While Sony is not attending E3 2019 next week, the PlayStation company still has news to share, specifically about its much-anticipated next-generation console. Sony’s Jim Ryan, who recently stepped into the position of SIE president, sat down with GameSpot sister site CNET to discuss some of Sony’s high-level plans for its next console, believed to be the PlayStation 5.
One of the biggest talking points was what Ryan called “cross-generational play.” This means those who pick up a PlayStation 5 (or whatever it is called), will be able to continue playing their PlayStation 4 games on the new box. Not only that, but Ryan suggested that PlayStation friends list will span both systems.
“Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” he said. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”
This is a big deal because the PS4 does not currently offer backwards compatibility like the rival Xbox One does. Ryan said in a previous interview that backwards compatibility and cross-gen play is “incredibly important” to helping make the transition between systems as seamless as possible.
Also in the interview, Ryan confirmed that the PS5’s new SSD that was custom-made for the system will be part of the standard edition, not a more expensive premium version. The SSD allows the PS5 to improve load times; you can see a demonstration of the faster load times here.
Ryan also talked about how the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs.
As for why Sony is talking about the PS5 (Mark Cerny shared numerous details earlier) before actually announcing the console, Ryan said it’s an effort to get ahead of leaks. PS5 development kits are being sent to outside studios currently, and Ryan said he wants PlayStation fans to have “clear and unambiguous” details about the system instead of “garbled nonsense.”
It sounds like the PS5 is still a long time off, as Ryan said, “This is just the start of the unveil process.” There is no word yet as to when Sony may officially announce the PS5.
As part of Sony’s Corporate Strategy Meeting recently, Sony said the PS5 will offer experiences that “greatly exceed” what is possible on PS4 and PS4 Pro. Sony said people can expect “completely transformative and immersive gaming experiences” on the PS5.
You can visit CNET to read the full interview in which Ryan touches on the changing landscape of the video game business, Sony’s partnership with Microsoft for cloud gaming, if the PS5 will be Sony’s last console, and lots more.
The PlayStation 5 will have an “appealing” price point given its specs, according to Cerny, but there is no ballpark estimate yet regarding what the price may be. As for the release date of the PlayStation 5, Sony has said it will not release in the next fiscal year, which means it won’t launch April 2020 at the soonest.