The PlayStation 5 is anticipated to be the Bugatti of gaming consoles. Sony has already revealed plans to trick out its next-generation system with the same swanky hardware that typically powers high-caliber PC rigs. On Tuesday morning, the company gave some Sony investors the first glimpse of the future console’s capabilities.
The glimpse came during a company corporate strategy meeting, where Sony gave attendees a preview of just how quickly the PS5 will be able to render detailed graphics. It was reportedly a brief demonstration, but still enough to demonstrate sufficiently that the PS5 will be able to load 3D cityscapes in the blink of an eye. When compared to the 2016 PS4 Pro’s performance, the difference should be shocking.
The best sneak peak comes courtesy of Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, who tweeted footage of the test which shows the PS5 rendering imagery at roughly ten times the speed of the PS4 Pro. The presentation and demo was summarized in a slideshow that was subsequently published by the company.
As part of the demonstration, the company first had a virtual camera travel through a model city and take pictures at increasingly rapid speeds. The PS4 Pro struggled with the challenge, while the PS5 seamlessly rendered picture after picture of the digital streets without as much as a stutter. It then displayed that how the PS5 is able to render a full 3D scene in less than a second, compared to the eight seconds it took the PS4 Pro.
This performance has two key components to thank. The PS5 is powered by a custom-made solid-state drive (SSD) from AMD, and its graphics are further enhanced by an AMD-made GPU that supports an advanced rendering technique known as ray tracing. Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the PS4, confirmed this next-generation hardware will be at the heart of Sony’s new console in April. But that’s only half of the plan for the PlayStation’s next chapter.
PS5: Cloud Gaming Will Play a Big Role
While the company began the presentation by flexing its hardware, it also touched on the pivotal role cloud gaming will play in the coming years. In this regard, Sony’s goal is to provide access to a library of games regardless of whether customers own a console, much like what Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud will offer. But for the PS 5 to achieve this vision, it’s going to need some help.
Sony reported that its existing PS Now cloud streaming service now has 5.6 million active users, and is available in 19 countries. That alone has been enough for Sony to reach the capacity of its cloud infrastructure, which is precisely why it recently inked a deal with Microsoft.
It’s clear why Sony was interested in the deal. xCloud will be based on Microsoft’s powerful Azure data center infrastructure, which is already available in 140 countries. As soon as the ink dries, it now seems like Sony’s cloud gaming efforts will be available from these servers, too. This deal will open up PS Now to millions of new customers that Sony couldn’t reach before, and improve the quality of streams they’ll receive.
The PS5 seems set to offer gamers industry-leading hardware. But it also looks like the system will be able to offer improved cloud streaming service thanks to the Microsoft partnership. Sony seems to have exciting plans for console traditionalists, but it’s also clear that Sony isn’t going to sleep on the cloud gaming trend, either.