Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the PS4, sat down with Wired to discuss details about the next-gen release. Unlike the PS4 Pro (which was just a buffed refresh of the original), the upcoming iteration will boast significant upgrades, including graphical capabilities that were never achievable on a gaming console. This is thanks to an eight-core CPU based on AMD's third-gen Ryzen chipset and a custom GPU based on AMD's Radeon Navi graphics card. Basically, it will be pretty damn powerful.
Having a penchant for sound, Cerny asserts that a large amount of focus is being placed on the audio experience for the next PlayStation. "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," he said. "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 support it." That "dream" will manifest in a custom 3D audio unit, which will be embedded in the GPU. This will allow for a more immersive experience for TV, surround sound, and headphones.
Other features include 8K resolution support, future-proofing the device. The new console will also be backwards compatible with PS4 games (meaning your copy of Red Dead will still be valid), as well as the current PSVR device. The hard drives will be replaced with faster SSD's, meaning sluggish loading screens may soon become a thing of the past (a transition in Spider-Man that took 15 seconds on the current PlayStation only took 0.8 seconds on a "slow" version of the next-gen hardware).
As far as whether we're calling this iteration the PlayStation 5, Wired writes, "For now, Cerny responds to that question—and many others—with an enigmatic smile."