PS5 Hardware Specs Ray Tracing PlayStation 5 1
Image: Gizmodo

We’ve published a lot of information on the PlayStation 5 today, but you may be wondering about the console’s hardware specifications. Well, according to a new Wired article, the system’s built upon an AMD chip as expected. “The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture,” the article reads. “The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments.”

Ray tracing is the headline here, as it’s the kind of technology used in major Hollywood movies to generate big budget visual effects. While this is becoming more common in PCs now, you could be spending upwards of $1,000 to process it. In other words: this is unprecedented new territory for a consumer console.

Wired explains why ray tracing is so important: “Ray tracing’s immediate benefits are largely visual. Because it mimics the way light bounces from object to object in a scene, reflective surfaces and refractions through glass or liquid can be rendered much more accurately, even in real-time, leading to heightened realism.” We’ve included an example from Battlefield V below:

Ray Tracing PS5 PlayStation 5 1

Of course, the benefits of ray tracing expand beyond mere graphics. “If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players’ footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that,” system architect Mark Cerny explained. “It's all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment.” This goes hand-in-hand with our other article, about how the PS5 will innovate using a new 3D audio chip.

Look, we don’t understand everything that we’re reading about the PS5’s specs, and there’s still more to be announced – like, how much memory the device will have. But the bottom line is that this is a beast – it’s not an incremental PS4 Pro-style upgrade, but a next-gen leap. Expect first-party games to look absolutely sublime on this thing.