The PlayStation 5
While many were hoping for a surprise announcement of the PlayStation 5 at E3, most media sources were pretty convinced that we wouldn’t receive any new information about the future of Sony’s console.
At this year's SALT New York conference, Jean Hynes, the CEO of Wellington Management, took to the stage to discuss the role of active management in today's investment environment. Hynes succeeded Brendan Swords as the CEO of Wellington at the end of June after nearly 30 years at the firm. Wellington is one of the Read More
It turns out they were right, as Sony’s conference focused almost exclusively around upcoming titles for the system rather than updates to or brand new systems themselves.
With the PlayStation 4 still going strong and developers pushing the architecture to its limits to create some absolutely gorgeous games, the PlayStation 5 graphics would have to be a significant bump up in order to warrant making the switch.
Anonymous sources speaking to Forbes confirmed that the PlayStation 5 is under development, and that AMD will be pretty involved in the process to bring the PlayStation 5 graphics to the next level.
PlayStation 5 Graphics
The industry sources that spoke to Forbes claimed that the PlayStation 5 graphics will utilize both AMD’s Zen+ core as well as Navi graphics architecture. The sources were less forthcoming, however, as to whether the system would run off of a SoC (system on a chip) or use separate components from Ryzen and Navi.
We don’t know much about the Navi architecture other than the fact that it’s optimized for low power envelopes such as a gaming console, but what was most interesting about the soures’ leak to Forbes was that this AMD technology was developed specifically for Sony in order to power the PlayStation 5 graphics.
The industry sources also suggest that AMD might be making a move towards focusing their business around semi-custom builds rather than producing products to sell to consumers directly.
One important aspect about this whole leak regarding AMD is the fact that these sources said nothing at all about Microsoft – perhaps suggesting that the console would bypass Navi architecture entirely. This means that the PlayStation 5 graphics may be powered by unique technology when compared to its competitors, and while it’s unlikely that they will have any sort of major edge in terms of graphics, the makeup of the system may be unique to Sony.
Another potential explanation is that Sony is much closer to a PlayStation 5 than Microsoft is to their next console. This would explain why the sources don’t have any news on that front, but it could spell major trouble for Microsoft if they don’t have an answer to Sony’s new console very soon after release.
Nintendo competes in a market of their own, but Sony and Microsoft go head to head with each generation, so launching around the same time is the only way that Microsoft an eke out an edge with this upcoming generation.
PlayStation 5 Features: What To Expect?
Many hoped for Sony to take a step into the next generation this year, or perhaps the next, but it’s looking increasingly likely that we won’t see the console until 2020. Statements from Sony executives and analysis from industry experts alike seem to concur that the PlayStation 4 has a good amount of life left in it. But what will we see with the next console outside of a jump forward with PlayStation 5 graphics?
Any sort of rumor is pure speculation at this point, but there are some ways in which Sony could improve upon their existing formula with the launch of the PlayStation 5.
One of the key advantages that Microsoft has over Sony is the fact that their console is backwards compatible with a lot of their Xbox 360 library. With the PlayStation 4, Sony has developed a library of titles that is absolutely massive, and if they were to provide PS5 users with access to key PS4 titles it’s likely that they could see a huge bump in sales.
Other rumors based on a Sony executive’s praise of the Nintendo Switch suggest that the PlayStation 5 could potentially be a portable product which would make it more of a direct competitor with Nintendo. However, a portable device isn’t capable of nearly the same power that a traditional console contains — and with news of AMD’s involvement, this suggestion is looking less and less likely.
At the end of the day, Sony has one of the most successful consoles in history with the release of the PlayStation 4. All we really need are some impressive PlayStation 5 graphics and some further refinements and the company may position themselves to win the next generation just as they’ve dominated in the current console scene.