During the Road to PS5 presentation, we received a wealth of technical information regarding Sony’s upcoming console. According to Mark Cerny, Sony is set to revolutionize a lot of PS5’s architecture to make it an entirely more powerful gaming machine. One of the aspects of that included redesigning the sound system of console altogether with a new engine Mark Cerny called the Tempest 3D AudioTech engine.
Mark Cerny revealed and explained the PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech engine during the Road to PS5 presentation hosted on the PlayStation YouTube channel on March 18, 2020. The Tempest 3D engine is built to provide a revolutionized 3D audio experience that recognizes and balances various audio waves on the fly. You can catch the entirety of the presentation in which Cerny describes the Tempest 3D AudioTech engine in full below.
According to Cerny, there was a multi-layered approach to creating a sound system for the PS5. One was creating great sound that everyone can enjoy regardless of whether or not they have a headset, sound bar, or other peripheral audio device, or no device at all. Another major priority was supporting a multitude of sound sources and giving designers a wide array of options in creating “dimensionality” for each sound source. Finally, presence and locality were prioritized, meaning developing a soundscape that would give users a feeling of immersion by way of the sound quality and system design. Henceforth, the Tempest 3D AudioTech engine was designed to meet each of these goals.
Based on AMD GPU technology, the Tempest engine is a modified compute unit built to be very close in design to the SPU in the PlayStation 3. Cerny claims the Tempest engine is built to have more power than a CPU and that it will be more efficient than a GPU thanks to SPU architecture. Ultimately, it is meant to result in a far more versatile sound system for designers to be able to create according to the priorities laid out above.