On Wednesday, Sony finally provided a deep dive into the system architecture of the PlayStation 5. Lead system architect Mark Cerny, who also worked on the PlayStation 4, hosted a livestream on the official PlayStation YouTube channel to reveal what the PS5 is capable of. He broke down what the impressive specs for the console mean for players and developers, placing significant importance on how big an upgrade the move from hard disk drives to solid state drives will be.
The highly-anticipated console will include an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked to 3.5ghz and a custom GPU built around AMD's RDNA 2 hardware, which will provide 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units. By comparison, the PS4 could produce up to 1.84 teraflops and had eight jaguar cores clocked to 1.6GHz. In other words, it's a big leap in computing power over the previous generation of consoles. It will also have 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and an 825GB SSD that promises remarkably faster loading times.
Cerny has revealed that the SSD, which can be upgraded by users in the future, will support 5.5GB/s. "As game creators, we go from trying to distract the player from how long fast travel is taking-like those Spider-Man subway rides-to being so blindingly fast that we might even have to slow that transition down," he said.
He also took a moment to talk about backwards compatibility, although he stopped short of saying whether the PS5 will play PS1, PS2, or PS3 titles. Cerny explained that the PlayStation 5 will be compatible with the majority of PlayStation 4 titles at launch, but some games "just can't handle" the power of the console. Support for older games will be tested on a "title-by-title basis," but as of right now, he said that such testing is going well.
While the presentation didn't offer a look at the console itself or reveal a launch date, the PlayStation 5 is reportedly on track to be released this holiday season.