New PlayStation is Coming With Backward Compatibility But Not in 2019

Published: April 16, 2019 1:27 PM /


playstation 5 mark cerny

Sony has shared some information regarding its plans for an upcoming next-generation console (read: PlayStation 5). Lead architect Mark Cerny spoke to Wired and revealed some of the things consumers can expect from the PS5.

First, Cerny says the console won't be out in 2019. That's bad news for those of us looking forward to spending Christmas with one, but it's not unexpected. According to Cerny, Sony has recently accelerated its deployment of console development kits to creators, ensuring they'll have time to get to grips with the new system. We don't yet have a release date, but we know we definitely won't be getting our hands on Sony's next console this year.

What we do know is that Cerny and Sony don't see the next generation as an incremental upgrade. In the interview with Wired, Cerny says the PS5 will allow for "fundamental changes in what a game can be" rather than simply adding another layer to extant experiences. The new CPU is an eight-core variant on the third-gen AMD Ryzen line. The GPU is a custom variant of the Radeon Navi family. Cerny and company are also doing tests on a new audio system for the console, which will aim to immerse players without the need for external audio hardware. Cerny says he was disappointed as a gamer that audio "didn't change too much" between PS3 and PS4, and is aiming to change that with the likely PlayStation 5.

Perhaps the thing that Cerny seems most proud of in the Wired interview is the PS5's new solid-state drive (SSD). The PlayStation 5will be able to load and render complex and busy 3D environments much more quickly than its predecessor thanks to the SSD. To demonstrate this point, Cerny shows Wired Marvel's Spider-Man running on a PS4 Pro. Fast-traveling between two different spots in Manhattan takes Cerny 15 seconds on the PS4 Pro. On a stripped-back next-gen dev kit, the transition supposedly takes 0.8 seconds.

To further emphasize the power of the SSD, Cerny shows Wired a camera moving through Spider-Man's New York. On the PS4 Pro, it moves at Spider-Man's speed, because that is the speed at which the console pulls data from the hard drive. On the dev kit, however, the camera moves incredibly quickly, with the environment remaining crisp at all times. The PS5 will support 8K resolutions, but there aren't too many 8K-compatible sets out there, so Wired uses a 4K TV for its demonstration with Cerny.

We know a couple of other things thanks to Cerny's chat with Wired. The console will be based partly on PS4 architecture, so it'll be backward-compatible with PS4 games (no word yet on previous generations). The PS5 will accept physical media and won't be a download-only machine. Cerny heavily implies that Hideo Kojima's upcoming Death Stranding will be released for both PS4 and PS5 as part of the new generation's transitional period. PlayStation VR will be fully compatible with the new console, and there may be an upgrade in the future. We don't technically know that it'll be called the PlayStation 5; after all, Cerny refers to the console as simply "the next-gen console". It'll probably be the PS5, though.

The actual Wired interview is full of technical details and minutiae, so if you're into that sort of thing you should check it out.

What features would you like to see in the PlayStation 5? Do you think they'll go with that as the name? Let us know in the comments below!