Games released on the tail end of a console’s life cycle are typically more elaborate and graphically intense than most early launch titles. As game developers become more familiar with a particular console’s inner-workings, they’re usually able to wring more from the hardware and leverage every compute cycle available to produce more complex, visually-rich games. This has been the case with everything from the Atari 2600, to the NES, and every iteration of Xbox and PlayStation. It’s true for virtually every platform that plays games, for that matter.
In an interview in the most recent issue of Dengeki PlayStation magazine (Vol. 683) covered at ryokutya2089.com, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida claims the upcoming PlayStation 5 is the company’s easiest console to develop for yet, which bodes well for the initial launch titles coming when the console arrives for the holiday shopping season next year.
In the interview, Yoshida claims that the PlayStation 3 was one of the more difficult consoles to develop for and, as such, Sony’s goal was to make working with the PlayStation 4 easier for developers. But now that the PS4 is essentially a small PC and the PS5 retains a similar architecture, which simply features more powerful hardware, the console’s development tools didn’t have to be re-built from the ground up. I’m paraphrasing from an interview translated via Google Translate, but Yoshida essentially says the PlayStation 5 is its easiest console to develop for yet and that developers are thrilled.
The Sony PlayStation 5 is scheduled to arrive in Q4 2020, featuring an AMD Zen 2-based APU, equipped with a next-generation Navi / RDNA-based graphics engine – with hardware ray tracing support. The current PlayStation 4 also features an AMD APU, but the CPU and GPU cores leverage previous-generation architectures. Because the platforms are similar, the PlayStation 5 will also be backwards compatible with existing PlayStation 4 titles, so gamers won’t have to abandon their libraries should the choose to upgrade to the PS5 next year.