Mark Cerny, the lead architect for the PlayStation 4 told Wired that the PS5 will be an entirely new hardware platform that'll support 8K resolutions, ray-tracing, 3D audio, and backwards compatibility to boot.
While the PS4 got a mid-generation refresh in the form of the PS4 Pro, much like the Xbox One with the Xbox One X, there's a big hardware boost on offer with the PS5.
AMD is returning with a custom chip at the console's heart, which will include ray-tracing and 3D audio features. And the chip will be based on AMD's 7-nanometre Zen 2 architecture for the processor part and the upcoming Navi architecture for the GPU bit; if nothing else, that gives us a little glimpse as to the potential capability of upcoming Navi-based Radeon graphics cards.
Support for 8K seems a bit like overkill given TVs supporting that resolution are hardly prolific, but that should at least mean the PS5 will be able to take 4K resolutions with aplomb, potentially at 60 frames per second; the Xbox One X can hit 4K at 30fps in the likes of the graphically sumptuous Red Dead Redemption 2.
Given ray-tracing takes a pretty high-end and expensive Nvidia RTX graphics card, either the swish light rendering technique will be a little pared-back compared to high-end PCs, or it could be a testament of how powerful the PS5 will be. Cerny didn't spill any specifics on specs or performance.
A less exciting but useful part of the PS5 will be the switch from spinning disk hard drive to SSD storage, which should promise much faster load times, a boon for large open-world games.
There was no clear word on virtual reality support or any other special features. But that might not matter for many PlayStation fans, especially as the PS4 was a very gaming-focussed machine rather than an overall entertainment device and it has sold very well indeed.
So far the PS5 is shaping up to be a rather interesting powerhouse of a console. But there could be an argument that the need for such new console hardware is diminishing with the impressive-looking streaming services like Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia on the horizon. So watch this space for what happens next. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score