Sony's 'PlayStation 5' to boast faster speeds, 8K graphics and backwards compatibility

The new PlayStation console will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, and ray tracing.
The new PlayStation console will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, and ray tracing. PHOTO: AFP

Gamers anticipating the next iteration of Sony's PlayStation video game console - which some observers casually dub the PlayStation 5 (PS5) - finally have some official details to chew on.

While the replacement for the current PS4 console, which has no official name announced yet, is unlikely to be released in 2019, Sony's lead system architect Mark Cerny told lifestyle publication Wired that the next-generation console will be more of a revolution than evolution.

Unlike the mid-cycle PS4 Pro which was an upgrade specifications-wise compared with the PS4, the upcoming console will come with new hardware including a faster eight-core central processing unitbased on the third generation of AMD's Ryzen line.

One of the key improvements for the new console that Mr Cerny highlighted in Wired's Tuesday (April 16) report was an increase in gaming speeds.

The PS4 replacement will utilise a specialised solid-state drive (SSD) which looks to improve game loading and graphics rendering speeds.

According to Wired, Mr Cerny showed that a PS4 Pro took 15s to load Marvel's Spider-Man, a PS4 exclusive game released in 2018. But an early "low-speed" version of the next-generation PlayStation took just 0.8s.

The new console will also support 8K graphics and 3D audio, which allows for more immersive gaming with speakers and headphones alike. The PS4 supports a graphical resolution of 1080p, while the PS4 Pro supports resolutions of up to 4K.

 

In addition, the next-generation machine will support ray tracing, thanks to an upgraded graphics processing unit. Ray tracing models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments and will allow for more realistic visuals.

 

The technique is already commonly used in Hollywood visual effects, but no game console has integrated it yet. The new PlayStation could be the first to do so.

 

Despite the performance and user experience improvements, the PS4 successor will retain backwards compatibility with games for its predecessor. Games will also be released for both the PS4 and the new console for a start, Mr Cerny revealed.

The new machine will also continue to accept physical media and will not be a download-only console, Wired reported.

While gamers will not be able to get their hands on a unit this year, developers already have access to development kits to create games for the new console, and rumours are rife that the console will arrive in 2020.

No pricing details for the console were available.


Microsoft's new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which goes on sale May 7. PHOTO: MICROSOFT

Meanwhile, Microsoft's disc-less Xbox One with no optical disc drive will be available from next month globally.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will go on sale on May 7 and is currently available for pre-order in Singapore. It will retail for $368 , $60 less than the Xbox One S with a physical disc drive option, according to the Xbox website.

Apart from the lack of an optical drive, users will still be able to use their Xbox One accessories and digital purchases on the new console.