PS5 and Xbox Series X and loading times: another broken promise

 PS5 and Xbox Series X and loading times:

 another broken promise


PS5 and Xbox Series X and loading times: another broken promise


Since their official presentation, PS5 and Xbox Series X have generated enormous expectations that little by little, have begun to deflate. Let's put the issue in perspective, during the first stage of alleged leaks and rumors it was even said that both consoles were going to be able to move games in 8K, they spoke of rates of 120 FPS as if it were going to become normal, and it was also said that loading times were going to disappear completely.


Today we can confirm that PS5 and Xbox Series X are not machines designed to move games in 8K and that 120 FPS will be a specific exception in very specific games, and that in fact it has even been questioned that both consoles go to be able to move all the new generation games in native 4K resolution while maintaining 60 FPS. Yes, I said native, because of false 4K we have been "accompanying" us for years with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.


Another of the crazy things that were said at the time about the new generation consoles was that they were going to make more intensive and efficient use of ray tracing. The reality is very different, in fact, Microsoft has already warned that this technology is only a complement to traditional rendering, and the first performance tests that we have seen in Minecraft RTX for Xbox Series X are not positive at all, since they pointed to a clearly lower result than we would get with an RTX 2060.


PS5 and Xbox Series X and the myth of loading times


PS5 and Xbox Series X and the myth of loading times


The use of high-performance SSD drives in next-generation consoles has been another of the most important, and most interesting, advancements. Sony pulled out its chest when saying that PS5 will use an SSD capable of running at 5.5 GB / s, and while Microsoft has opted for a more discreet SSD for Xbox Series X, although quite fast since it reaches 2.4 GB / s.


With the arrival of SSDs to the new generation consoles, it began to be said that loading times were going to be a thing of the past, something that, in the end, has also been exaggerated, as might be expected. I remember perfectly that Mark Cerny went so far as to talk about load times of less than a second in current games, a promise capable of dazzling anyone, but totally unrealistic. When loading a game, not only the SSD matters, but other components also come into play, such as the processor and RAM, which mark the time it will take to complete the load.


Talking about instant uploads is impossible. When we start a game for the first time, processes and work cycles must be completed in which several components come into play, as we have said. This takes a certain amount of time, and the SSD cannot do "magic" to change that reality, although it is clear that a faster drive and a properly optimized game will have much more contained startup times.


DigitalFoundry has already touched on this topic on several occasions, and recently reiterated that the improvements to the level of load times that will mark PS5 and Xbox Series X will be less than expected during the intergenerational transition, as the games will continue to be developed under the base minimum of PS4 and Xbox One, and that we must, therefore, lower our expectations.


PS5 and Xbox Series X will hit the market in November with an estimated price of 499 $ in their base configuration. The first will have an 825GB SSD, and the second will have a 1TB drive.


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