The PlayStation 4 has been a titan of this console generation, selling a whopping 94.2 million units since its 2013 release and slowly crawling to the 100 million mark. But, according to Sony, The PS4 and PS4 pro are officially at the end of their life cycles.

The only thing left is to wait for the anticipated successor, the Playstation 5, name subject to change (though logic would dictate that’s the likely name). With all the rumors, leaks and official statements, here is what we know about the PS5.

What are the specs?

In an exclusive interview with Wired, Sony’s lead system architect, Mark Cerny revealed that the PS5 would be a drastic change of machinery with a CPU based on AMD’s third-generation Ryzen line, with 8 cores of the new 7nm Zen 2 micro-architecture.

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, commonly used in Hollywood visual effects.

Cerny had also noted ray tracing being used in audio application.

“If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that. It’s all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.” 

The AMD chip also includes a custom 3D audio unit that would allow for a more immersive audio experience which would work on all devices, but states that headphone audio to be the “gold standard.”

The PS5 will also be implementing new SSD instead of HDD, which Cerny believes to be a “true game changer” which would result in improved loading times, shortened fast travel time and faster world rendering, all while supporting both 4k and 8K gaming.

No details of the VR capabilities were shared but Cerny had mentioned it being a priority, and that the current PSVR is compatible with the new console.

Will it have backwards compatibility?

Short answer: Yes! Rumors had been fueled by a patent filed in 2017 and later published in this year on Jan 31 by Sony. Cerny, who is listed as an inventor in the patent, had confirmed that the PS5 will have backwards compatibility for PS4 games. There will also be physical discs, subsiding the concern that the PS5 would be download-only.

When will it release?

Cerny did not state a specific release window but had refuted a possible 2019 release, contrary to previous speculation. According to Thurrott, Microsoft will be releasing their next-gen platform in 2020, so it’s safe to assume the PS5 would be released around the same time frame to compete.

In conclusion, with the hype around the PS5 and Microsoft’s next-gen console, the console arms-race for our living rooms has begun again.

What do you think on the PS5’s impressive hardware? Are you PS or Xbox person? Let us know in the comments below.