During an online presentation, Sony’s lead system architect Mark Cerny took the stage to deliver key details and specs for the PlayStation 5.
Cerny stated that the team listened to developers and shared their approach to creating a console. Cerny went to dozens of teams to get feedback from them, and the feature that developers requested mostly is the addition of an SSD in the box. Up until now, the consoles have use HDD, which is a slower drive when accessing memory. The Sony engineers also had a dream of raising the bar of audio.
When it comes to the SSD, Cerny lets the viewers know that HDD speeds are considerably slower than that of an SSD. This actually caused developers to design around slower load speeds for their games, which has caused them much stress. Well, they took the idea of an SSD and wanted to push what developers and players thought they wanted from load speeds. The result is blindingly fast load speeds that could improve the experience of a game. Meaning developers don’t need 30 seconds elevator rides to load new areas and remove the player from the actual experience. Patches are also affected by slow load speeds when players install patches. In order to pull off this tech, the company created a lot of custom hardware for their machine.
Sony has installed a Custom Flash Controller connected to a twelve channel interface to deliver 5.5 GBs of flash memory. Kraken decompression has been installed along with Dedicated DMA controller, Two I/O Coprocessors, Coherency Engines, Cache Scrubbers, and On-Chip Ram all packaged in the Main Custom Chip, which is a part of the system memory. As a developer, you don’t need to know this, though; it will work invisibly to you at very high speeds. Basically, this is all makes no load screens possible.
Backward compatibility is possible by inserting a PlayStation 4 HDD into the PlayStation 5. This will give players access to their full library games from the PlayStation 4. When it comes to PS5, the console will only be compatible with games available on PS4. However, testing still needs to be done on all games as there have been mixed results, and they are still working on getting the tech right to play all PS4 titles. When it comes to inserting new SSDs into the PS5, players will need to buy specific hardware to upgrade this hardware. Right now, they are testing which M2 Drives will work with PS5, but that won’t be until after launch that they know which ones work.
Power consumption has also been addressed in this new console. This is seen in games like God of War, which typically speeds up the PS4’s fan during gameplay. For PS5, the team has built an RDNA 2 Cu, which is run in boost and reaches the cooling that the system requires. This means they didn’t have to guess for a worst-case scenario as the console is always balanced.
The team also put a focus on audio processing. Their goals included great audio for all users, support hundreds of advanced sound sources, and presence and locality. When it comes to presence and locality, they want players to feel like they are there. They developed Tempest 3D AudioTech, known as the Tempest Engine, which has no caches, and all data caches are a part of the chip. While they are still developing the 3D sound, the team is comfortable with their headphone audio.
Sadly, the team did not show the console or reveal a release date.
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