Of all the things that Sony’s Mark Cerny revealed about the PS5 recently, the thing that caught the attention of most – the thing that seemed to excite him most as well – was the inclusion of an SSD. In a test demo, he demonstrated its benefits, showing how the loading times for Spider-Man had been cut down from 15 seconds to 0.8 seconds, which is almost nineteen times faster.
Of course, the application will most likely be different for games that were natively built for the PS5 and will hence require more juice, as opposed to one that was made for a console of the previous generation, but the prospects are still exciting. According to Sony, in fact, their vision for the next generation of PlayStation is to focus on this a great deal, and use the SSD to cut out loading times entirely- or as close to it as possible.
A Sony spokesperson gave a brief but bold statement to the Official PlayStation Magazine (Issue 162) recently about the inclusion of an SSD in the PS5, and what it means for the console: “An ultra-high-speed SSD is the key to our next generation. Our vision is to make loading screens a thing of the past, enabling creators to build new and unique gameplay experiences.”
As I said, whether or not the PS5 is able to use its SSD to completely cut out loading times is something that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly something that will have a pretty big impact even if load times are slashed instead of disappearing completely. Except in a few notable cases where loading screens are ridiculously long – a couple of recent examples would be Fallout 76 and Anthem – we almost take them for granted, but no one can deny that not having to put up with them would still be an ideal scenario.
It’ll be a while before we find out though- Sony recently said that we won’t be seeing the PS5 in the next 12 months, though other reports suggest that 2020 is still the year when the next generation of consoles will launch.