In an interview with the Russian news agency, TASS, Jim Ryan, the CEO of Sony Entertainment has shared the company’s plans for the newly launched PS5 console, while also promising that the existing PS4 consoles will continue to be supported till 2022.
There are around 114 million PS4s in the world, the number of those who transfer [to PS5 initially], if you keep that in mind, is a small number. But for us, the PS4 community is going to remain incredibly important certainly for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Because in those three years, that will be the larger PlayStation community.
Explaining that the bulk of the PlayStation community will continue to game on the PS4 for at least another couple of years, he promised that the older console will remain an extremely important part of Sony’s upcoming titles.
History will tell you that it’s in the second or third year that the developers really hit their stride. Developers typically need a little bit of time to familiarize themselves [with the hardware]. But it’s probably 2022 that you’re going to see some wonderful things in the same way that it was 2015 [or] 2016 for the previous generation. When the generation defining-games started to be published.
At the same time, he conceded that it’ll take roughly the same amount of time before the best titles of this generation are launched. This makes sense as most developers are still not comfortable with the tools and hardware provided by the new consoles.
It’ll take a year, at a minimum, for developers to get the hang of the new APIs and programming environment before they can fully leverage the new hardware. A prime example of this is with respect to the CPU. The last generation was based on the paltry pre-Zen Jaguar architecture that lacked SMT and also had a very limited floating-point throughput.
Another challenging part will be optimizing the game engines for eight full-fledged (capable) cores based on AMD’s Zen 2 core, roughly on par with the latest gaming notebooks.
The graphics side will also consist of similar challenges. All the last-gen consoles were based on AMD’s GCN GPU architecture which although quite powerful hindered proper hardware utilization. With RDNA 2, things have changed significantly, allowing developers to not only make full use of the available hardware but also use the latest technologies like VRS, ray-tracing, sampler feedback, AI-based upscaling, etc. Getting a hang of the new architectures will however take a while.