Sony’s PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan says in an interview with CNet that the PlayStation 5 is fully equipped for backwards compatibility, including the option to share save games with the PS4. He also says that the PS5 will support 4k resolutions and 120Hz.
Ryan speaks in the interview with CNet about cross-generational play, which gives players the opportunity to switch very dynamically between the PlayStation 4 and its successor. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter to Sony’s servers which device is played on. That means that friend lists are also shared between both consoles. In an earlier interview, Ryan called backwards compatibility “very important in a networked world.” On that front, Sony has some catching up to do, as the current PS4, unlike the Xbox One, doesn’t offer the same level of support for older games from previous console generations.
The CEO of Sony also discussed some specifications of the new console. This makes it possible to run games in 4k resolution with 120Hz. That means that the PlayStation 5 will have an HDMI 2.1 connection, even though Ryan did not elaborate on that. The current Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometimes achieve 4k and 60fps, although strictly speaking this is not a full-fledged 4k, where dynamic resolutions and in the case of the PS4 checkerboard rendering are often applied. It is obvious that such techniques are also applied to the PS5 to some extent and that not all games run at 4k and 120fps by default, if only because not all TVs achieve a refresh rate of 120 frames per second. Incidentally, the PS5 can also send out 8k images, although it seems unlikely that games will actually run at that resolution.
Ryan also briefly discussed at least part of the storage in the PlayStation 5. He indicates that the new console will have a SSD specially made for the PS5 that will also be part of the standard edition of the console. Ryan didn’t say anything about how fast that SSD is, nor did he provide any other information, such as whether it’s flash memory integrated on the motherboard or a more regular SSD. In the context of the speed difference that this SSD should make possible, a video came out earlier with the difference in loading times between the PS4 Pro and the PS5.
In the interview, Ryan declined to comment on Sony’s plans for a new PlayStation VR, other than saying that he believes virtual reality has the potential to be a meaningful part of the future of interactive entertainment. According to him, the current generation of VR has exceeded Sony’s expectations.
Sony released the first official details about the PlayStation 5 in mid-April. Sony’s system architect Mark Cerny announced that the console will receive a third-generation AMD Ryzen CPU with eight cores and a GPU based on the Navi architecture. The console also gets a fast SSD, there is still the option to use physical media and there is support for ray tracing.