28 May 2020
Sony has detailed PlayStation 5 technical specifications and backward compatibility at an event live-streamed. The keynote was originally planned for Game Developers Conference (GDC) but due to Coronavirus concerns, it had to be moved to an online-only announcement. Interestingly, it revealed all the details just two days after Microsoft talked about Xbox Series X.
The PlayStation 5 is powered by an octa-core (16 threads) AMD Ryzen Zen 2 processor clocked up to 3.5GHz. It will have a 2.23GHz AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine with a ray-tracing acceleration. This will be paired with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, 825GB SSD storage with 5.5GB/s Read bandwidth, and 4K UHD Blu-ray player.
The next-gen gaming console will support 4K gaming at high frame rates but will also be compatible with 8K games. The use of high-speed SSD will result in faster loading times for games that will be a big boon for gamers. The official post says, "developers are able to stream assets into PS5 games at an incredibly fast rate, so PS5 play experiences can be seamless and dynamic, with near-instantaneous fast travel through large game worlds".
Ray tracing is one of the PlayStation 5 features that Sony is excited about. It is said to simulate light's movement as it does in real life that will help gamers have a realistic experience. These changes will be visible in different aspects of games like water, glass, light refraction, a character's hair, and much more.
As for backward compatibility. Sony is expecting PlayStation 5 to work with almost all of the top 100 PlayStation 4 games (ranked as per playtime). It says that there are over 4,000 PS4 titles and they will have to test each one of them individually. It will release a list of backward compatible titles that will keep getting updated as more and more titles will be tested.