6

    Demonlord4lf said:
    FINALLY!!!! They're putting in a SSD into the console!!! Wonder what size it'll be and how much the console will be?
    I needs to be at least 1TB but preferably 2TB. With the ridiculous install sizes of some games these days a pathetic 500GB will not do but a suspect they will try and do that and then do a later revision with 1TB+ models
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  7. Demonlord4lf's Avatar
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
       #7

    Scottyboy99 said:
    I needs to be at least 1TB but preferably 2TB. With the ridiculous install sizes of some games these days a pathetic 500GB will not do but a suspect they will try and do that and then do a later revision with 1TB+ models
    I hope not... If they do, then I'll either wait for the later model or just get a 1TB SSD myself and swap it out.
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  8. Faith's Avatar
    Posts : 1,148
    Windows 10 Home 1909 64-bit
       #8

    backward compatibility; Playstation already sell you PS1-3 games through their PS Now service so it doesn't make sense financially if they enable BC for these games through emulation, other than BC for PS4 games which will totally happen. It would be great if they enabled it like you can with an Xbox, maybe they will, but if they can sell you them instead and users are actually paying for it then I don't see why they should stop other than to follow Microsoft and gain good will in the process. It's possible of course.

    SSD; Don't expect a NVMe M.2 disk relative IOPS performance on 1-2TB if they're aiming for $399-$499 MSRP console. Instead it will most likely be a hybrid disk and heavily utilize caching. If it is SSD only then I would like to know what memory type is being used because SLC or MLC NAND memory is not cheap, which is needed if you want the best in performance and reliability. Maybe they will use a realtive cheap 1TB NVMe QLC drive.

    8K; Will be output only. I don't see how games can run 8000 pixels width on 4320p resolution because not a $2000 gaming PC today can run it with relatively good performance and good visual fidelity. Maybe it can be done on 2D platformers. Next gen GoW in 8K on a custom Navi based GPU ain't happening if we're looking just how far behind AMD is with their GPU architecture.

    Ray Tracing; While not confirmed, main Navi will probably use DXR for RT without core hardware acceleration, so if the PS5 supports it then what are they going to use it with? For comparison, a RTX 2080 ti can barely just run games at 4K/60 with ray traced global illumination and shadows, and that's a $1200 GPU with hardware accelerated tensor cores on 76T OPS 10 Giga Rays/s. Even if Navi have its own cores for acceleration, how do we expect it will run on a custom chipset to fit inside a console that's reliant on heat dissipation?
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