It’s now more than a year that the PS5 is (not really so) available everywhere in the world, To celebrate this curious anniversary, its architect Mark Cerny allows himself the luxury of boning it, and to reconsider its design.
The man with the many hats knows a lot about the latest Sony console, since he had already had the opportunity to detail the specifics and other lines of thought at length during the Game Developers Conference in March 2020. After having mentioned his advanced age by mentioning the ancient Marble Madness – on which he therefore worked -, the person reminded the microphone of Wired the advantages of such a position when designing the PS5:
The end users of the console are the developers; it’s great to have worked with so many teams over time as i understood what could help them, and what might get in their way.
And because it has obviously changed the lives of players, tired of waiting in front of endless loading screens, Cerny begins by talking about the SSD, which is obviously nothing magical:
Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic, called old hard drives “rusty tops” and accused them of dragging the industry down. The developers wanted to get rid of hard drives, because that’s where the data is stored, and i; takes time to get there. I myself have worked on games where you sometimes had to create lanes just to hide the loading times. The developers wanted a read speed of at least one gigabyte per second: we wanted to aim for five times higher.
Using the same tone always so incredibly relaxed, the architect remembers the sometimes stormy meetings, since he felt it necessary to take into account the opinion of the most devious developers to try to improve the PS5, which will have notably led console architects to improve and optimize data compression. At first glance, not everyone seems to have received the message …
Heart (s) on you
With a smile on his face, Mark Cerny assures us that he would have preferred to equip the PS5 with a single and overpowering CPU, but that in the absence of such technology, Sony will have set its sights on an 8-core Zen 2, which does not necessarily delight everyone:
When we consulted with the developers, there were some who really wanted to take advantage of 16 cores, but we explained to them that to do that, it would have required reducing the GPU, and they all immediately gave up on the idea.
Said RDNA 2 GPU indeed occupied a strategic place to ensure backward compatibility with the PS4 game library, and we can all the more measure its importance as Sony has so far marketed only one and only first title. -party exclusive to the PS5: Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart.
Finally, Cerny explains that the developers were not necessarily asking for the addition of Ray-Tracing on the console, but does not hesitate to compare this technological voucher to the transition from 2D to 3D, because of its very large geometric complexity. We will leave you alone to judge this perhaps a little rushed spirit in the comments below …