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PS5 Hardware Reveal Round-Up: SSD, Backward Compatibility, Audio, and More

PlayStation recently hosted the first deep dive into the PlayStation 5’s system architecture and various specs. Initially, this presentation was meant to be showcased at GDC 2020 before its cancellation, but now being readily available in a digital format makes a lot of the information easier to digest. Unfortunately, while no games or form of Sony’s next-gen console was touched upon, we now have our first real look at the hardware powering the PS5.

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It’s rather difficult to completely summarize everything that the PS5 architect, Mark Cerny, went over in the presentation, but here’s the laymen details for Sony’s next-gen hardware. Cerny began his talk by mentioning that no games will be shown at the presentation as it’s meant to be a closer look at the hardware, first and foremost.

Firstly, Cerny touched on PS5’s SSD and how it compared to the PS4’s HDD. For the PS5, the load time has significantly increased, more than doubling the speed. The advantages of the SSD, in summary, includes:

– Faster load
– No load screens
– Ultra High-Speed Streaming
– De-duplicate game data
– No long patch installs

Next, the architect touched upon something that’s become quite relatable to most PS4 owners at the moment: the dreaded “copying” stages right after a new update is installed. RAM utilization seems to be fair more balanced and geared towards working on the game’s behalf for the PS5, though.

Impressively, the PS5’s SSD will be 825GB, and will be able to load 5.5GB in a second, naturally making it 100 times faster I/O than PS4.

Cerny went on to (finally) talk about the backward compatibility of the PS5, but left us with a little disheartening news. At the moment, the PS5 will only be backward compatible with a select few PS4 games (apparently being “the top 100 PS4 games”) at launch. This means that the previous rumours about PS5 having backward compatibility stretching back to PS1 was false, or at least an exaggeration.

Cerny closed off the presentation by looking over Sony’s ambitious goals for audio on PS5. So far, it’s promising incredible dimensionality using hundreds of advanced sound sources.

If you want to get just a little more technical about the sound…

Sony delivered on a spec-focused presentation, but it left a lot to be desired for the average consumer who may have tuned in to find this great wall of specs and hardware jargon. On the plus side, this means that Sony and Xbox’s next-gen hardware details are now out in the open, so we’ll patiently be waiting the PS5’s form reveal as well as the exciting potential of upcoming games. Head over to Eurogamer for a more in-depth breakdown. If you’d like to watch the entire presentation, check it out below:

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