PS5 should be a ray-tracing beast, according to AMD

The PlayStation 4. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The PS5 has some big shoes to fill thanks to the great reception and sales of the PS4. However it was believed that the new Sony console may have a significant graphics disadvantage compared to the Xbox Series X. Fortunately, we may have nothing to worry about after all.

Wccftech, reporting from processor and graphics card manufacturer AMD’s Financial Day, had some new information to share about both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X’s graphical abilities, specifically that the PS5 will use a GPU with RDNA 2, AMD’s newest microarchitecture for graphics chips.

AMD’s GPUs have powered both the PS4 and Xbox One, and a new generation of console means a new generation of components to make them work. It had been previously rumored that while the upcoming Xbox would use RDNA 2, that the next PlayStation would use the previous version, which could make it significantly less powerful.

Fortunately, it seems now that Sony is using an RDNA 2 chip in the PS5 after all. David Wang is quoted by Wccftech as saying:

“We have developed an all-new hardware-accelerated ray tracing architecture as part of RDNA 2. It is a common architecture used in the next-generation game consoles. With that, you will greatly simplify the content development -- developers can develop on one platform and easily port it to the other platform. This will definitely help speed up the adoption [of ray tracing].”

The reference to “next-generation game consoles”, rather than a singular “console”, and to porting between platforms, can be interpreted as a sign that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will use the same tech.

And why is that good? Because not only are RDNA 2 GPUs just perform the basic job of rendering graphics better, they also introduce ray tracing, the much-hyped new lighting technique that will make environments and objects look extra realistic.

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.