Who was not pumped when Sony announced via Twitter, they were doing a live broadcast with Mark Cerny to do a deep dive into the system architecture?
Tomorrow at 9am Pacific Time, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny will provide a deep dive into PS5’s system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 17, 2020
We, however, did not anticipate it being this deep. Sony had planned to do this presentation at GDC which is a game developer conference. It might have seemed a bit lackluster to the general public, it was lacking hype and it was way too technical for most console users.
We did not get to hear any news about future titles coming to PS5. Mark Cerny, Sony PlayStations lead architect made a statement at the beginning of the presentation “There will be plenty of time for games to be revealed later this year.” However, we did find out all the technical specifications for PS5 and learn about some of the new technology to be deployed.
- CPU – x86-64-AMD Ryzen™, “Zen 2” 8 Cores / 16, Threads Variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz
- GPU – AMD Radeon™, RDNA 2-based graphics engine Ray Tracing Acceleration, Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS)
- System Memory – GDDR6 16GB, 448GB/s Bandwidth
- SSD – 825GB, 5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (Raw)
- PS5 Game Disc – Ultra HD Blu-ray™, up to 100GB/disc
- Video Out – Support of 4K 120Hz TVs, 8K TVs, VRR (specified by HDMI ver.2.1)
Sony’s PS5 will be packing some heat with an AMD’s Zen 2 CPU processor with eight cores at 3.5GHz. It will also turn to AMD for the GPU with a custom-built AMD RDNA with a Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz (10.3 TFLOPS).
Backward compatibility will be made easy through the GPU architecture rather than putting it on the developer’s hands. Mark mentioned almost all PS4 games will be playable at release, starting with the games that have the most playtime hours and descending.
Say goodbye to loading screens the PS5 will boast full solid-state hard drives at transfer speeds up to 5.5GB/s. An upgrade like this should also allow for larger open-world game environments due to the amount of bandwidth SSD’s have. It will optimize the use of the systems RAM creating an overall smoother gaming experience reducing load times, loading environment textures and of course booting up.
Expandable storage will allow off-the-shelf NVMe PC drives, unlike Xbox which only allows proprietary storage units. Mark did mention that the PCIe 4.0-based storage units are not widely available yet in the based format required.
“NVMe PC drives will work in PlayStation 5,” mentioned Cerny. “The only problem is that PC technology is significantly behind PS5. It’ll take some time for the newer, PCIe 4.0-based drives with the bandwidth required to match Sony’s spec to hit the market.”
Tempest 3D audio tech is the name of the new sound technology PS5 will showcase. In comparison the PSVR can support up to 50 decent sound sources, the Tempest technology can support hundreds. Be prepared for a big-time step up in the immersion game bringing you closer to the battlefield than ever before. Directional 3D sound will be achievable on headphones at launch and later launching support for full surround sound systems.
“Where we ended up is a unit with roughly the same SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) power and bandwidth as all eight Jaguar cores in the PS4 combined,” noted Cerny.
“If we were to use the same algorithms as PSVR, that’s enough for something like five thousand sound sources – but of course we want to use more complex algorithms, and we don’t need anything like that number of sounds.”
“Maybe you’ll be sending us a photo of your ear, and we’ll use a neural network to pick the closest HRTF in our library,” Cerny said. “Maybe you’ll be sending us a video of your ears and your head, and we’ll make a 3D model of them and synthesize the HRTF. Maybe you’ll play an audio game to tune your HRTF, we’ll be subtly changing it as you play, and home in on the HRTF that gives you the highest score, meaning that it matches you the best. This is a journey we’ll all be taking together over the next few years. Ultimately, we’re committed to enabling everyone to experience that next level of realism.”
More features will be announced in the coming months. No release schedule or date has been announced. For now, we just sit tight and wait for Sony to give us the information as it comes.