Like the PS3, it’ll be a while before we see what the PS4 can really do.
Though the PlayStation 4 has been touted as powerful, there are still concerns about how long it’s technology will last over its life cycle. Chief system architect Mark Cerny has haddressed those concerns. On being asked about the kind of time horizon Sony prepared for before locking in the PS4’s specs, he stated that the true benefits of the PS4’s architecture will begin to appear around 2016 or so.
“There are definitely some features in the PlayStation 4 that start to get used broadly in the third or fourth year of the console life cycle. It’s all about how the GPU and CPU can work together to do many tasks other than graphics, which is say that photo-realism is a great target but that world simulation is also important.
“This is under-appreciated but getting your audio right in a game and making sure that your character’s ears are really hearing what they should within the game universe takes a tremendous amount of processing power. And there’s a lot of features in the GPU to support asynchronous fine-grain computing. ‘Asynchronous’ is just saying it’s not directly related to graphics, ‘fine grain’ is just saying it’s a whole bunch of these running simultaneously on the GPU. So I think we’re going to see the benefits of that architecture around 2016 or so,” he said to EDGE Online.
Considering that the PlayStation 3 – and the Xbox 360 for that matter – didn’t see games truly taking full advantage of the hardware till a year or two after their respective release, it’s not very surprising especially when you consider that the PS4 is supposed to be much more powerful than your average PC today. The PS4 launches on November 15th in North America and on November 29th in Europe.