As the PS5 launch approaches, the pillars of what will make Sony's next-generation games console so special are coming into focus. Its unique SSD will allow for speedy loading times and larger worlds, and its graphics chip will help power visually stunning engines like the Unreal Engine 5.
But the amount of attention Sony is heaping on its Tempest Audio Engine, capable of dynamic and immersive 3D sound, suggests it may be the secret weapon in the PlayStation 5 arsenal.
At a corporate strategy meeting for Sony, a slideshow called the PlayStation 5 an "evolution of sound".
"By installing a customized 3D audio processing unit in PS5, we have made it possible to deliver diverse and sophisticated 3D audio experiences," the slide reads. "Players can experience sound that moves in from front to behind, above to below, and all around them."
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Combining that engine with the speedy SSD and haptic feedback from the DualSense controllers will offer "experiences that were not possible before."
Earlier in the year, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny described how it would be possible to produce thousands of individual sound sources potentially with the PS5, letting a player hear not only a rainstorm, but the fall and splash of individual droplets. All this would be delivered through a pair of headphones, too, without the need for costly surround sound audio systems.
The real question, beyond price and release date, now rests with the games set to take advantage of these innovative features. The latest rumors point to a PS5 games reveal by June, so that wait may soon be over.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.