Sony’s next generation PlayStation is expected to introduce major improvements that could change how games are both played and designed.
The PlayStation 5, or whatever the yet-to-be-named console will be called, will feature faster load speeds, better graphics and improved audio.
The video game console probably won’t debut this year, but Wired detailed many of its new features after an exclusive conversation with Mark Cerny, the lead system architect for the next console.
Sony wouldn’t discuss the details but released a statement to CNN Business saying that it can “officially confirm the information reported in WIRED about our next-generation console.”
Faster load speeds
Among the major changes to the gaming system is the addition of a solid-state drive (SSD), which is a storage device with very low latency. This hard drive would allow games to load much faster — what currently takes 15 seconds could load in 0.8 seconds, Wired reported. This would radically change the gaming experience.
For one thing it would make play much smoother and seamless by rendering game environments faster, which would also allow characters to operate faster. It would also make the screens and waiting rooms that are currently built into games to keep players occupied while elements load unnecessary.
“An ultra-high-speed SSD is the key to our next generation, and our vision is to make loading screens a thing of the past, enabling creators to build new and unique gameplay experiences,” Sony said in a statement.
Better images and audio
The next generation device is also expected to support 8K graphics and will work with both downloaded and physical media.
The console will also support ray tracing, according to Wired. Ray tracing is a computer graphics technique that can create an image with heightened realism. It’s something that’s been used in cinematic visual effects but isn’t yet available in gaming systems.
The new console will also allow for 3D audio, which will make players feel more immersed in the game as sounds come at players from all directions, according to Wired.
It’s unclear when the console will launch or how much it will cost.
Sony hasn’t debuted a whole new generation of PlayStation consoles since launching the PlayStation 4 in November 2013. It did unveil an iteration of that device, the PlayStation 4 Pro, in September 2016.
But this next generation PlayStation is a long-awaited development that should help the Japanese company stand out in an increasingly crowded field full of continual innovations in areas like augmented reality, multiplayer gaming and game streaming.
CNN’s Kaya Yurieff contributed to this article.