[UPDATE] PlayStation 5 AMD GPU Will Support Ray Tracing; 3D Audio, Backward Compatibility Confirmed

Apr 16, 2019
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[Update] AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will be powered by a custom chip with AMD’s Zen2 and Navi architecture.

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[Original Story] The PlayStation 5 has yet to be revealed officially, so there’s very little we currently know about the console. Things are changing today, however, as some of the console’s specs and features have been revealed.

In a new report posted on Wired, new details on the PlayStation 5 CPU and GPU have been confirmed. The console’s GPU will also support ray tracing.

The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments.

A custom unit for 3D audio is also going to be included in the console. According to Mark Cerny, it will redefine what sound can do in a video game.

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.

The console’s storage drive is also going to be a “little more specialized”, and much faster than the standard PS4 hard drive. The drive found in the current dev kit cuts load times considerably, and Cerny confirmed that it has raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available.

To demonstrate, Cerny fires up a PS4 Pro playing Spider-Man, a 2018 PS4 exclusive that he worked on alongside Insomniac Games. On the TV, Spidey stands in a small plaza. Cerny presses a button on the controller, initiating a fast-travel interstitial screen. When Spidey reappears in a totally different spot in Manhattan, 15 seconds have elapsed. Then Cerny does the same thing on a next-gen devkit connected to a different TV. What took 15 seconds now takes less than one: 0.8 seconds, to be exact.

Lastly, it’s been confirmed that the console will be backward compatible.

Because it’s based in part on the PS4’s architecture, it will also be backward-compatible with games for that console.

All these new details paint an incredibly interesting picture, so it will be very interesting to see where Sony wants to go with its PlayStation 5 console. We will keep you updated on it as soon as more come in on it, so stay tuned for all the latest news.

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