With E3 2019 over and done with, leaving Microsoft the only company who has thus far, released concrete details about their next-generation console, many PlayStation fans have been left wondering what the future holds for Sony.
Despite any official breakdown of the internals that will be present in the next iteration of PlayStation hardware, the console will likely employ AMD based technologies, similar to that of Microsoft’s forthcoming, Xbox Scarlett project. Specifically, the PlayStation 5 will feature an eight-core Zen 2 based Ryzen 7nm CPU, coupled with AMD’s latest, custom Navi-based graphics card. While there are little details on what the new GPU will look like in features, it has been said it will support real-time raytracing.
Like Xbox Scarlett, the PlayStation 5 or whatever Sony ends up naming the successor to the PlayStation 4, will support resolutions up to 8k at 120 Hz — allowing displays such as monitors to output games and content at higher framerates then what is currently possible on existing console hardware.
Another area in which the PlayStation 5 will innovate, is in its ray tracing capabilities. For those who may not be familiar with the term — ray tracing is a technique that employs real-time lighting on characters, objects and the environment that accurately depicts how light bounces off of and illuminates the scene. In other words, ray tracing allows the computer to create the illusion of light — giving designers and artists more time to concentrate on other areas of the work.
Unlike the PlayStation 4 which abandoned the PlayStation 3 cell processor architecture, eliminating the possibility of native backwards compatibility — the next PlayStation is confirmed to be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4, in addition to the PSVR headset. It is unclear on the extent of which the backwards compatibility will range, but those with a sizable collection of PlayStation 4 titles will likely be able to enjoy their content on new hardware, with the added benefits of an SSD. Sony recently showed off footage of Spider-Man 2018 running on next-generation hardware, at a much faster render and load rate than what is possible on PlayStation 4 Pro.
Release and Pricing
Even with the lack of Sony during E3 2019, a lot of details regarding the future of their brand has been made available — meaning, PlayStation fans should expect more concrete details regarding the PlayStation 5 in the near future. In terms of the actual release date, Microsoft recently announced that their Xbox Scarlett will see release Holiday 2020, meaning at the very least, Sony should drop release details sometime in early 2020. As far as pricing, currently the PlayStation 4 Pro hardware retails at $465.99 CAD, which should put future hardware around the $500 mark. In a back and forth with Wired Magazine, Mark Cerny, the architect behind the PlayStation 4 remarked that future hardware will be made available in an appealing price point — meaning the PlayStation 5 hardware may be sold at a loss, at least initially, in order to hit sales projections.