Don't expect instant loading on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X at launch

Not every game will have instant-loading on Xbox Series X and PS5 at launch, only the ones that're optimized for SSD tech.

Published Wed, Aug 26 2020 10:34 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:42 AM CST

A new recap video from Digital Foundry warns gamers not to expect next-gen PS5, Xbox Series X games to load in a blink of an eye at launch.

Don't expect instant loading on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X at launch 9 |

Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X feature high-end PCIe 4.0 SSDs that can blast data, assets, and content across a high-speed IO pipeline right to system memory. The storage tech is one of the single most exciting innovations that can transform how games are played. But for this to happen, developers must change how their games are made first.

Next-gen games must be built from the ground up to work with this new SSD pipeline, and rest assured that both Sony and Microsoft are indeed doing so. Ratchet and Clank A Rift Apart, for example, destroys loading times on PS5.

But Digital Foundry is careful to warn gamers that not every title will instantaneously load on next-gen consoles; just because you play a game on a PS5 or Xbox Series X doesn't mean it'll eliminate loading altogether. The games have to first be optimized for the hardware.

"Games and engines will need to be developed to get the most out of the new Velocity Architecture, so I wouldn't be expecting instant loading on day one for Xbox Series X titles. And by extension, don't expect them for PlayStation 5 either for the same reasons," Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter said.

This is something we've already reported on and something we've known for a while. Yes, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will natively reduce load times for all games automatically by virtue of the new multi-channel, high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSDs they're both equipped with.

But to get those ultra-fast loading times we've been talking about, the games need to be built specifically for next-gen.

Next-gen PS5, Xbox SSD coverage:

Leadbetter goes on to say the Velocity Architecture will boost last-gen games the most with Quick Resume functionality, which is basically high-speed save states.

The average loading of an Xbox One X game state is about 6.5 seconds, which is fast considering these games use 9GB of RAM at any given time. In 6.5 seconds, 9GB of data is being written to the SSD, and another 9GB is being read into the system memory.

For reference, the Xbox Series X's SSD can move uncompressed data at 2.4GB/sec. The PlayStation 5, however, can move uncompressed data at 4.8GB/sec.

Neither Sony nor Microsoft have discussed exactly how fast their next-gen games will load, and we've only seen limited demos of the Xbox Series X's SSD in action, and only via Quick Resume of current-gen games that weren't optimized for the hardware.

Don't expect instant loading on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X at launch 5 |
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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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