Hear that? It’s got an SSD!
Microsoft showing off the capabilities of the new Xbox Series X by running Minecraft in 4K with Ray Tracing will not be unanswered as Sony held a live blog earlier today regarding the much-awaited PlayStation 5. However, much to the disappointment of many, no actual hardware reveal has been made but rather, Sony aimed the live presentation towards the developers as they talked more about the hardware inside the console and just how much punch it theoretically packs.
Regardless, it wasn’t all just tech mumbo jumbo as the consumer end was given snippets of what to expect from the console in the future based on the type of hardware that was showcased or talked about during the live presentation. A more powerful SSD, custom GPU, and CPU chips, and other tech were discussed, all aimed towards finding “new dreams”, which, in a more common term, would mean better gaming experiences.
So what can we expect from the PS5 based on what Mark Cerny, Lead System Architect of the PS5 talked about?
A good chunk of the live presentation focused on the new custom SSDs that the PlayStation 5 will be utilizing and for a pretty good reason. Inconsistent load times, not just when booting up games but also when accessing new areas in a game world would forever be a boon to many, and this very welcome upgrade will hope to virtually remove that issue with its 5 GB/s throughput. As shown, SSD upgrade also promotes better caching and RAM utilization, ensuring faster load times for necessary files in-game and allowing developers to create streamlined gaming experiences with fewer compromises and lesser speed bumps. In addition, the PS5’s new storage upgrades will also aim to lessen the sometimes frustrating lengthy patch installs when major updates are being rolled by developers and publishers.
Yes, it’s confirmed, and it’s on its way, the PlayStation 5 will have backward compatibility with older games BUT only for the PlayStation 4 as revealed so far in the presentation. Backward compatibility support fully means that you would be able to play PS4 and even PS4 Pro enhanced titles on the new PS5, however, only select number games have been drafted, presumably in the initial wave of backward compatible titles. But what games will they be? Well, nothing specific has been revealed yet but according to Cerny, most of which that are included in the top 100 PS4 games by playtime will be included at launch and hopefully, more will be added as titles are continuously being tested.
Another interesting point that was revealed on the PlayStation 5 live presentation is Sony’s use of HRTF or Head-related transfer function to increase immersion in gaming experiences through how audio is processed and perceived. Citing the Cell Broadband Engine, a key tech from the PlayStation 3, the PS5 aims to duplicate that strength in audio and maybe even do more with their new Tempest engine. To put it simply, the PS5’s goal is to bring you into the game’s world by amping up the audio capabilities by way of introducing hundreds of different directional sources making you feel as if you know exactly which part of your environment the sound is coming from. This will then also work hand-in-hand with the PS5’s graphical prowess that also comes with Ray Tracing features much like the Xbox Series X, to bring console game immersion to the next level.
So who’s leading the pack? With not much information to work with for the consumer end, it’s hard to decide yet as to who is currently taking the lead in this new era of console warfare. However, with both companies looking to bring enhanced experiences to the table, it looks to be an exciting era ahead for gamers, and we all can’t wait for the next phase that is, hopefully, the introduction of exclusives.