Xbox Series S|X SSD tech can significantly reduce loading times in backward compatible current-gen games right out of the box.
We know the Xbox Series X|S's SSD can hit up to 2.4GB/sec uncompressed data transfer speeds via a PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 drive. How will this affect games that aren't optimized? How will current-gen games play on the system?
Various websites are currently testing the Series X's SSD to find out. The data is pretty clear: Any game you play on the Series X or Series S will load faster. Some games will load in orders of magnitude faster on the Series X as compared to the slow HDDs in the Xbox One X. Control, for example, boots up in just 10 seconds as compared to 58 seconds on Xbox One X. That's an 82% reduction in loading times.
Below we've compiled the data in a list. Bear in mind this isn't a comprehensive listing of which games run faster on the Series X. Note: The loading time comparison data was taken from websites like Gamespot, The Verge.
Other notoriously sloth-like games like No Man's Sky also see a boost, albeit a less dramatic one. NMS loads in 1 minute 27 seconds on Series X, as compared to the 2 minute 13 seconds on the One X. That's just a 34% reduction.
This is still pretty impressive given none of these games have been enhanced or optimized on the Series X. They're just running natively without any upgrades or patches from developers. This native boost is made possible by the powerful new Velocity Architecture, a new software system that synergizes the high-end PCIe 4.0 flash with the RAM, GPU, and CPU to accelerate data pipelines and I/O throughput. Armed with new DirectX 12 APIs like DirectStorage, the Series X's software architectures are able to match the SSD's raw 2.4GB/sec speeds.
That's not what we're seeing here, though. These games aren't taking full advantage of the Velocity Architecture, but merely being accelerated by it. Only next-gen games and optimized/enhanced will take advantage of the full might of the drive itself.
The Xbox Series X and Series S consoles will release November 10, 2020 for $499 and $399 respectively. Check below for a side-by-side comparison of the entire 9th generation of console specs: