PS5 Will Have Solid-State Drives: Here’s Why That's Important

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In an interview with Wired, lead architect of the long-awaited PlayStation 5 Mark Cerny confirmed that the next-gen console will support what he calls "3D audio" - something he says will "make you feel more immersed in the game as sounds come at you from above, from behind, and from the side".

While Cerny was not ready to talk about details like a price or release date, he did tell Wired that the coming console will not be ready by the end of 2019.

We're waiting patiently for news of the next generation of consoles, but that news is slow to trickle through.

However, the story's author Peter Rubin later confirmed on Twitter that he had asked Cerny about the potential cost of the PS5, and his answer was unsurprisingly cryptic. It's possible Sony itself has not yet made a final decision; the platform holder could always sell the box at a loss if it believes it to be necessary, which would mean a cheaper price.

One of the things the new system is boasting about is about attempting to be the first console that is able to incorporate ray tracing, "a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments".

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Update: PS5 will also have a disc drive. It's based on the company's 7-nanometer process, like the Radeon VII introduced at CES this year, but is expected to have a better power profile than AMD's graphics processors traditionally have. "While the effect will require no external hardware-it will work through TV speakers and visual surround sound-he allows that the "gold standard" will be headphone audio". This is also the first time we have officially heard anything about the next generation console.

While Sony isn't giving details on the SSD specifications, Cerny hinted at the possibility of propriety tech at play. According to Wired, fast-travelling between locations in Insomniac's Spider-Man on a PS4 Pro took 15 seconds. Since it's "partly based on current architecture", it'll also be backward compatible with PS4 games. While on a PS5 dev kit with SSD, Spiderman loads in just about 1.5s.

So it's not just a question of simply slapping an SSD into the system, Sony is claiming that it, presumably alongside AMD, has developed the input/output system to offer something over and above what you'd get from simply dropping some NAND flash into a console.

The rest of the specs seem decent, but performance-wise we'll have to wait until Sony's official reveal to see how they'll look in practice.