With Microsoft recently having formally unveiled the Xbox Series X, next gen talk is getting more pertinent ever. The prospect of more powerful hardware with more enhanced capabilities has been a major talking point for Microsoft since the reveal, and one of the most impressive things the Xbox Series X boasts is a solid state drive.
There’s been plenty of talk about SSDs and the potential impact they can have on game design by minimizing load times, and Microsoft definitely buys into that notion as well. Speaking in an interview with GameSpot, Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald said that with the Xbox Series X’s SSD, Microsoft is aiming to help developers “virtually eliminate load times.”
“It’s really about giving the developers the tools and the capabilities to use the hardware in the most efficient way possible,” said Ronald. “A good example of that is on the [solid-state drive] side–we’ve basically reached the limit of [what’s] possible with the traditional rotational drive. We’re basically at the upper bounds of the raw performance we can get there. So we’ve invested in NVMe SSDs and we’re also giving developers a lot of new capabilities on top of that to try to virtually eliminate load times.”
According to Ronald, whether its linear experienced or large, open world games, load times are a factor that can hurt immersion, and that’s something the Xbox Series X’s SSD will work toward eliminating.
“You know, whether that’s a level-based game and I’m going from level one to level two, or if you think about a massive open-world game and actually want to fast-travel or teleport from one end of the world to the other, I shouldn’t have to [have] this loading experience [that takes] me out of the immersion, and that’s all possible with some of the investments we’ve made on the I/O side,” he said.