The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett will be based on differing generations of AMD GPUs
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While the dust of E3 2019 and the appearance of Keanu Reaves' breath-taking cameo at Microsoft's presentation settles, people have already started picking apart what all the announcements mean for the next generation of games consoles.
Sony and Microsoft have both already lifted the lid on their AMD-based next-generation consoles, but it seems that they may not be created equal. The extent of their partnerships with AMD seems to have been hidden in plain sight. Sony has been collaborating with AMD, whereas Microsoft has co-engineered a custom graphics chip.
The result is that the next PlayStation will feature custom 7 nm AMD Ryzen Zen 2 and Radeon Navi architectures, while the Xbox Scarlett will include "next generation Radeon RDNA gaming graphics architecture" as announced by Lisa Su, CEO and President of AMD. AMD has confirmed that next-generation RDNA will be based on a 7 nm+ FinFET process, which will support hardware-based real-time ray-tracing and next-gen RDNA. By contrast, the 7 nm Navi architecture will only be capable of shader-based ray tracing and current gen RDNA.
In short, the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox games consoles look set to be separated by a generation of graphics technology. The in-game effect of the difference between "GCN and RDNA" and "Next Gen RDNA" is unknown at this stage, but it seems bizarre that Sony would allow itself to slip a generation in graphics technology behind Microsoft. AMD is certainly painting things that way, anyway.