PS5 ‘to support backwards compatibility, 8K graphics and won’t be digital-only’

Sony’s next major console will allow gamers to play old PS4 games and will not be digital-only, a senior member of the company’s development team has revealed in an interview.

The long-awaited PS4 follow-up, unofficially called the PS5, will not be released in 2019, lead system architect Mark Cerny told Wired magazine.

Mr Cerny, who also worked on development of the PS4, said users can expect “dramatically different” 3D audio on the next-gen console, as well as support for 8K graphics with the help of ray-tracing technology, a complex lighting technique.

Despite popular belief to the contrary, the video game designer said the new console will still have a disc drive and is “based in part on the PS4’s architecture”, making backwards compatibility possible, a feature requested by many gamers who want to play their old titles on the newest hardware.

(Joe Giddens/PA)

The console has been in development for more than four years, he told the publication, and the company is already working with several studios on games, which will probably be available on both PS4 and PS5 initially.

Mr Cerny remained unclear about the possibility of cloud gaming, saying: “We are cloud-gaming pioneers, and our vision should become clear as we head towards launch.”

In terms of loading times, it also looks like users could gain from faster game play. Loading up the 2018 Spider-Man game on the PS4 Pro took around 15 seconds, while on the next-gen console it only took 0.8 seconds.

The PlayStation 4 has been a huge success for Sony, having sold more than 91.6 million consoles up to the end of last year.

The Japanese firm managed to sell a total of 5.6 million units during the 2018 festive season, while more than 50.7 million PS4 games were sold over the same period, taking the total number of game sales to 876 million globally since its last console launch in November 2013.

- Press Association

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