Sony demonstrates ‘game changing’ PS5 loading tech

Architect believes SSD will be “key to the next generation”

Sony has showcased the ‘game changing’ SSD technology behind the PlayStation 5.

During its corporate strategy meeting on Tuesday, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida showed a video (captured by reporter Takashi Mochizuki) comparing load times in PS4 title Marvel’s Spider-Man, running on both PS4 Pro and its next-generation PlayStation hardware.

As described in the first PlayStation 5 details article, the next-generation PlayStation demonstrates dramatically reduced load times compared to PS4 Pro, with the camera able to fast travel near-instantaneously and speed through the city without pausing for asset loading.

What takes eight seconds to load on PS4 Pro takes less than one second on the next-generation PlayStation hardware.

In April, PS5 architect Mark Cerny claimed the console’s SSD will be “a true game changer”. More than any other feature, he believes, it’s “the key to the next generation”.

Although Sony hasn’t revealed technical details, the SSD used in the next PlayStation is claimed to boast bandwidth higher than any SSD currently available for PCs.

“The raw read speed is important,“ Cerny told Wired in April, “but so are the details of the I/O [input-output] mechanisms and the software stack that we put on top of them. I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and then I put in a SSD that cost as much as the PlayStation 4 Pro—it might be one-third faster.”

So far Sony Interactive Entertainment has confirmed several PS5 hardware details, with Cerny revealing that the system will be disc-based and support 8K graphics.

He also said PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games and support the current PlayStation VR headset.

In its corporate strategy meeting on Tuesday, Sony also suggested it expects a significant increase in the number of players who will use its cloud gaming services on the next PlayStation.

A PS5 slide from Sony’s presentation.

“We will leverage existing and new partnerships to achieve growth and scale faster than ever before,” it said, referencing its recently announced cloud gaming partnership with Microsoft.

On its next-generation PlayStation, Sony said on Tuesday that it will “pursue its mission to make PlayStation ‘The Best Place to Play’ by leveraging the latest computing, streaming, cloud, and 5G technologies, together with excellent content”.

It added: “We will harness the power of new technology to offer completely transformative and immersive gaming experiences. We will leverage Backwards Compatibility to transition our community to Next Gen faster and more seamlessly than ever before. We provide stability of environment for content creators.”