PlayStation 5: Sony confirms first specs of next-gen 'game-changer'

Sony has confirmed it's working on the PlayStation 5 and has revealed the first details about the next-gen console's hardware.

Its system architect, Mark Cerny, spoke with Wired about the console, which he calls "a true game changer" that "allows for fundamental changes in what a game can be".

The console, which isn't officially titled 'PlayStation 5' yet, will feature a solid-state drive (SSD), backwards compatibility with PS4 games, and is likely to be released in 2020.

Cerny says the next-gen PlayStation will support 8K graphics and virtual reality functionality, too.

Tech experts will be interested in the details of what SSD Sony will put in the PlayStation 5, but so far that remains secret - but Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD currently on the market for PCs.

He was more forthcoming with the tech specs of the next-gen console's brain.

"The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD's Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company's new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. 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," reports Wired.

"While ray tracing is a staple of Hollywood visual effects and is beginning to worm its way into high-end processors and Nvidia's recently announced RTX line, no game console has been able to manage it. Yet."

Microsoft, Sony's primary competitor in the gaming console market, is also reportedly working on a next-gen family of consoles that are also said to be launched in 2020, while Google's push into the gaming market with streaming service Stadia is set to debut this year.

The PlayStation 4 was announced at an event in New York in February 2013, before the unit was released in November of that year.

Following the Wired article, more details on Sony's next-gen PlayStation console will likely be announced soon.