After working for close to four years with Sony on the PS5 and Unreal Engine 5, Epic’s VP of Engineering says that the upcoming console is a “masterpiece of systems design.” This is the latest in the debate over power versus custom engineering. While Microsoft’s Xbox Series X has more raw “by-the-numbers” power on paper, Sony’s efforts have been put into custom architecture that give the PS5 significant advantages in how it allocates its power.
PlayStation Official Magazine interviewed Epic’s VP of Engineering Nick Penwarden for its most recent issue. “The PlayStation 5 is a masterpiece of systems design,” Penwarden said. “Not only is it driving a huge leap in computing and graphics performance, but it is also revolutionary in terms of storage and data compression technology, unlocking new kinds of games and experiences for players to enjoy.” This is notable because it places a lot more value on the design rather than raw numbers.
Penwarden’s “revolutionary” comments follow a lot of other developers—both first-party and third—who have praised the PS5’s specialized architecture and custom SSD. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, however, says he feels confident the Xbox Series X’s power will be “visible,” following Sony’s PS5 showcase earlier this month. The debate between raw power and custom architecture continues to rage, but despite all the posturing on either side, the proof will have to wait to be shown until closer to the consoles’ release dates, if not until after they are in consumers’ hands.
Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney also said the PS5 SSD is ‘best in class’ and ‘better than high-end PCs,’ continuing on to say that PCs will need to catch up with the custom architecture of the PS5 SSD. The company has been specifically working with Sony to enhance the capabilities of Unreal Engine 5. Reports even indicate that portions of the engine were rewritten due to the capabilities of the PS5 SSD.
The PS5 is scheduled to release at an unspecified date during holiday 2020.