Sony has finally revealed the first details of the next PlayStation console in an interview with Wired. The site talked to lead system architect Mark Cerny, who says the company has been working on the next PlayStation for the past four years and that it is in the hands of game developers right now in the form of a developer kit.
According to Cerny, the system won’t be arriving in 2019. “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 site says. “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.”
The AMD chip also allows for 3D audio. “As a gamer,” Cerny 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 next PlayStation console will still accept physical media and will be backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games. While he wouldn’t reveal much about their virtual reality strategy, Cerny did mention that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console as well.
Cerny added that the key to the next generation is the hard drive. The new system will have a solid-state drive (SSD), which Cerny demonstrated will speed up things significantly.