While the Sony PlayStation E3 2018 showcase focussed squarely on the games, it seems that the company is quietly prepping for next-gen. The PS5 is slated for a 2020 release date and it will be using AMD’s Navi GPU. Previously it was suggested that the PS5 would also be using AMD’s Ryzen CPU techand it seems that AMD will have a hand in the PS5’s GPU as well. This is according to a report from WCCFtech citing “sources intimately familiar with the entire situation”. In addition to letting slip when we could expect the PS5, it delves deeper into the reasoning for AMD not announcing a new GPU at Computex 2018 – it has found the custom-applications space more lucrative. Considering how cash-strapped AMD has been, it makes sense.
“The margins are low, but the volume is high and the net income is consistent. Catering to gamers was not part of the win-condition; making AMD a viable, financially robust company was. Here is a fun fact: Vega was designed primarily for Apple and Navi is being designed for Sony – the PS5 to be precise,” the report claims before explaining that AMD’s roadmap for Navi is dependent on Sony.
“This meant that the graphics department had to be tied directly to the roadmap that these semi-custom applications followed. Since Sony needed the Navi GPU to be ready by the time the PS5 would launch (expectedly around 2020) that is the deadline they needed to work on. Similarly, for Vega, Apple’s timeline is what actually dictated the release of the GPU and not the other way around. AMD’s Radeon graphics cards were intricately tied to the industry’s semi-custom roadmaps by design and that is something that a lot of people disagreed with. This is also what, I suspect, precipitated the departure of key executives including the RTG boss, Raja Koduri.”
Thanks to the Linkedin profile of a programmer at the company, it appears that Sony working with AMD to integrated Ryzen CPU tech into the PS5. According to tech blog Phoronix, Simon Pilgrim is a principal programmer at Sony who has been working on AMD Ryzen microarchitecture support “within the LLVM compiler stack.”
LLVM is a CPU compiler used in the PS4 development kit. With the PS4 using a semi-custom AMD Jaguar eight-core CPU and an AMD GPU, it’s safe to say that AMD tech will form the cornerstone of the PS5.
Before this, PlayStation boss John Kodera suggested that it has three years before Sony considers it end of life. In an interview with Bloomberg Japan (translated by Japan games industry expert Serkan Toto), Kodera said that the PS4 has entered the final stage of its life and Sony will spend the next three years “preparing for the future”. This means that we will get first-party exclusives and new games from Sony till then at the very least.