PlayStation 5 starts with a simple brainstorm. Or at least, that’s how Mark Cerny, the console’s lead systems architect, puts it.
In one New video from WiredCerny explains how Sony built the PS5 and goes into detail why each component was chosen and how they all help power the system. Beyond all the hype about the graphics processing unit (GPU), solid-state drive (SSD) and compute behind real-time ray tracing, Cerny shines a light on the kind of people helped Sony prioritize what should (and shouldn’t) be included in the console.
Cerny begins by talking about her own four-decade career as a game developer on titles like Madness Marble and Crash Bandicoot, before moving on to a discussion of how Sony considers input from developers in designing the PS5’s hardware and software.
“It has been great to work with so many teams over the years and understand a little bit about what works for them and what holds them back,” says Cerny.
During the first brainstorming session, Cerny’s team came up with a list of desired features for the PS5: all the features not yet available in PlayStation 4, plus a bunch of new ideas. Plus, there’s a longer list of “all the things the game development community wants to see,” according to Cerny.
For example, one of the top requests is an NVMe SSD with a read speed of at least 1 GB per second; Cerny cites Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney as saying that slow hard drive technology in previous consoles is holding developers back. Sony decided to go with a much faster drive to give developers headroom – the SSD in the final console is capable of reading raw data at 5.5 GB/s.
According to Cerny, the inclusion of software developers in the design process is a “fairly recent” phenomenon. But he said that he himself wants to chat with the developers because he has worked on the games himself.
“I’m looking for developers who give me the hardest time and who really have a strong opinion on what it takes to make the game they’ve always dreamed of,” Cerny said. “Those are just brutal meetings to be in, but they’re good to have, because at the end of the day you’re creating a stronger panel.”
Much of the video is pretty technical as Cerny breaks down each piece of PS5 hardware, but it’s a fascinating look at how the console design team actually built the latest generation of PlayStation consoles and its DualSense controller.
https://www.polygon.com/22792063/ps5-design-sony-mark-cerny-game-developers PS5 Architect Mark Cerny on Game Developers Who Influenced Hardware Design