A Few Thoughts on the PlayStation 5

Last week, Sony released an…unusual video detailing the PlayStation 5’s technical specifications. And by “unusual,” I mean plain ol’ odd and even a little unsettling, what with Lead System Architect Mark Cerny standing in a “theater” next to a stilted Powerpoint presentation. And by “detailed,” I mean d-e-t-a-i-l-e-d. The announcement dove straight into the depths of tech specs like I’ve never seen before. And though it remains unfortunate that we still don’t know what the PS5 is going to look like, the video nonetheless proved that Sony is more than ready to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. 

Video from YouTube User Playstation

Unlike with Microsoft’s reveal of the Xbox Series X’s tech specs, I didn’t come away with a grand mission statement for the PS5. Could be because it seemed Sony’s video might have been aimed more at developers than the general public. But if one thing was music to my eyes, as noted on Sony’s PlayStation blog, it’s that the PS5 will offer backwards compatibility with PS4 games. In recent times, the PS4 has become far and away my most favorite and most played console. And the though of replacing it with a more powerful console on which I can still play all me favorite PS4 games is really enticing. But, as I noted in my Xbox Series X post, I’m still left with the issue of my older, non-4K TV, which I intend to keep for as long as it functions. Hooking up ALL THE GAMING POWER to it probably won’t make much difference to my eyes.

But, there’s another important PS5 detail that could help me deal with my biggest PS4 gripe about how darn long it takes for its games to load. Every. Single. Time. I load nearly any games onto my (original) PS4, I’m brought back to that old memory of the days when games use to load practically on command. Add to that the sheer length of time it takes to download and update a brand new games, and those warn, fuzzy feelings of cartridge nostalgia become hot enough to burn my very soul while waiting for said downloads and updates. But the PS5 might just ease all that pain with its super fast data transfer speeds of 5.5GB per second (raw) and 8-9GB per second (compressed). Those number are more than double to what the XSX has with its speeds of 2.4GB per second (raw) and 4.8GB per second (compressed).

While the last gen might have been all about touting great graphics, this next gen seems to be all about speed. And graphics. And other things. But still…speed. As noted in the same PlayStation blog post:

…PS5’s ultra-high-speed SSD and integrated custom I/O system were developed with the goal of removing barriers to play – specifically loading screens. Developers are able to stream assets into PS5 games at an incredibly fast rate, so PS5 play experiences can be seamless and dynamic, with near-instantaneous fast travel through large game worlds. This enhanced speed will enable game developers to create larger, richer worlds without traditional limitations, such as load times, and also allows gamers to spend more time gaming than waiting.

Just like with the XSX, while exciting, none of this is enough to make my household jump on the PS5 bandwagon just yet. But my own compulsion towards my PS4 certainly makes me a more biased towards Sony’s new offering than less. However, as we were thinking about the possibility of getting an XSX, the though occurred of where it might gone in our gaming room setup. All the spaces we have are designed, quite specifically, for the flat, rectangular consoles that we’re all used to. (Except for Nintendo, those rascally rapscallions on console design!) Microsoft’s PC-tower-approach with the XSX, though it can be laid on its side, presents to us a challenge. It will be interesting to see if the PS5 presents a similar one…whenever they finally decide to let the public view just what it has under its sleeve.

[Article source: PlayStation.Blog]

Lede image © Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    I like your abbreviation for the new Xbox. I can’t believe I haven’t seen that anywhere else yet! Can I use it too? 🙂 Also, I have a explaination for why the PS5 show was so incredibly technically-oriented. See, even though Sony advertised this “reveal” event as something for the consumer, it was actually meant for developers. This is is because this is just what sony was going to show at GDC before it was cancelled. It was a presentation for developers showing them what they could do with the system’s hardware, and Sony decided that they’d try to use it as marketing for the PS5. I wouldn’t say it backfired pre se, but it has put some pressure on them to give comsumers some of the details they’ve been asking for. Stuff the rank and file can get excited for rather than just developers and those who pay attention to specifications.

    Like

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