Wired had an exclusive interview with Mark Cerny, the lead system architect of the upcoming PlayStation console. While Cerny wouldn't confirm the name of the next-gen console, it's widely believed to be PlayStation 5, he did stress that it will be more than a mere upgrade.
Cerny confirmed the next PlayStation will tap AMD for its internals, the system will feature a CPU based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 design and will have a custom variant of the Navi GPU. Interestingly, the report notes this custom variant of Navi will support ray tracing:
PlayStation’s next-generation console ticks all those boxes, starting with an AMD chip at the heart of the device. (Warning: some alphabet soup follows.) The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments. While ray tracing is a staple of Hollywood visual effects and is beginning to worm its way into $10,000 high-end processors, no game console has been able to manage it. Yet.
He also added that the AMD chip will feature a custom unit for 3D audio to make the gaming experience more immersive, and that Sony picked a solid state disk that offers more bandwidth than anything that's available for the PC right now. Besides online distribution, the console will also continue to support physical media and Cerny said it will be backwards compatible with the current generation.
No specifics about a possible release date but Cerny did mention it will not be this year.