Though we haven’t gotten official word that Sony is at work on a PlayStation 5, reports seem to indicate that we should be keeping our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for just such an announcement. On Tuesday morning, Wired shared details from an exclusive conversation with the company’s in-house video game system architect Mark Cerny about what’s coming down the pike in the world of PlayStation.
Before we carry forth, let’s temper our nerves just a bit: PlayStation 5, or whatever it’ll be called, won’t be making its debut in 2019. That said, we shouldn’t expense excitement altogether. Cerny, who was instrumental in developing PlayStation 4, painted a picture of something that’ll showcase notably improvements on his last endeavor for Sony.
Many of these improvements will land in the realm of the aesthetic. Cerny told Wired that the so-called “next-generation” PlayStation will support 8K graphics and will be implementing ray tracing technology—something that would be revolutionary for the video game industry—which will allow for substantial improvements as far as how the console renders light, and will also, per Cerny, be an asset for the development team in testing a given game’s capacity for sound. After putting audio on the backburner during the shift from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4, Cerny and his team are prioritizing the evolution of game audio as a step toward a more immersive gaming experience.
Most of the additional advancements Cerny teased in his chat with Wired veered technical. For instance, the introduction of a solid-state hard drive is good news for playing speed, in terms of matters like load times and world rendering as well as of those like character mobility. One of the tests in the Wired article reduced fast travel load time in Insomniac’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game from 15 seconds to 0.8 seconds. But as far as more straightforward revelations, we do know that the proverbial PlayStation 5 won’t exclusively accept downloadable games and as such will be compatible with physical media, and, separately, may also involve a conditional VR component. Best of all, because the system is partly based on the PS4’s architecture, the next-gen console will be backwards-compatible with PS4 games.
We have lots yet to learn about the PS5, but we’re excited by what we know so far.