Digital Foundry - PlayStation 5: When Can Sony Deliver A True Generational Leap?

#1

- 2019 likely earliest possible
- dependent on 7nm and GDDR6/HBM availability and cost
- should be able to fit 8 core/16 thread zen cpu on 7nm though at lower clock speeds
- likely use Navi gpu architecture or at least features from Navi
- estimates gpu in range of 11-15Tflops
- speculates Microsoft will release their next-gen simultaneously to maintain competitiveness.

Article: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...n-a-potential-ps5-deliver-a-generational-leap
 
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#6
I really don't want to see PS5 untill 2023. 2017 we got some fantastic game 2018 looking even better, PS4 is finally getting in to gear of consistently releasing great games. Once PS5 first gets released only games we are going to get at launch and launch week are bare bone and shallow games that mostly try to impress us graphically rather than through gameplay.
 
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#8
I really don't want to see PS5 untill 2023. 2017 we got some fantastic game 2018 looking even better, PS4 is finally getting in to gear of consistently releasing great games. Once PS5 first gets released only games we are going to get at launch and launch week are bare bone and shallow games that mostly try to impress us graphically rather than through gameplay.
That will be less of an issue if BC returns as a standard feature. These great late life PS4 games would also be playable on the PS5.
 
#9
Well, some people consider the XboneX to be a true generational leap when it's not, so it's entirely subjective. XboneX is just an upres machine, and it's obviously held back by the original console.

The console needs to have massive amounts of power to provide the tools to developers needed to create the next generation of insanity, but the honest truth is that budget is the real barrier, not console power. Sony 1st party has created the best looking games already, and doing anything more than that really comes to giving a studio more time and money to make it happen.
 
#10
I really don't want to see PS5 untill 2023. 2017 we got some fantastic game 2018 looking even better, PS4 is finally getting in to gear of consistently releasing great games. Once PS5 first gets released only games we are going to get at launch and launch week are bare bone and shallow games that mostly try to impress us graphically rather than through gameplay.
Agreed. Later would be better. The standard PS4 can still produce some amazing visuals. Ill be disappointed if this gen ends next year. The Pro should have given this gen more legs.
 
#11
Him saying he'll be offering more info when the time is right......Is he sitting on stuff (maybe in colab with Sony/MS?)? or has he got nothing yet and is waiting for his sources to come through?
 
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#12
2020 is the realistic time frame. For both availability of technology and age of current generation (more people ready to move on).

$499 should be the price point. Release something good. Hopefully at least MS go with this but preferably both so we don't get some silly 'price war'. These are machines which you use for 5+ years and it's dumb to go on the cheap end. That extra 100 spent on the hardware can go a long way and build a much better machine. The price can come down later and early adopters will buy anyway. Plus as the years go by, $399 isn't worth nearly the same. It's unrealistic for that to remain the default 'acceptable' price point.
 
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#14
I really don't want to see PS5 untill 2023. 2017 we got some fantastic game 2018 looking even better, PS4 is finally getting in to gear of consistently releasing great games. Once PS5 first gets released only games we are going to get at launch and launch week are bare bone and shallow games that mostly try to impress us graphically rather than through gameplay.
So a ten year life cycle is what you hope for the PS4? The later the better but that is just way too long. The problem that we are seeing is the massive push towards 4k in just this gen alone and if Sony keeps hearing 4k on the xb1x and slightly above 1080 on the ps4pro , I don't think that is going to let them wait it out that long. They really need to drag out this gen to at least the end of 2020 or early 2021 just to ensure that games will be able to easily be able to pump out 4k.
 
#15
Him saying he'll be offering more info when the time is right......Is he sitting on stuff (maybe in colab with Sony/MS?)? or has he got nothing yet and is waiting for his sources to come through?
Yeah wasn't sure what he meant by that. It could be that he has some info that hasn't been totally corroborated yet. Or that Microsoft and Sony work with these guys now to limit info leaks/make sure what does get leaked is accurate.
 
#16
Well, some people consider the XboneX to be a true generational leap when it's not, so it's entirely subjective. XboneX is just an upres machine, and it's obviously held back by the original console.
Well maybe a step up from the original XBOX-ONE, which was really underpowered and had a flurry of 720p/900 games, yet even on the lowest end, there's no generational leap going from XBOX-ONE to XBONEX.......

As for a true generational leap, instead of just the same games at a higher rez pushing the same 30fps, with the same asset quality. I think the biggest thing will be the CPU, which means better framerates, better physics, better Ai....Couple that with a huge uplift in GPU power over the 1.84TF that the current graphics juggernaut (GOW) is based on, and you will get a phenomenal uplift in fidelity, textures, lighting, coupled with larger worlds, better physics and A.i at a fluid 60fps.......A PS5 in November 2020 will ensure such a console is as future proof as possible and is also the best timeframe for a mature 7nm or even 7nm+ specced console. This gen is great, but I shudder to think how more impressive next gen will be under SWWS, there will be no subpar part on a next gen console. Fidelity and simulations will be off the roof...
 
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#17
If OneX uses a low power 6 cores Ryzen, it will be a generational leap over the One, like Saturn to Dreamcast.
OneX is good but timing is way off, only for real hard core Xbox players.
While the One wasn't even a match against Cerny's PS4.
Will be interesting to see Round 2 next gen, if DF thinks both will launch simultaneously.
I am surprised PS4Pro had some Vega features, beyond OneX even.
 
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#18
I was going to post earlier in another thread that the timing will be entirely based on RAM pricing. Right now RAM prices are stupid crazy so if they don’t drop significantly in the next year they will have no choice but to wait.
 
#19
Cerny said that 8tflops is enough for 4k native. 11-15tflos sounds good, but i want 60fps more then 4k native + i like to get more physics, interaction with the world and more details in the world too.
 
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#22
I think the first iteration of the PS5 should not focus on having a small size. They can wait for the slim model and maybe the PS5 pro for that.

I’d be okay with an Xbox One sized console if it means better cooling and a sooner release.
 

J4K

Neo Member
#24
I'm curious to see how all of this will play into Nintendo's plans. Right now, the company is getting third party support / ports it probably didn't expect, in many ways because current generation CPUs are so weak that the main distinguishing force between Switch and Current is GPU. With just dropping resolution and visual settings, we've seen several ports happen on Switch with surprising competence. After all, the Jaguar cores in PS4 and XB1 are essentially low power mobile cores. They line up with the Switch CPU decently enough as is.

The sooner these new machines come out, though, featuring capable Ryzen cores, the harder it will be for developers to simply downgrade visuals and cut a release for Switch. If Nintendo wants to keep getting the odd third party title, Switch "Pro" will become a necessity sooner rather than later. But this is also where it will be hardest for Nintendo to keep up considering its new hybrid console identity.

Nintendo will likely need to throw 8 or more capable ARM cores at a hypothetical next Switch to stay in the ballpark, and frankly it's not clear anyone short of Apple (and to a lesser extent, Qualcomm) can actually do that on the ARM CPU side. NVIDIA can obviously do mobile graphics quite well, but their ARM CPU designs haven't exactly been world beating. The Switch handling current gen gaming logic is more a function of Jaguar being such a low bar vs the Switch CPU packing anything special.

So I'm excited about the future of these next gen consoles, but as someone who loves what Nintendo has brought to the console game with its thoughtful mobile approach, I'm a little worried we'll be back to the Wii days where Nintendo's hardware was simply too foreign and out of step for reasonable porting.
 
#26
I don't really mind when they'll launch it, this time I'll wait for the mid gen relaunch. Ain't never gonna buy a console at launch ever again, really felt like it was a mistake this time around.
 
#27
Everything Richard said I already agreed with. 2020 sounds about right, or at least late 2019, 7nm is mature by then. Then you get Navi, Zen+, and Nextgen memory (I'm glad he doesn't know wtf that is either lol). Waiting any more than that won't see major gains until 2023+ with 5nm, and neither will want to lose two or three years of market share.

Even if Navi is behind schedule, again Richard brought up something I guessed at too, both the PS4 and PS4 Pro borrowed elements from future GPU pipelines, 8 ACEs and Vega memory compression respectively, so it could be Vega based but with Navis key features worst case, the die shrink will be the biggest thing anyways for more CU budget.

Incidentally, I really hope Sony switches to 5GHz wifi direct controllers, not interference prone bluetooth, also amps up the ARM coprocessor to be able to independently handle more without touching the APU.


I hope Ryzen's clocks aren't /too/ low, at the same clock as Jaguar it's still a boost but its higher clock capabilities are where it really runs away from Jaguar.

 
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#28
I hope the next Xbox atleast uses hmb3 RAM.
HBM3 wont go into full production until 2020 and will be very expensive when it does come out.

2nd generation HBM2 just went into full production so could be possible for a 2019/2020 release but maybe too expensive.

That is what makes this time frame so unstable for these consoles, new technologies are right around the corner which could mean huge differences in performance if they wait a little bit.
 
#30
HBM3 wont go into full production until 2020 and will be very expensive when it does come out.

2nd generation HBM2 just went into full production so could be possible for a 2019/2020 release but maybe too expensive.

That is what makes this time frame so unstable for these consoles, new technologies are right around the corner which could mean huge differences in performance if they wait a little bit.
HBM RAM is a total waste of money with GDDR6 around. HBM isn’t even a factor.
 
#31
HBM RAM is a total waste of money with GDDR6 around. HBM isn’t even a factor.
Lower memory power means a higher power budget for the chips, and lower packaging space means more space for cooling in a smaller size.

I think it got a bad rap because of Vega, but Vega would have looked even more inefficient on GDDR5 (and how crazy efficient would Pascal have looked on HBM2!)

Not saying the price will be worth it on console budgets, but it does have benefits.

I will gladly pay $499 if it truly deliver next gen level graphics. I though PS4 graphics have peaked with Horizon but God Of War proved otherwise..
But CAD make me cry :(
Not their fault but that would be 725 after conversion and tax, I'd be much more ready to day one it at 400USD.
 
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#33
Since Switch is my main system, I'd probably wait for the PS5 Pro. Don't want to be stuck with the weaker model next gen, and a mid gen-upgrade isn't worth it imo.

I don't know about flops, but what I want from PS5:

- finally realistic hair
- interaction with all objects based on their material
- no more empty streets in GTA6 and other open-world games
- a change away from mass-killing enemies, to putting more value into every single enemy's life (although that's probably not hardware-related)
- clean images (no sub-1080p) and stable framerate

And that's it. Honestly, I don't need more powerful consoles. I need more ambitious, more daring games. This gen has beem terrible in terms of number of great games. Going by that alone, PS4 should remain current gen for at least 3 more years.
 
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#36
Since Switch is my main system, I'd probably wait for the PS5 Pro. Don't want to be stuck with the weaker model next gen, and a mid gen-upgrade isn't worth it imo.
I don't even know if they will do a mid-gen next time. I mean this time the mid-gen's were essentially resolution boosting machines but I don't know if they will have that particular avenue to exploit next time. I don't see 8K being in nearly the same market position during the next mid-gen as 4K was during this mid-gen.

I guess fps boosting could be the avenue to exploit. ie release mid-gen hardware with CPU being the primary leap instead of the GPU.
 
#37
Seems like it will be a very long time before we get a next-gen graphics leap over Xbox One X.
I mean what do you consider a next gen graphics leap over the X? You talking 8k?

I don't care how many TFs the next machines have just give me 4k 60fps on MOST games and though I am way in the minority here I would love to start seeing 1440p uncapped frames (100+ maybe) on next gen systems.
 

J4K

Neo Member
#38
The next gen will be more about what the CPUs bring to game design verses a massive visual upgrade over what we see with the refreshed systems. 4K with impressive texture filtering will be table stakes, sort of like 1080p is now (sorry base XB1...).

We may well start to see 4K60 as a more common thing, given that at 6TF XB1X more often than not delivers a pretty clean 4K30. But massive jumps in visuals will not necessarily be easily discernible on screen given that the systems will really only be twice as powerful as the current refreshed machines.

In essence, next gen should deliver the excellent image quality and visual polish we've become accustomed to this generation, along with hopefully some truly new experiences tied to vastly improved CPU capability. Consider what GTA6 could *really* be in delivering a better simulated city.

Where we'll see next gen start to feel long in the tooth and somewhat inadequate is when in 3 or 4 years expectations for VR increase, where users will want 4K per eye, with the expected 90 FPS (or even higher) threshold intact. I think that's probably where we'll see growing pressure for a PS5 Pro style machine around 2022ish.
 

Leonidas

"Ask me about computers"
#39
I mean what do you consider a next gen graphics leap over the X? You talking 8k?
The type of leap seen going from PS2 to PS3, PS3 to PS4, or Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Massive upgrades in GPU power.

We are not going to get that type of leap from PS5 in terms of graphics, at best the GPU upgrade in PS5(compared to Xbox One X) will be the difference between PS4 and PS4 Pro. And in demanding games that difference amounts to around 2x higher resolution or moderately improved graphics settings.

2.25x GPU difference is not even close to a generational leap.
 
#40
The type of leap seen going from PS2 to PS3, PS3 to PS4, or Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Massive upgrades in GPU power.

We are not going to get that type of leap from PS5 in terms of graphics, at best the GPU upgrade in PS5(compared to Xbox One X) will be the difference between PS4 and PS4 Pro. And in demanding games that difference amounts to around 2x higher resolution or moderately improved graphics settings.

2.25x GPU difference is not even close to a generational leap.

That's the awkward part about using a die shrink on GPU bumps already, the next gen can't differentiate on GPU by as many times over as in the past.


However even compared to the XBO X, the CPU improvements will be substantial, since it's still on puny Jaguar cores. Definitely the weak part of this generation.
 

Leonidas

"Ask me about computers"
#41
That's the awkward part about using a die shrink on GPU bumps already, the next gen can't differentiate on GPU by as many times over as in the past.


However even compared to the XBO X, the CPU improvements will be substantial, since it's still on puny Jaguar cores. Definitely the weak part of this generation.
Agreed, the CPU can be a substantial difference over current gen, but it remains to be seen how much of a difference a better CPU will actually make.

Going from Xenon(where most games performed the best last generation) to Jaguar we went from 3 cores to 8 Cores. That's a 2.67x increase in core count alone. On top of that Jaguar also has much better IPC compared to Xenon. Combined going from Xbox 360 CPU to Xbox One CPU is a substantial difference.

Jaguar is already an 8 Core CPU. Ryzen has ~50% IPC improvement over previous generation AMD CPUs. Depending on the clockspeeds Ryzen is running at inside a console APU it might not be as big of a difference as people are expecting.
 
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#42
Going from Xenon(where most games performed the best last generation) to Jaguar we went from 3 cores to 8 Cores. That's a 2.67% increase in core count alone. On top of that Jaguar also has much better IPC compared to Xenon. Combined going from Xbox 360 CPU to Xbox One CPU is a substantial difference.

Jaguar is already an 8 Core CPU. Ryzen has ~50% IPC improvement over previous generation AMD CPUs. Depending on the clockspeeds Ryzen is running at inside a console APU it might not be as big of a difference as people are expecting.
50% was vs their previous large Excavator cores. Jaguar was their low power Atom-ey part. Even at the same clock speed I think it's more like 200% Jaguar IPC, and with substantially more clock headroom. Hopefully with 7nm they won't have to clock Ryzen too low to save power, so 2x the IPC and maybe 1.4-1.8x the clock speed, plus with two SMT threads per core, it'll be something.

http://www.legitreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/zen-ipc.jpg

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6974/54812.png

Jaguar had much better IPC than Xenons simple in-order two-wide design, but it was also clocked at half its speed. All in all the bump could be in a similar ballpark.
 
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#43
What is the real world performance and hardware differences between desktop Ryzen (say Ryzen 1200) and the 2200/2400G Ryzen laptop APU versions? I think we have to assume whatever custom version of Ryzen is in the next consoles
it will be closer to the laptop variant.
 

Leonidas

"Ask me about computers"
#44
50% was vs their previous large Excavator cores. Jaguar was their low power Atom-ey part. Even at the same clock speed I think it's more like 200% Jaguar IPC, and with substantially more clock headroom. Hopefully with 7nm they won't have to clock Ryzen too low to save power, so 2x the IPC and maybe 1.4-1.8x the clock speed, plus with two SMT threads per core, it'll be something.

http://www.legitreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/zen-ipc.jpg

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6974/54812.png

Jaguar had much better IPC than Xenons simple in-order two-wide design, but it was also clocked at half its speed. All in all the bump could be in a similar ballpark.
PS5 is not guaranteed to have SMT. 1.8x clockspeed is unrealistic(compared to Scorpio) that'd put it at 4.1 GHz, they're not even hitting that on 12nm+ 100+ watt desktops without overclocking/boost clocks. Mobile Ryzen runs at 2.0-2.5(high end) base currently. Who knows what it will end up in on console.
 
#45
PS5 is not guaranteed to have SMT. 1.8x clockspeed is unrealistic(compared to Scorpio) that'd put it at 4.1 GHz, they're not even hitting that on 12nm+ 100+ watt desktops without overclocking/boost clocks. Mobile Ryzen runs at 2.0-2.5(high end) base currently. Who knows what it will end up in on console.
On 7nm they could eek out some more. Even a 2.5-2.7 Mobile Ryzen would be a HUGE jump over the base consoles. Which is technically what you need to compare it to as it's gen vs gen.
 
#46
PS5 is not guaranteed to have SMT. 1.8x clockspeed is unrealistic(compared to Scorpio) that'd put it at 4.1 GHz, they're not even hitting that on 12nm+ 100+ watt desktops without overclocking/boost clocks. Mobile Ryzen runs at 2.0-2.5(high end) base currently. Who knows what it will end up in on console.

I meant with regard to the PS4, ~3GHz being my guess at an upper bound for 1.8x, 1.4 would be 2.2GHz. Seems like a reasonable range.

SMT is an insubstantial die area at this point and I don't see why they'd take it out. The 7th gen had SMT, didn't remove it for variable performance reasons. Likely a developer could toggle it on or off, but I see no reason to permanently remove the hardware, in x86 at least it's been pretty key at extracting more IPC out of wider designs.

Mobile Ryzen has Turbo Core and if cooling can provide, can run at clock speeds well higher than base, pretty consistently even in laptops if there's no GPU load, in a console it would have more cooling. A console designer would likely remove the variable nature of turbo core and reel in the top end while bringing up the bottom end while deciding on a stable clock. They can boost up to 3.8GHz, a console won't sustain that, but settling on 3GHz seems doable especially in another fab node shrink, just 500Mhz up from the current base clock while taking away boosts above it.


Even running a touch conservative on all areas, it seems this will be in the ballpark of 7-8G CPU changes. The very lowest tiers of Zen at the same clocks as Jaguar still offer nearly twice the IPC, and clock speed bumps compound the gains. I don't think Xenos - Jaguar even with so many more cores was in excess of a 4x gain in most areas (in paper Gflops it was a slight regression, but a game doesn't just do SIMD all day).

If your reference point is the XBO X, with its 31% Jaguar clock bump it ebbs away at some of the gain, but there's still a decent one to be had.
 
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#49
Well, some people consider the XboneX to be a true generational leap when it's not.
In terms of rendering power it is a fairly big leap. One that's probably more substantial than the one we'll see going from the X to Xbox 4.
Unfortunately (?) It's being severely limited by the mandatory full compatibility and the 4k focus.
Not sure yet where this mid gen fits, certainly makes the transition to the next a lot harder to predict.
I would be surprised if it doesn't turn into the first step into an iterative model tbh.