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Playstation 5: Specs & New Details Released

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Sony showcases the power of the Playstation 5.

A wealth of new details and information has been released on the Playstation 5, with Sony unveiling the specs and providing a breakdown of the internals during a recent event.

Revealed at the PS5 deep-dive presentation, lead architect Mark Cerny gave some insight into the PS5’s hardware, along with what the team is aiming to deliver with the next-gen console.

Hardware Specs

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU architecture: Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory interface: 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
  • Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s
  • Internal storage: Custom 825GB SSD
  • IO throughput: 5.5GB/s (raw), typical 8-9GB/s (compressed)
  • Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot
  • External storage: USB HDD support (PS4 games only)
  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive

But, what does all this mean?

While the specs and numbers all look impressive, what does this really mean? Cerny explained that the goal of the PS5 is to make it architecture as ‘developer-friendly’ as possible, in order for studios to get the most out of the console in order to create the best games.

The solid state hard-drive is a particularly interesting feature, which will not only allow games to load faster, but also allow for bigger open worlds, for example, as developers don’t need to limit games due to the mechanical drive.

Of course, the PS5 will support ray tracing. Simply put, ray tracing is a technique that makes light in video games behave like it does in real life. It works by simulating actual light rays, using an algorithm to trace the path that a beam of light would take in the physical world. Using this technique, game designers can make virtual rays of light appear to bounce off objects, cast realistic shadows, and create lifelike reflections. This, if utilised effectively, will mark a huge jump for visual fidelity in games.

Backwards Compatibility

Thanks to Sony developing the PS5 on similar architecture to the PS4, it makes the PS5 easily handle PS4 backwards compatibility – through GPU architecture rather than hours of coding. Almost all of the top 100 PS4 games will be fully compatible at launch. PS4 games will be supported natively on the GPU silicon, but here the GPU seems to be emulating PS4 and PS4 Pro graphics chips.

3D Audio

One of the key highlights of the deep-dive was the PS5’s emphasis on audio. Instead of traditional stereo sound, the PS5 will be able to deliver 3D audio thanks to the new Tempest Engine. An example of rainfall in games was used to highlight the benefits of 3D audio. At the moment, the sound of rain in a game is a single audio track, but the PS5 would theoretically be capable of letting you hear individual raindrops, in relation to where the player character is.

Furthermore, the 3D audio capabilities will allow you use a standard pair of headphones to take advantage of the sense of presence and directionality Sony is promising here.

Release date & price:

As for specific release details, Sony did say “Holiday 2020”, which would assume that it would arrive in Q4 of next year, specifically November or December. As for the price, it’s speculated that the console will come in at around $499 (around R8,600).

You can watch the full presentation below:

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