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PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

And, no, we still don't know what it looks like...

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed
18 March 2020

The PS5 is coming later this year, and it’s going to take gaming to the next level.


Today, Sony revealed new techy details on their next console, the newest hardware to be released since the PS4 came out in 2013.


Mark Cerny, PlayStation’s ‘lead system architect’ unveiled the new core details in a livestream for game developers, revealing the tech that will impact how we play for the next few years and beyond.


The ‘Knack’ developer explained that the idea behind the PS5’s design is to “balance evolution and revolution”.


Here are what the new high-end tech specs really mean for all your next-gen gaming…


1. Lightning-fast load times

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

Enabling game developers to drive the innovation was important, revealed Cerny, in designing the console itself. And their number one request? To add a specialised SSD. Offering a 5GB per second speed - 100 times faster than the PS4’s HDD - what that really adds up to is an increased read speed, and ultimately, super-fast load times. It’ll mean that reloads are immediate, in-game fast travel is faster, and a whole game boots in a second.


2. Backwards compatibility

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

You can kiss goodbye to your PS4 (or trade it in for some handy PS5 funds), because the PS5 will support PS4 games, too. Backwards compatibility was treated as a key need throughout the design of the new hardware, Cerny confirmed. Phew.


3. 3D audio is going to make it exciting to shoot baddies in the dark

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

3D audio is going to make gaming more immersive than ever, with the audio of your game set to be heard all around you like never before. Using ‘Dead Space’ as an example, it was shown how, with the PS4, you could hear whether your enemies were hiding to the left or right, but with the PS5’s “vastly improved” 3D audio, you can hear precisely where your enemy is lurking in the dark, spin round to find it, and take them out exactly where they are.


4. ...And it’ll work on various home sound setups

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

Whether you’re using headphones, a sophisticated surround sound setup, or just your TV’s speakers, you’ll experience an elevated audio experience with the PS5, Cerny revealed. Citing headphones as the “gold standard” for 3D audio on the system, which will have the audio feature available at launch.


We can expect full multi-channel audio for gamers with home cinema sound systems later down the line. If you’re simply using your TV’s built-in speakers, we can expect firmware updates for “virtual surround sound” for the PS5 - meaning that if you’re in a “sweet spot” in front of the TV, you’ll still be able to hear sound from all directions, including behind you. Conventional audio sounds are “smashed flat by comparison”, Cerny explained.


5. You can expect personalised sound

PS5: 5 new details about the PlayStation 5 revealed

As part of that 3D audio, Sony have been working on developing HRTF for the PS5. That stands for “Head Related Transfer Function” and is basically related to how your brain specifically receives sound - having HRTF options means you can pinpoint sound more accurately. At the moment, the PS5 will offer 5 HRTF options, to best fit the sound to your own way of hearing, a bit like an eye test.


This will be developed even more specifically going forward, Cerny revealed, musing that maybe in the future you’ll play an audio game to hone in on your matching HRTF, or you might even be sending a photo of your ear to Sony for them to prescribe you the best HRTF fit for you.


We’ve seen a variation of this already, with Sony Reality 360, a 3D audio system for music which is available on Deezer and Amazon Music HD. Reality 3D Audio allows you to take a snap of your ears on your smartphone, using a calibration app.


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