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Console gamers, rejoice! The first details about the new PlayStation from Sony are here, and they're pretty darn exciting.
Sony is keeping information about the new system close to the chest (they haven't even confirmed the console's name yet), but Wired has released the first details about the console's capabilities. And, given the history of previous naming conventions, it's probably safe to assume that PlayStation 5 is a good guess.
Everything we know is from PlayStation's Mark Cerny himself, who has been instrumental in designing this next-gen video game system.
Some of these new details are fairly technical, but we're breaking down the most important aspects for modern gamers.
The PS5 is Coming Soon to a Living Room Near You
While there is no official release date yet, Cerny teased that the system will be coming relatively soon. He did confirm that 2019 is out of the picture but, based on his comments, a 2020 release seems likely.
This is No PS4 Pro
Cerny made it abundantly clear that the latest console is an entirely new system, not an upgrade like the PS4 Pro. Some fundamental changes have been made to the hardware with the inclusion of a new AMD chip, an updated CPU based on AMD’s Ryzen line and a powerful GPU based on Radeon’s Navi family.
In short: this is a major upgrade. The new GPU will be able to support advanced graphics and lighting effects via ray tracing. This will allow for hyper-realistic in-game lighting, which dramatically makes everything else look more realistic.
The system also boasts rendering graphics in full 8K, making this the sharpest PlayStation yet. Of course, most consumers don't have 8K TVs (yet), so it seems like Sony is really future proofing this console.
Backward Compatibility and Physical Media
Whenever a new system is announced, backward compatibility is always a major concern.
Cerny confirmed the PS5 will be fully compatible with all current PS4 games. However, it's not fully clear if that means it will play all titles currently available on the PS4, or if it will only be compatible with more current titles. We'll have to wait and see.
On top of that, Sony has confirmed it will continue to offer games as physical discs, as opposed to the stream-only option other developers are considering. That's huge news for games who count on the resale value of older titles to buy new games.
The PS5 Will Include a Solid-State Drive
One of the most exciting reveals was that the PS5 will have a built-in solid-state drive (SSD). This is brand new territory for console gaming, and the implications are huge. In a test, Sony demonstrated that load times were roughly 19 times faster for the PS5 than the PS4. So, loading screens could be much shorter or even a thing of the past.
Rendering times will reportedly take a dramatic plunge on the new system. That means players should be able to travel through a game world at much faster speeds without waiting for the environment to "catch up" and load. These are just a few of the exciting advancements that will come with an in-console SSD.
The New Console Will Have Better Audio
All this new hardware will lead to massive improvements on in-game audio, especially in comparison to the PS4. The AMD chip will allow for more immersive sounds and scores that could make the player able to pinpoint the source of a noise from any direction while playing.
This feature is designed to work with average television speakers, but Cerny admits that headphones will be the "gold standard" when it comes to appreciating enhanced audio quality.
The Future of PlayStation VR
Cerny was coy when it came to Sony's plans for virtual reality, but he did reveal some information. The new system will be compatible with the current PSVR system, but he would not say if there will be new VR devices available at launch.
The PS4 and PS5 Will Exist Simultaneously (at First)
PS4 owners don't have to worry about their consoles becoming obsolete quite yet.
Cerny confirmed that the PS4 will continue to receive new games after the release of the PS5, and some games will even be available on both systems. While there was no official confirmation, Cerny hinted that Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding would be available on both consoles.
Not Much Was Revealed About Games or Services
While Cerny revealed a lot about the system's hardware, there's still a good amount we don't know about the PS5. Other than the rumor about Death Stranding, we don't have any confirmation about what titles could be coming out on the system.
Cerny did confirm that game developers are currently working with the new system and creating original content, however.
We also got a vague hint that Sony may be offering some sort of cloud-gaming service with the new system, with Cerny saying "We are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head toward launch."
Stay tuned to Slickdeals as we keep you updated on the new PlayStation console.
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