As the current video game console generation comes to a close, rumors are popping up everywhere regarding the specifications of the next generation consoles. Before this E3 2012, the rumors indicated that the PS4 and Nextbox specs were shoulder to shoulder, using cheap $60 GPUs and other junk parts. PS4's rumored specs were: A8 Llano, HD 7670, 1GB DRAM+1GB VRAM. As bewildered as I was, Cliff Bleszinski from Epic Games was even more distraught, because the next gen consoles were so weak that they wouldn't be able to utilize Unreal Engine 4 to a good extent. So they showcased their demo in E3 and tried their best to persuade Microsoft and Sony to increase the specs. It seems that it actually left an impression.
The European gaming site, PSX-Sense, reports that they have found out the working plans for the specs of the PS4. The specs indicate a much more powerful and costly machine. While many may dismiss these specs as baseless conjecture, I think that there is a grain of truth in here. I actually believe that Sony may have purposely "leaked" these specs so they can indirectly monitor the public reaction and get feedback without making anything official. I hope that our feedback, as well as all the other public reactions, can help Sony and increase the power of the PS4 and make a better home console. The current working specs are as follows:
CPU: AMD x86 Quad Core Fusion APU at 3.2 GHz– Codenamed ‘Liverpool’, based off the Steamroller architecture (2013)
GPU: ATI r10xx (3rd generation) Tahiti GPU, 1.8 TFLOPS at 800 MHz - a stripped down Radeon HD 7950 (2012)
RAM: 4 GB DDR5 unified DRAM/VRAM
Disk Drive: Dual-Layered or Quad-Layered Blu-Ray 12x (50GB or 128GB)
Resulution: HDMI 1.4 -1080p output max, Supports 3D
HDD: Over 320GB HDD + 16GB Flash Memory
*It's important to know that the actual hardware in the consoles will be custom built and configured. Thus the actual specs can and will vary.
The first thing I'm going to talk about here is the CPU. It was already known that AMD would produce the parts for all the next gen consoles, so this should not be a surprise. What always strikes me is their initiative to choose an APU. Not only does it cost more, they will also have to custom configure the APU to work in tandem with their high end GPU. Also, the CPU part of the APU tends to fall behind in terms of performance. I can see why an APU could appeal to them though: It would definitely save power and temperature if they could rely mostly on the APU's graphics, and turn on the separate GPU only when the extra graphics muscle is required. That aside, i would still prefer that they use a dedicated CPU. I hope that they use a Quad-Core Steamroller based on the FX series rather than the A series; that would mean more processing power for a cheaper price. Also, a higher clock speed would be nice too. Although 3.2 GHz is pretty dam fast, CPUs nowadays have a stock clock of 4.2 GHz (ahem, FX 4170). But an increase in clock speed equals an increase in heat, so it is up to SONY and AMD to figure out just the right point. I'm praying for 4.2 GHz
The GPU was a big surprise for me, especially after i lost all my hope for a true next gen console. This is a major plus side. An HD 7950 in a console would be pretty sweet, and since it is a closed system, developers can code specially for it, and it can provide graphics far beyond what an HD 7950 can normally provide. Just look at the 7 year old 7800gt powering the PS3 today, playing modern games such as Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Last of Us, and Beyond. They will be custom configuring the GPU, so they can tweak it a bit to fit the PS4. PS4 will have a maximum output of 1080p, so an excess amount pixel rate isn't needed. They can cut down on that and increase the texel rate of the GPU so you can get higher quality textures and effects. While 1.8 TFlops is pretty amazing, it is actually 1.2 TFlops less than the actual HD 7950. This indicates that the GPU itself is a stripped down version of the HD 7950. I hope that Sony/AMD increases the performance of their chip back to 3 TFlops, and perhaps increase the clock speed to 1 GHz as well. More power never hurts; In only means better quality games in the years to come.
As for the RAM, it seems like the PS4 will have 4 GB of fast DDR5 unified RAM. That means that the VRAM and the DRAM will be fused; the CPU and GPU will be using the same 4 GB RAM. Sony originally wanted only 2 GB, but pressure from the developers led them to include 4 GB. So far, there seems nothing wrong with that. A lot of people have been crying for 8 GB, but that seems redundant because of the relatively lightweight OS and the fact that the PS4 is limited to 1080p.
Now that brings me down to the resolution. That is an are in which the PS4 and PS3 will be matching in. We will see native 1080p output, with 720p 3D. The people that were hoping for a large resolution update will be largely dismayed. I am personally fine with that. With a smaller resolution, it will provide more headroom for the GPU to focus on other things, such as effects, textures, and realism. Ultra HD (7680 × 4320) wont be available until the early 2020s, so we might see the next resolution jump happen with PS5.
Now for the Disk Drive. We all knew that the PS4 would use blu-ray. The PS3 used Dual Layered 50 GB blu-ray disks, and their player was 2x read speed. The PS4's player will be 12x read speed. This means much faster load speeds in games, and overall better gaming experience. They are still deciding on whether to use Quad-Layered (128 GB) or Dual-Layered (50 GB). I hope they end up going with Quad-Layered, because it means more space for developers for their games, and better quality games. In this current generation, it is abysmal to see 5 hour campaigns, etc. More disk space plus more streamlined workflow via advanced game engines equals more content in video games. We could start seeing 100 hour campaigns in shooters, and several thousand hours of game play in RPGs. For those who were expecting 6 TB HVD Disks, I regret to tell you that you might have to wait untill PS5 for that kind of technology.
SSDs in the PS4 are out of the question (maybe PS5, but not 4). They are way to costly, and not economical for a home console. We all know that the PS4 would use HDDs.. It was leaked that there will be 2 versions of the PS4 at launch, each featuring a different Hard Drive capacity. They will both be over 320 GB, but we are, as of yet, unsure about their exact size. The PS4 will also feature 16 GB of internal flash memory, which will be much faster than the HDD. That space will be dedicated to patches, updates, the OS, etc. This is an incredibly smart move; now, all the patching and updating will not take up your HDD space. It will also make the patching/updating a lot faster. Since the OS will also be in this dedicated flash memory, the entire system will boot up faster that ever, and most of its applications can be pulled up much faster. This along with the RAM and 4-core CPU can make the PS4 a heavy multitasking entertainment device; you would now be able to have several pages up at the same time: one for playing a specific game, one for web browsing, for watching a video, for listening to music, for downloading something, etc.
Now all these specs seem fine and dandy, but there are a few other things that the PS4 will need to do. We have all heard the news about backwards compatibility, and we know for a fact that the PS4 will not be backwards compatible. That was just one of the things it needed to give up in order to become more user friendly for developers and gamers . Ditching the CELL and going to x86 means that backwards compatibility had to be dropped, but now, it will be much easier for developers to code for. They couldn't make an emulator either, because they have lost that right once they ditched Nvidia for AMD. It is final: there will be no backwards compatibility, lest focus on other things.
There is an awful rumor about used games sales getting banned. This would be appealing to Sony because it would gain them more 3rd party support, and 3rd parties can make more money off this. Sony can not let this happen, because locking our games to our PS4 would prevent us from taking our games to our friends house and playing them, and locking our games to our PSN would just prevent us from playing online. Sony might lose a majority of their player support, and retailer support as well. I am absolutely against this, but if they MUST do it, they better find a way to do it and still let me play at my friend's house and play offline. One way that this could be attempted is that they lock the multiplayer portion of all games to the PSN account (like Battlefield 3). That would only affect multiplayer games and only discourage resell, not ban it.
As much as Sony loves to cater to the hardcore audience, they must also cater to the softcore ones. Late in the PS3 cycle, Sony finally started doing that with the Move, and I hope they continue with that support in the next generation. I predict an enhanced precision Move with the PS4, which will work in tandem with an enhanced PS Eye camera, providing an experience similar to Kinect. I also expect there to be an increased support for passive 3D. This combination can also work with hardcore games, and I expect to see much more hardcore support for these peripheral devices in the future. Nothing excites me more than the thought of playing Killzone 4 with Move and 3D. It can be the most immersive experience ever.
Sony must have increased support for PSN. As much as i like PSN, Xbox Live has way better online support. Hopefully, Sony can up their game this time around. One thing that they should always retain is free service. I always want to be able to play my games online without any type of subscription. I'm fine with a premium PSN account service, with privileges such as greatly reduced PS Store prices, free games, etc.
And finally, with all these advanced specs, a hefty price tag is inevitable. If Sony wants to make any profit at all, we could be seeing the price tag even go up to $700. That may be a big price to pay, but considering the specs, and the fact that this will blow away the competition and go up against a PC should be enough to justify the price. At launch, the PS3 costed a lot, but the price went down. A high launch price is necessary if the console wants to remain relevant in the coming years.
Now just to wrap up, these are my hopes for the specs of the final product:
CPU: AMD x86 Quad-core CPU -based off the Steamroller FX 4000 series, clocked at 4.2 GHz
GPU: AMD Custom GPU, based off the Radeon HD 7950, 3 Tflops and clocked at 1 GHz
RAM: 4 GB DDR5 unified RAM
Disk Drive: Quad Layered Blu-ray 12x (128 GB)
HDD: At least 500 GB + 16 GB Flash
Resolution: HDMI 1.4, 1080p native, 720p 3D
Move Support, Eyecam Support, Free PSN, etc.
So my main request to the community is to put your thoughts into the comments below. What do you think about the rumored specs? Is there any truth in it, or is it all bullshit? What are your expectations on the specs of the next gen consoles? Do any of you guys agree with me, or am i just plain crazy? Did I make any mistakes? Any other thoughts regarding this topic? All your comments and thoughts are appreciated. I hope this thread becomes well known.
Theres DDR5 ram?
Also didn't the ps3s have cell processors which were single core, but had a ton of treads or something? This processor seems like a downgrade, but it would probably multi-platform games.
Also, why 500gb hard drive? I am only halfway done my 120gb. I guess it would be good if you download games and movies though.