The PS5's lead architect Mark Cerny has provided an incredibly detailed presentation regarding the design philosophies for the upcoming console, giving us some insight as to just what will be inside the box at launch.
Initially planned as a talk for now-postponed GDC, it's understandably dense and riddled with techno-jargon. Those hoping for the typical hype words and feature reveals are likely to have a sour taste in their mouth at the end of the 52-minute video.
There's a lot of in-depth discussion throughout, designed for developers more than consumers, however a number of insights into the consoles features were mentioned.
The console will feature a 10.2 teraflop GPU consisting of 36 CUs at 2.23GHz capable of variable frequency. It's here that Cerny pointed out that figures like teraflops don't necessarily represent a console's true processing potential.
"This continuous improvement in AMD technology means its dangerous to rely on teraflops as an absolute indicator of performance, and CU count should be avoided as well," said Cerny. "In the case of CPUs, we all understand this. The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 each have 8 CPUs but we never think that meant the capabilities and performance are equal."
It should be noted that the Xbox Series X is boasting a 12 teraflop GPU.
The PlayStation 5 will feature a custom SSD with 825GB of storage, with expandable storage available via NVMe SSD. There's also the option to store PS4 games on an external HDD connected via USB.
Backwards compatibility was only discussed regarding PS4, and it was noted that some patches and updates would be necessary. Cerny stated that almost all the top 100 titles (as ranked by play time) should be available to play at the console's release.
The final point discussed by Cerny involved the capabilities of 3D audio in the next generation of gaming. Part of the PS5's chipset is what Sony has dubbed the Tempest Engine, capable of delivering more complex audio algorithms than ever before.
Comparisons were made to the PSVR's audio capabilities, which offered "fifty pretty decent sound sources." Using the Tempest Engine, the PS5 would be capable of producing "something like five thousand sound sources" if applying the PSVR's algorithm. "Of course we want to use more complex algorithms," Cerny noted, "and we don't need anything like that number of sounds."
In short, the Tempest Engine will be to gaming audio what the 4K TV was to 720p resolution.
There's certainly a lot to dig through from the full talk, but it definitely looks like Sony is focusing on more than just "make the graphics better!"
For those wanting to bask in the glorious words of Cerny himself, check out the full video below.