PS5 will carry next-gen ray tracing to square off with Xbox Series X

AMD boss announces new tech set to make BOTH PS5 and Xbox Series X games look amazing

Gods and Monsters PS5
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

 Sony needs to reveal the PS5 already. It has been... *checks watch* three months since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X at December’s Game Awards, and still not a peep from the PlayStation camp. 

We have heard some of the console’s specifications via a now-taken-down GameStop listing, however. The console will support 8K gaming, advanced ray-tracing capabilities and a bespoke AMD 8-core chipset, all set to make PS5 games like Gods and Monsters (above) look incredible. But unlike Microsoft, which has released gameplay trailers and gone into detail about the Xbox Series X’s new capabilities, Sony has been silent. 

 At least its partners are vocal about the new technology. Reported by WCCFTech during AMD’s Financial Analyst Day presentation, which took place on Thursday, Radeon Technology Group’s David Wang took to the stage to gush about the capabilities coming to both consoles as a result of their AMD-integrated technology. 

Wang said: “We have developed an all-new hardware-accelerated ray tracing architecture as part of RDNA 2. It is a common architecture used in the next-generation game consoles. 

“With that, you will greatly simplify the content development -- developers can develop on one platform and easily port it to the other platform. This will definitely help speed up the adoption [of ray tracing].”

Godfall PS5

Ray tracing will give games like Godfall a new visual dimension

(Image credit: Counterplay Games)

Wang goes into more detail regarding ray tracing’s extensive capabilities. Now that the technology is more advanced, ray tracing gives more control to the developers so that they can extract more performance from the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Ray tracing will allow games developers to accurately capture directional light and render it in real-time, mimicking the way the human eye sees. The end result? Sumptuous-looking next generation games.

We’re heard a lot about ray tracing before, but this is the first time any detail has been shed on the PS5’s graphical capabilities. The only other information we have is a slim trailer for Godfall, PS5’s first confirmed launch-day exclusive, alongside generic trailers for other cross-gen games. 

Microsoft has also revealed the Xbox Series X is incorporating sound in what’s been described as “audio ray-tracing” to mimic the way we hear sounds coming from different directions. WIll the PS5 follow suit? We hope so, based on Sony exec Jim Ryan’s belief the PS5 will have an audio boost comparable to the leap in graphics quality between the PS2 and the PS3.

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Matt Evans

Matt Evans now works for sister brand TechRadar, covering all things relating to fitness and wellness. He came to as staff writer before moving on, and was previously on Men's Health, and slightly counterintuitively, a website devoted to the consumption of Scotch whiskey. In his free time, he could often be found with his nose in a book until he discovered the Kindle.