Live PlayStation 5 Event Debuts 'Geometry Engine' Graphics, Virtual Surround Sound, and Much More

Sony's PlayStation 5 will offer a complete suite of new audio and visual advances, covered in this in-depth livestream.
Brad Bergan
An early prototype of the PS5. Source: LetsGoDigital / WikiMedia

The long-awaited PlayStation 5 itself has yet to debut, but a presentation of its new specs streamed live on YouTube.

We're edging closer to the next generation of gaming.


PlayStation 5 debuts next-gen visual and audio tech

This is it! The "Road to PS5" stream — hosted by PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny — was heavy on the technical, with graphs and numbers leaving many dazed and frankly confused on what to take home from the experience.

No new games were demoed, which suggests that the live stream had developers in mind as an audience, instead of gamers. New additions included paradigmatic shifts in balancing GPU, CPU, and power, and also 3D audio enhancements, each incorporating power to achieve a new level of immersive gaming.

The key new specs — according to Tech Radar — for the PlayStation 5 include:

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU featuring 8 cores at 3.5 GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23 GHz (variable frequency)
  • GPU architecture: Custom RDNA 2
  • Memory interface: 16GB GDDR6 / 256-bit
  • Memory bandwidth: 448 GB/s
  • Internal Storage: Custom 825 GB SSD
  • IO throughput: 5.5 GB/s (raw), typical 8-9 GB/s (compressed)
  • Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot
  • External storage: USB HDD support (PS4 games only)
  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive

Of course, the PlayStation 5 will be backward-compatible to PlayStation 4 games, according to Cerny.

PS5 GPU CPU Specs Sony
A new arrangement of GPU and CPU with power supply will support 10.3 Teraflops. Source: PlayStation / YouTube

Sony is committed to custom silicon, focusing on increasing gaming abilities to next-gen level, but this could leave developers — who have grown comfortable with developing on the PS4 platform — feeling alienated, reports Tech Radar. For the PS3, custom hardware made it difficult for developers to do their job, but the PS5 is slated to solve this paradox, Tech Radar reports.

The console developer also plans to use new auto-rendering technology, called a geometry engine, which performs "primitive shading." This allows the game to "synthesize geometry on the fly, as it's being rendered." This will allow a smoothly-varying level of detail, improvement of particle effects, and other special effects.

SSDs steal the show

The SSD is key to the new PlayStation 5 experience, said Tech Radar. Internal storage will be built for 825 GB to support the custom SSD — less than gamers can find in the Xbox Series X, but not lacking the cleverness in the execution of this technology.

SSDs aren't about speed. Instead, they allow for bigger and more open worlds, in theory, said Tech Radar. With SSDs, developers can opt for building their in-game dream world, instead of limiting world building to the constraints of mechanical hard drives — allowing for a more pragmatic use of system memory.

SSDs also have more bandwidth, which means data can be loaded from the SSD whenever needed, instead of loading potentially needless data into RAM.

This means that games will suffer less slowdown from texture pop-ins, and load times will be significantly reduced during a game's fast-travel option. Additionally, booting up the system from standby should also go faster.

With the rise of the CoViD-19 coronavirus pandemic, any distraction from the new status quo is welcome, and — even if it's a bit dense — many are pleased to think about all the new features in store for the PlayStation 4, once Sony releases it later this year.

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