After years of rumours and leaks, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny finally broke cover (opens in new tab) this month to officially reveal details of Sony's "next-gen console".
The PlayStation 5 is officially confirmed (albeit not in name) and, based on what we've heard from Cerny so far, sounds like it's going to an incredible piece of hardware, with a broad armoury of killer hardware and features.
Thanks to PS5 boss Mark Cerny being so public with Sony's next-gen console battle-plans, we now have a very clear understanding of what weapons the PlayStation 5 will be bringing to the battlefield. And based on what we've heard, Xbox loyalists waiting for the next official next Xbox Scarlett dispatch should be worried.
Given that Sony has decisively won the current generation console war, with its PlayStation 4 platform selling more than double that of Xbox One (opens in new tab), it seems like the Japanese firm already has Microsoft's next Xbox in its sights, too.
These are just five of the officially confirmed PS5 features that, unless matched – or beaten – by the Xbox One successor, could easily see Sony Interactive Entertainment marching to another decisive console generation victory.
1. PS5 has a powerful CPU and GPU
In terms of gaming hardware, the so-called PlayStation 5 will definitely not disappoint, with the system confirmed by Cerny to come loaded with a CPU based on the third generation of AMD's Ryzen line of processors that delivers eight cores and the firm's new 7nm Zen 2 micro-architecture.
In addition, the PS5 comes equipped with a custom Radeon GPU that not only stems from its advanced Navi family but is also capable of ray tracing (a next-gen lighting technique that models the travel of light in complex game worlds and is currently only used in multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters), a fact that will mean PS5 games look unlike anything deliverable on PlayStation 4.
2. PS5 comes with an immersive 3D audio chip
In news that really excited the audiophiles here at T3, the PS5 will come installed with a custom 3D audio unit within its AMD processor. The reason for this was explained by Cerny: “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.
"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.”
We've always said that a quality sound experience is crucial to enjoying a title to its maximum, so the idea that immersion will be taken a whole new level with dynamic 3D audio that is not reliant on additional hardware, sounds truly fantastic.
3. PS5 is loaded with a super-fast SSD out of the box
In his official communiqué, Cerny confirmed that the next-gen Sony console will come equipped with a solid state drive (SSD) for storage. This is a massive deal as it allows games to be loaded and run much, much faster than on a standard hard disk drive (HDD), allowing gamers to enjoy their PS5 games quicker.
In a demonstration using a PS5 dev kit, Cerny showed that the next-gen console could load PlayStation exclusive game Spider-Man a mind-blowing 18-times faster than a PS4 console, with the level ready to play in just 0.8 seconds rather than 15 seconds. That's a 1,774% speed increase!
That ability to load game files and assets quicker will also mean PS5 game worlds will be able to be built bigger without any decrease in visual pizzazz, and won't suffer immersion-shattering late texture and geometry pop-up.
4. PS5 supports insane-fidelity 8K graphics
The PS5 dev kit demonstration was undertaken on a 4K TV and, considering that when the console launches next year that is the panel resolution that the majority of gamers will have access to, all signs point to the PlayStation 5 targeting 4K with 60 frames per second as a base for displaying content.
However, the Wired interview that reported on the Cerny briefing stated that "the next-gen console will support 8K graphics", so for the select few gamers who are also early adopters in terms of an 8K panel come 2020, the PS5 should be able to deliver, albeit most likely in terms of non-native 8K upscaling wizardry.
5. PS5 allows next-level virtual reality gaming
Lastly, and maybe most potent of all in terms of next Xbox-smoking weaponry, is that the PS5 not only supports the PlayStation VR headset but also looks set to pair perfectly with the rumoured wireless PSVR 2 follow-up headset, too.
When Cerny was asked about the PlayStation 5's VR capabilities and if a next-gen PSVR headset will launch alongside it, he stated that:
"I won't go into the details of our VR strategy today beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console."
Sounds very promising to us here at T3 and, frankly put, with no Xbox console to date offering any level of virtual reality gaming, if Microsoft can't drum something up quick for its next Xbox, then this PS5 feature could be the decisive battle-winning strike that leaves the Xbox Two dead and buried.