Sony has again provided some new details on its next-generation console, which is still without a name but is of course we’re referring to as the PlayStation 5. As part of Sony’s Corporate Strategy Meeting this week, the company discussed at a high level what it hopes to achieve in the future across its various business units, including PlayStation. Among other things, this has afforded us a fresh look at just how much faster load times could potentially be on the new hardware.
The two keywords for PlayStation going forward are “immersive” and “seamless,” Sony said. Concerning hardware, Sony said its next-generation console, the PS5, will offer an “immersive experience created by dramatically increased graphics rendering speeds.”
This will be made possible through the “employment of further improved computational power and a customized ultra-fast, broadband SSD,” Sony said.
Overall, the PlayStation 5–or whatever Sony ends up calling its new console–will offer experiences that “greatly exceed” what is possible on PS4 and PS4 Pro. Sony said people can expect “completely transformative and immersive gaming experiences” on the PS5.
One of the features that PlayStation system architect Mark Cerny talked about for the PS5 is how its use of solid-state drives will reduce loading screen times.
Cerny pointed out that the fast travel loading screen in Spider-Man on PS4 took roughly 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro, but less than one second on a dev kit for the PS5. Given that the new hardware will be backwards compatible with older games, that means your load times will likely be reduced across the board when you upgrade. Check out the video below from The Wall Street Journal report Takashi Mochizuki who is attending the Sony event today to see the faster load times in action.
Cerny also talked about how the PS5 will allow for faster rendering, which means more environmental objects and textures will populate at a faster rate. In the presentation today, Sony said the PS5 will offer “many new features” beyond these advancements to loading and rendering, though none were mentioned.
Also during the presentation, Sony said it expects the PS4 to reach sales of 100 million units by the end of the 2019 calendar year. PS4 sales currently stand at 96.8 million systems sold. PlayStation Network has 94 million monthly active users, the company said.
Additionally, Sony management talked about how streaming will play a big role in the PlayStation brand going forward. The PS5 will support Remote Play functionality, Sony confirmed, while management also said it’s looking to its new deal with Microsoft for cloud-gaming solutions to play a role in the company’s future success in that area. Sony of course already operates the PlayStation Now streaming service (which has 700,000 subscribers by Sony’s latest count), but it appears the company has bigger and bolder plans in the future.
Sony is not attending E3 2019 next month, so the company presumably won’t be announcing the PlayStation 5 there. The PlayStation 5 will have an “appealing” price point given its specs, according to Cerny, but there is no ballpark estimate yet regarding what the price may be.
As for the release date of the PlayStation 5, Sony has said it will not release in the next fiscal year, which means it won’t launch April 2020 at the soonest.
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