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First Official PS5 Features Revealed, Including Backwards Compatibility and Ray Tracing

Ray tracing, backwards compatibility, more power than ever before - the new PlayStation will be a beast.
This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information

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Talk of what’s next for the upcoming generation in gaming has been ramping up over the past several months, and for good reason! With more and more evidence mounting at a 2020 launch for the beginning of next gen, the industry is alight with what could be next. Luckily, we have more than just rumors and vague reports, we have a direct confirmation from Sony about what the PlayStation 5 (“unnamed console”) will have to offer. 

In an exclusive interview with Wired, it was revealed that the upcoming console is “no mere upgrade,” but instead a total overhaul of what the PlayStation brand has to offer. One aspect of the Xbox One that so many enjoyed was the ability to go back and play older favorites – even dating back to the first Xbox – for free if the game was already owned. While PlayStation had a similar means to play on nostalgia, players were still forced to re-buy their favorites, making the Xbox One take more popular. Looks like Sony learned of the fan desire for this feature, because backwards compatability was just one of the features listed. 

According to Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the new PlayStation, the next-gen console (which he was careful not to ever call it the PS5) won’t be arriving this year, but he didn’t shoot down the 2020 leak that went live earlier this month. Cerny also confirmed that a number of studios have also been working on titles for the next step as the need for devkits has continued to speed up. 

Cerny mentioned that it was his job to integrate what developers and fans alike wanted to see in the future of the console. Below are just a few highlights for what’s to come: 

  • CPU based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line, 8 cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture
  • GPU is a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi, excelled support for 3D enivornments, ray tracing
  • Increase in system memory and size
  • Solid State Drives for faster performance

“If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that,” said Cerny about how the technology goes beyond just graphics. “It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.”

“As a gamer,” he added about the AMD, “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.”

The purpose of many of these upgrades, according to Cerny, is for the player to feel “totally immersed” in the game experience like never before. From integration with outside audio aid, to what the console itself can do, there is so much more that the PlayStation 5 will have to offer according to the latest revelation. 

To learn even more about what the next generation will have to offer, you can read the full report here. 

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Image of Liana Ruppert
Liana Ruppert
With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Liana is wildly passionate about all things in the gaming community. From shooters, to RPGs, if it's out - she's playing it. A medically retired US Sailor and now full-time hoarder of gaming collectibles, Liana's passion for everything in the gaming industry is palpable. Also, if you lose her in a crowd, just casually mention any BioWare game and the crazy pterodactyl screech will without a doubt follow. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy or email her for editorial inquiries at [email protected]!