Sony’s PS5 Presentation Was Not for You, and That’s Okay

The industry contains multitudes, and sometimes they need to have a conversation.

Today Sony held a “Road to PS5” presentation on its YouTube channel that was meant to basically replace the company’s cancelled Game Developers Conference presentation following the event’s being postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

The presentation was given by console architect Mark Cerny, and broke down how the PlayStation 5 is being made to be easy to develop for, and helped contextualize these things by comparing how the company’s design philosophy has changed since the days of the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and so on.

But also, as we assumed yesterday, it was certainly not for a general audience looking for more exciting news on the PlayStation 5. While yes, Sony said as much yesterday, certain communities on the internet with a constant need to make everything about them are having a normal one about it because they were hoping for the equivalent of a State of Play presentation with new games and a look at the console.

Sony has been uncharacteristically quiet about the PlayStation 5 since the company announced it last year, so it makes sense that some people might be getting antsy waiting to hear more about the console. Especially when Microsoft has had some flashier reveals for the Xbox Series X over the past few months. But Sony does have to have these kinds of presentations and conversations as it ramps up to launch, as companies need to be planning to develop on new hardware after seven years of working on the PlayStation 4. Is there something to be said about the order of operations Sony seems to be working with? Yeah, maybe. It can be frustrating if you’re waiting to hear more about the future of games and all you’re hearing is specs information and tech jargon that means very little to you as a consumer. But it’s important to remember that not everything that happens in the world of video games is for everyone who exists in the world of video games.

But that’s not to say there wasn’t some information that is relevant to players. Here’s a breakdown of the consumer-facing information revealed during Cerny’s presentation:

  • PlayStation 4 games will be backwards compatible on PS5, however, it won’t support all games at launch, and will have to roll out on a game-by-game basis. There was no word on whether or not PlayStation 1-3 games would be playable on the system.
  • The first backwards compatible games will be the “top 100” games on PS4 determined by playtime.
  • The PlayStation 5’s SSD will help shorten install times for updates and game downloads.

We also got a full breakdown of the PlayStation 5’s specs, as well as comparison between it and the PlayStation 4, courtesy of Eurogamer:

CPU PS5: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency) PS4: 8x Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz
GPU PS5: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency) PS4: 1.84 TFLOPs, 18 CUs at 800MHz
GPU Architecture PS5: Custom RDNA 2 PS4: Custom GCN
Memory/Interface PS5: 16GB GDDR6/256-bit PS4: 8GB GDDR5/256-bit
Memory Bandwidth PS5: 448GB/s PS4: 176GB/s
Internal Storage PS5: Custom 825GB SSD PS4: 500GB HDD
IO Throughput PS5: 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed) PS4: Approx 50-100MB/s (dependent on data location on HDD)
Expandable Storage PS5: NVMe SSD Slot PS4: Replaceable internal HDD
External Storage PS5: USB HDD Support PS4: USB HDD Support
Optical Drive PS5: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive PS4: Blu-ray Drive