Though the PS5 hasn’t officially been unveiled yet, Sony’s Mark Cerny, who is the head engineer on the upcoming console, just like he was with the PS4, recently sat down with Wired and revealed a bunch of very interesting new details on what the new hardware will bring about. The PS5, which Sony has been working on for four years, is being touted by Cerny as a revolution rather than an evolution- something that “fundamentally changes what a game can be” instead of just being another refresh and adding on top of what the PS4 already did.
Of the many, many ways the system is going to do that, one is with a new CPU and a new GPU. The PS5 will be using a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi GPU, which will allow it to support ray tracing (something that we haven’t really seen breaking into the mainstream in video games so far, much less on consoles). On the CPU side of things, the PS5 uses a third generation AMD Ryzen chip- more specifically, boasting an eight core 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture.
Ray tracing, according to Cerny, is something that the PS5 and its games will greatly benefit from, as it’s something that will lead to heightened immersion, and implications that go far beyond just realistic visuals. “If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that,” said Cerny. “It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.”
Of course, it’s not just ray tracing that will help with the audio aspect of experiences- that’s because the custom AMD chip that the PS5 uses will also include a unit to support 3D audio. This in particular is a feature Cerny is quite excited about.
“As a gamer, it’s been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4,” said Cerny. “With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it.”
Cerny says 3D audio will be just as much of a factor contributing to immersion as anything else will be- it’s something that, notably enough, will work with your TV’s speakers as well, and won’t require you to purchase any new hardware. According to Cerny though, headphone audio will be the “gold standard” for 3D audio with the PS5.
There’s a lot more details on the PS5 that Cerny has shed light on, and we’ll be covering them all shortly, so stay tuned.