Sony has put off holding this year’s edition of the E3 press conference — a departure from its usual practice — but the brand has been revealing parts of its next-gen PlayStation console, gradually. The PlayStation 5 will come with support for 3D audio, 8K graphics, SSD storage as well as backwards compatibility with currently available PS 4 titles. That solid-state drive (SSD) storage should be able to bring a significant boost to load times, and the Tokyo, Japan-headquartered manufacturer showed some demos of that quite recently.
The corporation, during a Sony investor relations meeting (PDF), showed demonstrations of PlayStation 5 load times with the use of the popular title, Spider-Man, to load cities and navigate throughout them, rapidly. Though the PlayStation 4 requires about 8 seconds in loading a Spider-Man level, its upcoming next-gen sibling, the PS5, achieves the same feat in less than 1 second. The PlayStation 5 also has the ability to handle dynamic maps loading portions of a game better, as a player navigates throughout them to stay clear of the classic spinning circle or to pause while moving from one part of a map to the other.
Sony might be shifting its attention to its next-generation PS 5 console; however, the maker confirms that the PS4 will “remain the engine of engagement and profitability in the next three years,” adding that early adopters for the next generation of PlayStation are in the works. Also, the company previously hinted that the PlayStation 5 will be powered by an 8-core CPU, which is based on the 3rd-gen Ryzen line of AMD, which will include a GPU with support for ray-tracing graphics. (Though no demos of ray-tracing on the PS5 have been released by Sony as of yet.)
We are still keeping our ears peeled for the PS5’s pricing alongside its release dates (unfortunately, the release is not slated for the next 12 months), and games to feature on it as well as the general user experience. Sony, however, has started revealing bits of information on how it regards cloud gaming to be part of the next generation. The company will try to leverage its currently available PlayStation Now network in a bid to provide support for 1080p and beyond titles, while bringing improvements to the quality of content and optimizing what it considers to be its “off-console opportunity.”
PlayStation Now has drawn the ire of critics who pillory the network for its lack of content, especially in comparison with offerings such as the Xbox Game Pass, but it is apparent Sony considers it as playing a key role in the next-gen console ecosystem. The company envisions the rapid expansion of PlayStation Now beyond its capacity to provide support for 5 million subscribers, an ambition that has seen the company partner with the New Mexico corporation, Microsoft, to help in achieving scale.
Though cloud gaming remains a focus of Sony, the brand avers that it still considers gamer choice as important for its next-generation console. During a particular slide, it even gave a hint that the PlayStation 5 may feature a Blu-ray drive and come with support for downloads and streaming. So far, the maker has only officially stated the upcoming console will have support for discs.