Sony reveals details about its next console after PS4


Sony's next console – which isn't expected to succeed the PS4 Pro (pic) before next year – is implementing SSD hardware to cut down painfully long load times to a fraction of a second. — dpa

Sony's next console – which isn't expected to succeed the PS4 Pro (pic) before next year – is implementing SSD hardware to cut down painfully long load times to a fraction of a second. — dpa

For its next console after the PS4, Sony says it wants to tackle a problem gamers have been struggling with for a long time: load times.

Due to the massive amounts of data needed to run the latest blockbuster video games, consoles are struggling to keep gameplay fluid, and load times when "fast travelling" to new places in a game can sometimes last more than a minute.

But Sony's new PlayStation – which isn't expected before next year – has apparently cracked the code with new hardware it demonstrated to the tech reporters at Wired magazine.

According to a Wired report on April 16, the company showed how the new console was able to load a new game location in Spider Man in just 0.8 seconds, something the latest PS4 Pro could only do in 15 seconds.

All this is apparently made possible by a specialised SSD, which had previously been considered impossible in a console, but a technology that Sony has apparently been able to implement after four years' work on the new console.

If these load times are for real, then that will probably change a lot of the gaming landscape. "We're very used to flying logos at the start of the game and graphic-heavy selection screens," says Mark Cerny, the new console's lead systems architect told Wired. But these logos only exist to prevent players from getting bored.

Other features of the new PlayStation – which is yet unnamed – will be a new CPU and GPU for better graphic and visual effects. And the console will also have an impressive new surround sound system for better immersion during gaming.

Not much else is known about the new console, such as what will change in the controllers or even if it will be called the PS5.

But what is clear is that Sony's latest will likely face steep competition in the form of several forthcoming game streaming platforms that are promising top graphics on cheap hardware.

Google and Apple are both launching new Netflix-like cloud gaming platforms this year, which are expected to be serious competition for traditional consoles. – dpa