A year from now, the current console generation will end and the next will begin. There’s been much in the way of rumors and teases regarding what to expect from the new consoles coming in 2020, and while plenty has been said about the next Xbox currently known as Project Scarlett, the focus this year largely seems to be on its future competitor, the PlayStation 5.
Over the last few months, various reports have painted an intriguing picture of Sony’s next console and how much of an improvement its hardware is over the PS4’s. Much of these are still speculation, but a concrete detail that’s known is the PS5’s inclusion of a Solid-State Drive (SSD) instead of a traditional disc-based hard drive. It’s been one of the biggest talking points among developers, as the way SSDs handle data will make it possible for, among other things, reduce load times considerably for PS5 games.
But while a few developers have been eager to sing the praises of this high-end technology coming to the console, others are less so. One such developer is Danny Weinbaum, director of the exploration-based indie game Eastshade, and he told GamingBolt that while the PS5’s SSD will definitely streamline things, it won’t make for that much of an improvement, performance-wise.
“Many games have everything they need in memory already, so it wouldn’t affect much there, but it will be helpful for open world titles which require streaming,” he said. “I’d say it won’t really affect performance much. Mostly it will reduce load times.” This sentiment extended to the AMU Ryzen Zen 2 CPU reportedly powering the PS5, with Weinbaum saying that “it won’t change much” outside of allowing for more objects to appear on screen. He capped this off by stating, “It will be an evolution, not a revolution.”
Weinbaum is not the only developer with a more reserved opinion about the advancements the next-gen consoles are bringing. Earlier this year, PlatinumGames studio head Atsushi Inaba offered his thoughts on the PS5 and Project Scarlett, saying that their improved speeds and reduced load times will definitely be a benefit to players and developers alike. All in all, though, “it’s more of the same...nothing that's disruptive or super innovative, if you ask me.”
It is understandable that some developers aren’t going to be too impressed. Technical advancement is great, but that’s not going to be the only factor that dictates whether or not the next console generation starts on solid footing. There is also the matter of the games that come out for these, and while publishers are starting to confirm games for PS5 and Project Scarlett, it’s still too soon to say with absolute certainty if these will be enough to make next-gen consoles worthwhile at launch. But with only around a year to go before then, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out.
The PlayStation 5 will launch in Holiday 2020.