The world of gaming is divided into two sects: Console gamers and PC gamers. While Console gamers are seen with some resentment, they have established quite a league for themselves too. Perhaps we have developers like Sony and Microsoft to thank for that. After all, it was their effort that pushed the competition into making devices so small and compact and yet able to run games perfectly, without hiccups.
This transition in the last ten to twenty years has been quite dramatic and drastic. Remembering the jump from the PlayStation to the PlayStation 2 and so on. Similarly on the Xbox side of things. Today, the PlayStation Pro and Xbox One X are two of the most powerful consoles on the market. That is not to say that these machines would outdo a gaming PC. No. But they would do the work they’re meant for, ever so perfectly. Being able to push all those teraflops from a chassis so small and internal hardware so weak that if it was put into a PC, that PC may not even run quite well. Perhaps the whole race then is toward optimising and integrating all these parts combined, to work well together, to take the game smoothly for an amazing experience.
As we move towards 2020, times are truly changing. Apart from the 21st century about to not be a teenager anymore, we see new technology popping up every now and then. In terms of the PC market, we see new Ryzen processors coming in at a cheaper rate and better availability as compared to Intel ones. Not only that, these processors attain the 7nm process which gives them quite the processing power packed up in them. Not only that, talking about graphics, we see NVIDIA continuing to rule the market. With their new line of RTX cards with ray tracing and not to mention the very recent GTC 16XX series. Perhaps we move towards the consoles now.
State of Consoles at the moment
It is important for users to realise that consoles in real life are quite under spec’d. For reference, the PS4 Pro runs on a custom chipset by AMD called Jaguar with 8 cores. It follows AMD graphics too which produce about 4.2 teraflops of graphics gains. To load applications, users have an 8GB memory chip. In comparison, if the same specs were put in a modern PC today, the results would be abysmal. Games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which can run at a constant 60 frames per second on the PlayStation 4, run at about 10-20 frames per second on the PC of similar specs. This is where the integration of the system and the fact that it uses the entirety of its memory to run the game makes the difference.
As we move in time, we see that the gap is actually decreasing in these two entities. That is a good thing as it would be great that consoles would be running games natively at higher resolutions. Currently, only the Xbox One X runs certain games natively at 4K. As we have seen in recent news and leaks, both the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Scarlet would be powerful, beefy systems. While exact specs have not surfaced yet, people are on the edge of their seats with some of the videos of testing them out that have surfaced.
Focusing mainly on the PS5, we have seen leaks from WCCFTECH’s article. According to the article, Tum_Apisak has leaked information about the graphics power that the PS5 would support. In the article, the author mentions that after running Firestrike benchmark, the results have come up for the community in the form of leaks. And surprisingly, the leaks seem quite promising. According to the leaks, the PS5 would be boasting a Gonzalo APU which upon testing can produce more graphics power than a GTX 1080.
The score is hidden.
I only see the overall score.
PS4 – Rough score 5000
Gonzalo – score 20000 up
— APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) June 25, 2019
Why this is big news is because the GTX 1080 is still quite a respectable graphics unit and people still opt for it for their gaming builds. Comfortably running most modern titles on 1440p and others at 4K, the 1080 by NVIDIA is quite a good and expensive card. The idea that the PS5 would be able to run circles around it with the Gonzalo makes the console quite promising.
Going back to the discussion about how, even with primitive specs, consoles have been going toe-to-toe with PCs, a console so jacked up would be a sight. It also brings to surface the idea that perhaps the console would be able to run games upscaled to about 6K while native 4K support is quite certain. Another thing to realise is that the Gonzalo APU is still in the development phase and the final product could be more efficient. Not only that, if Sony manages to sell the console at around the same price as the PlayStation 4 Pro, we could be seeing a very powerful console at an affordable rate.
While I am, in no way, comparing PCs and Consoles but in my opinion, I see budget gaming PC buyers to opt for consoles in the future if this is where we’re headed. The closing gap would also mean, pre-built gaming setups to be either cheaper in the future, or to be more powerful, running their integration in the process. For now, though, this is still a leak and somewhat, too good to be true. Perhaps, once we have a good idea of the rest of the specs, we can evaluate what the future console may hold. Right now though, we still have a long while before the console even surfaces rather than being released. Users may expect the PS5 to arrive sometime in the next year, possibly the latter half of it.