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The principal architect of PlayStation 5 explains in a new video how the hardware components of Sony’s console were chosen and highlighted the role of designers in the choice.
We all remember that technical presentation, focused on video game developers, that Mark Cerny made of the hardware that the PlayStation 5 would have in March 2020 when we had not yet seen the console. The technological medium Wired has published a video where the PS5 architect summarizes the content of that conference, explaining it to a less specialized audience. In his speech, he says nothing that was not already known, except for how video game designers influenced the design of the next-generation machine.
Cerny remembers his career as a video game developer: Over 40 years, he has worked on titles such as Marble Madness, Crash Bandicoot and Knack. “Bringing the game developer community into the hardware development process is fairly recent, historically speaking. Over the years, that was a dialogue that personally, as a developer, I have always wanted to have .”
“I look for developers who give me difficult moments, those who have extreme opinions about what they need to make the game they dream of,” confesses the architect. “Those are brutal meetings, but it’s nice to have them because, at the end of the day, you’re making a more solid console.”
Throughout the video of around 15 minutes, he lists the functionalities of the console and why they chose a processor with eight cores (even though some developers requested up to 16 cores ), why game makers decided the technology for which they bet for it NVMe SSD and other details. Still, the explanation of the I / O technology is noteworthy .
During the last months, in the comments on this website, on social networks and in other forums, many players have wondered why there are PS5 games that occupy less than those of PS4 even though they have textures with higher resolution or effects of higher quality. “We bet on a strategy that we call ‘integrated IO,'” starts Cerny. “The main built-in IO feature from a developer point of view is invisible compression .”
“Developers have to spend a lot of time and effort loading data and to extract it from storage, be it a hard drive or an SSD. With built-in IO, we take care of all of that. Developers bring their data into our publishing tools. So, while the game is running, it just requests the data, and we take care of its decompression. ”
Cerny continues: “We put as much functionality as we could within a custom unit on our main chip. The impact of this compression strategy is enormous. It varies from game to game, but some standouts are Subnautica, which takes up 14 gigabytes on PS4 and only four gigabytes. gigabytes on PS5; Control: Ultimate Edition, which is 50 gigabytes on PlayStation 4 and roughly half on PS5. ”
PlayStation 5 went on sale on November 12, 2020. Since then, as has happened with Xbox Series X and other technological gadgets, buying one of these machines has been complicated by the lack of supply, a situation that, according to chipmakers and internal reports from Sony itself, will not be solved anytime soon.