19th April 2019
PS5 will support 8K graphics and ray tracing
Technical details have emerged about the PlayStation 5, the anticipated successor to the PlayStation 4 games console.
In an exclusive interview with online magazine Wired, Sony's Mark Cerny confirmed that the new console would support 8K Ultra HD, allowing it to play games at a resolution of 7680 × 4320 (or about 33 megapixels).
This is currently limited to high-end products and services – Japan only recently launched the world's first 8K TV channel, for example – but may start to become mainstream by the mid-2020s.
Another emerging technology to feature in the PS5 is ray tracing. Until recently, this was only used in blockbuster movies or pre-rendered cutscenes to create the most accurate and subtle lighting effects. As of today, it is restricted to a handful of PC games, requiring top-of-the-range graphics cards (GPUs). The PS5 will narrow the gap between consoles and desktop PCs to deliver a new level of graphical immersion. Ray tracing can simulate more realistic global illumination by tracing a line from the viewer's eyes (or "virtual camera") through a pixel grid (forming an image of the scene), to an object behind each pixel and then accounting for the angle of light source(s) hitting that object.
This means that every speck of detail in a room, landscape or other environment can be accurately rendered in real time, rather than generating a mere approximation based on polygons. In the past, it literally required a supercomputer to perform such a feat – but the latest generation of GPUs from NVIDIA demonstrate what exponential progress in performance can achieve, as they are becoming like miniature supercomputers in their own right. See this excellent video by TechQuickie for an idea of what to expect.
The cutting-edge graphics of the PS5 will be made possible with an eight-core CPU, based on AMD's as-yet-unreleased Ryzen 3000 series and using the latest 7nm Zen 2 process, alongside a custom GPU based on AMD's Radeon Navi hardware.
Another major improvement will be the hard drive – upgraded from the spinning version of the PS4, to a solid state drive (SSD) for much faster load times and general performance. The PS5 will also feature 3D audio, for a more immersive gaming experience both on TV speakers and headphones. Players will also have the chance to enjoy PlayStation VR, along with backwards compatibility for PS4 games.
There is currently no confirmed release date for the PS5, and Cerny ruled out a 2019 launch. However, developers already have access to devkits to develop games for it, so 2020 seems like a good bet.
Read the full interview over at Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/exclusive-sony-next-gen-console/