William Stillwell isn’t stressing about the SSD.
Wading into the debate about which console will be better is about like the debate about whether you should hang yourself or shoot yourself in the head. No matter how round and round you go, in the end, it doesn’t matter a whole lot which you actually decide on. Even still, that doesn’t stop people from doing it, and with the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X there are a few key differences. The biggest one that’s been talked about is the SSD and how its utilized in a different way in the PS5 to the Xbox Series X. The SSD and how its incorporated into the PS5’s architecture has garnered heavy praise from the likes of Epic Games, who apparently were influenced by it in their design of the the Unreal Engine 5. But will it matter a lot in the end? Well, it’s hard to say, but the Ex-Xbox Lead thinks developers will learn to live and learn.
William Stillwell, who currently manages the Mixed Reality program and was once a former Xbox Lead, was on the Iron Lords Podcast. When asked about the PS5 SSD and how it was faster overall than the Xbox Series X, he acknowledged that he thought Sony had made an impressive piece of hardware, but said he had faith that developers will figure out the differences between the two and work through it.
“I’ll say two things with that. One, I understand that it’s a marketing point and a high point – and I think I said in the last podcast we did, I’m really impressed with what they’ve done in the architecture with their drive and I think they’ll be able to do really cool stuff with it.
“I also don’t think it’s as impressive over what you’ll be able to do [with Xbox Series X] and so I have high confidence in that team. I will also say – look I reserve the right to wake up smarter tomorrow and someone may prove me wrong and we’ll learn. The one thing I have learned is [to] never underestimate game developers’ [ability] to take advantage of something and work around it, but that works on both sides.
“So the ability of a game developer to look and say, ‘Ok, I am building this game and I wanna have seamless transition with no loading screens on [PS5], but I am also gonna wanna sell on Xbox, what am I gonna do to manage that kinda thing?’
“Like, that will be the tricks and the techniques, so – I am just making this up – maybe there are elevators in the Xbox Series X version and not on the [PS5] version. I don’t know yet how they’re gonna address it, but they’ll learn to address it and they will figure out ways to work around it.”
While much has been said about the SSD difference, most likely Stillwell is correct, especially when it comes to third party titles that will be developed with both systems in mind. Of course, as I say with these articles, it will all come down to what the games will be like when we get them in our homes ourselves.