PS5 GPU is capable of hardware-accelerated ray tracing, optical drive supports 4K Blu-rays

By Sherif Saed, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 13:42 GMT

Sony has revealed a number of key details about the hardware inside the PS5.

As announced earlier today, Sony’s next console is the PlayStation 5. In a Wired preview, the platform holder officially spilled out a few bits and pieces about the hardware in the next-generation console.

Though Sony previously confirmed that PS5 is capable of ray tracing, system architect Mark Cerny has today clarified that the console’s GPU supports the feature at the hardware level, dispelling rumours that the console would instead be doing so via software.

Cerny also revealed an interesting benefit of having an SSD inside the console. PS5 will theoretically be capable of installing certain sections of games individually, such as starting out with just the single-player campaign. Although you can sort of do this today on PS4, most games require a full installation.

You’ll also be able to delete one mode without affecting the others, and it’s all thanks to how the data will be structured on the SSD.

Taking advantage of the immediacy an SSD provides, the PS5’s UI will not only be faster to operate, it’ll also incorporate features not possible on current hardware. Without launching a game, the console’s UI will allow players to join in-game online activities or find out what rewards await them by finishing certain single-player missions.

Generally speaking, the PS5 UI will be capable of surfacing a lot of the information you typically have to find within the games themselves.

Outside of core hardware, Cerny confirmed that PS5 will not ditch the Blu-ray player. The PS5’s optical player will, finally, be capable of playing 4K Blu-ray discs, something Sony elected not to support in PS4 Pro.

By the same token, games will be able to make use of 100GB discs. That said, Cerny couldn’t say how big the PS5’s SSD is going to be.

As part of the same preview, Sony talked a little bit about the revamped controller. Though it wasn’t ready to share too many specifics, the company confirmed the arrival of haptic feedback, a first for a PlayStation controller.

PS5 launches sometime in holiday 2020.

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