In the past six months or so, we've gotten some rumors about what Microsoft's next generation of Xbox machines are going to look like, and even word last month that Nintendo could be releasing some updated versions of the Switch later this year. But Sony has kept quiet on what gamers can expect from the next generation of PlayStation hardware.
That changed Tuesday.
Wired.com's Peter Rubin sat down with Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PlayStation 4, to reveal the first official details of what will more than likely be known as the PlayStation 5.
Compared to today's systems, the PlayStation 5 looks to be a beast.
The new system is being powered with AMD's third generation of its Ryzen processor that will support ray tracing, which simulates the way light actually reflects off of real items. Currently, ray tracing is really only used in the special effects in Hollywood blockbusters and is just now being supported in the highest of high-end PCs.
Although most TVs top out at 4K resolution, the PS5 will support up to 8K resolution. Cerny also talked up the system's improved 3D audio, which will be more immersive than what today's consoles are capable of.
The new system is going to be more than just prettier graphics and better sounds, though. Rather than a standard hard disk drive like current systems use, which save and load data using magnets, the next PlayStation will use a specialized solid-state drive to quicker load the game's data. Cerny showed this off with "Marvel's Spider-Man," the PS4 game that came out last year. On a PS4 Pro, it took Cerny 15 seconds fast-travel from one end of the map to another as the system had to load in the new area of the map. Do the exact same thing on a dev kit of PS5 and it took less than one second for the game to load back in.
The "Spider-Man" example also helped Cerny confirm another feature coming to the PS5: the new system will be backward compatible and play all of the existing PS4 games. The SSD will also allow the graphics to be sharp even when the game's camera moves at fast speeds as it is able to load in more details at a much faster rate.
Something that's good news for me is that Cerny also confirmed the current PSVR headsets will be compatible with the next PlayStations. Beyond that, he wouldn't say if a revision is coming. Since it's release two years ago, the PSVR has sold more than 4 million units and is the top-selling virtual reality headset on the market, so I do expect Sony to release a followup sometime in the first year or two of PS5's release. My hope is it will be wireless, like the soon to be released Oculus Quest.
The story on Wired makes it clear that the PS5 isn't going to be released this year and probably won't even be officially unveiled — when we get the name and a look at the actual system, the controller and the games — until early next year.
Just a few hours before Wired posted its story on the PlayStation 5, the website TweakTown posted its own story about Sony's new system, and a lot of the information was later confirmed by Wired's story. But TweakTown also had some details that weren't in the Wired story. According to TweakTown, the PS5's SDD will be 2TB, double the size of the standard hard drive in a PS4 Pro, but smaller than what I was expecting.
It also says the rumored price for the PS5 is $499, which is right about what I was expecting. Sony, you can just take my money now.
Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing "Star Wars Battlefront 2," "Friday the 13th: The Game" and "New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID, DustRAG316.