Of all the things that Sony and Microsoft have spoken about when it comes to their next generation consoles, the one aspect of the hardware that has caught the attention of almost everyone is the fact that the PS5 and the Xbox Scarlett will both be making use of solid state drives (or SSDs), which are promising to make loading screens a thing of the past, something that promises to have an actual, tangible impact on game design.
Game developers are obviously quite excited about an SSD’s implications and how it might enable them to do new things- one such developer is Will Traxler of Traxmaster Software, developer of the upcoming 2.5D combat platformer Exception. We recently spoke to Traxler in an interview, and eventually asked him about his thoughts on the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett’s SSDs, and how he thinks they might improve performance of games. According to Traxler, while games such as his own Exception might not be affected as much, seeing as they’re level-based games that load in almost all assets upfront, other titles, such as open world ones, will benefit from SSDs greatly.
“I think we’re going to see SSDs have the biggest impact on open world titles that constantly stream textures and models into a scene,” Traxler told GamingBolt. “Level-based games like Exception may see less of a benefit from SSDs, since most of the assets are loaded up-front and the load times are already brief. I’m sure that developers will come up with some great new uses for SSDs once these become standard in consoles. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.”
We’ve already started seeing hints of such methods that developers might implementing to leverage SSDs in order to cut down load times. Not too long ago, we reported on a newly filed patent by Sony that spoke of a method to load game environments by splitting them into sectors and loading the ones adjacent to the one the player is in in the background (read more on that through here). While open world titles have used some form of this method for a while now, in conjunction with an SSD, it could be taken to another level.
Traxmaster Software’s Exception is due out some time next year for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Our full interview with Traxler will be live soon, so stay tuned.