PS5 graphics breakthroughs revealed by top developers

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
(Image credit: Sony Computer Entertainment)

If you’re excited for the upcoming PS5 launch, chances are you’ve been wondering exactly what all these new processors and technologies will do for the new generation of games. We have an answer in the form of some first-hand accounts of the PS5’s graphical power from some experienced members of the gaming world, thanks to interviews conducted by IGN (via TechRadar).

The new power of the PS5 (and the Xbox Series X also, since they’re using near-identical GPUs) will make smoke, water and wind effects look better, according to  Bruce Straley, ex-creative director of Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us and the Uncharted series. In particular he mentions the effect on hair, an object that game developers have been struggling to render properly for a long-time.

“It’s always been really difficult to make really good hair”, says Straley. “And then hair responding to different environments – hair and water, hair and wind, hair and hair gel, are all reactions that can be processed.”

Older systems are capable of producing these effects too, but the problem is it would have had too great an impact on the performance of the rest of the game, something that’s now less of a problem. For example, Straley mentioned how a problem that Naughty Dog encountered when making The Last of Us, namely an “ambient shadow system,” would potentially be solved on the new generation of console. This has naturally has got us excited once again for the upcoming sequel, The Last of Us Part Two.

Ray tracing, the rendering technique that calculates light, shadows and reflections in a more realistic way compared to traditional methods, is due to be available on both the Sony and Microsoft consoles, and developers are looking forward to making the most of it.

Elijah Freeman, VP of games at Virtuos, said on the topic: “Yes, improved smoke effects will be great to look at, but the ability to just barely glimpse an enemy if the light catches them right after you’ve thrown a smoke grenade adds a new level of nuance to playstyles.”

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.