Both the PS5 and the Xbox Scarlett have been confirmed to be using an AMD Zen 2 CPU, and given how much similarities both systems’ specs have so far, it’s likely that the PS5 will end up using GDDR6 memory too, just like the Scarlett will. Unlike the PS4 and the Xbox One, which felt like mid-gen refreshes in many regards in terms of hardware, their successors feel like proper generational leaps.
But what exactly can we expect from said new hardware in terms of the impact it will have on games and their development. Buzzwords like “SSDs” and what have you have certainly caught on, but what will the actual, tangible effect of those things be?
According to Hemanshu Chhabra of Tripe-I Games, developers of the upcoming action adventure choice-driven title Hindsight 20/20, the impact will be quite noticeable. While speaking with GamingBolt in an interview, when asked about next gen hardware, Chhabra said that higher bandwidth in next gen consoles would cut down the time required for optimization – a sentiment that others echo – which would in turn give developers more time to actually create games.
“Since we are a fully 3D game that has large worlds and several characters at play, a lot of our time is spent in graphics and CPU optimizations,” said Chhabra. “We wish to deliver a fluid and crisp 1080p, 60 fps experience on all consoles to our players. For a fully 3D game with large worlds, some of which have gameplay spanning over multiple hours, this is a big challenge. Our CPU optimizations include processing the AI that we need to, limiting the scope of awareness of entities so that they only process what they need to, physics optimizations etc. Our graphics optimizations involve pooling expensive assets, batching smaller meshes and using common textures to avoid having too many draw calls, baking the lighting wherever we can, hand optimizing the shaders for different consoles etc.”
“For us, a better CPU and GPU would mean that we would have the luxury to spend more time creating the game,” he continued. “My background is in engineering and while I enjoy a lot of this optimization work, as a game designer, I would much rather spend a lot more time on building and iterating on the game and incorporating more ideas that could make the game better. I expect that for our future games, we will have more bandwidth to do so in our schedule.”
Triple-I Games’ Hindsight 20/20 is out some time next year for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch, though a concrete release date hasn’t yet been announced. Our full interview with Chhabra will be live soon, so stay tuned for the whole thing.