Scorn Dev: Difference Between PS5 and Xbox Series X SSD is a Matter of 'Diminishing Returns' - NewsWilliam D'Angelo , posted on 01 June 2020 / 2,743 Views
Ljubomir Peklar, director of the upcoming Xbox Series X console exclusive first-person horror game Scorn, in an interview with GamingBolt was asked about the PlayStation 5 solid-state drive (SSD) and his thoughts on the difference between that and the SSD in the Xbox Series X.
He started by discussing the advantages of using an SSD over a traditional hard drive. The use of an SSD is necessary to take full advantage of the next generation CPUs and GPUs, according to Peklar.
"For a system to take the full advantage of the next gen CPU/GPUs, the amount of data needed to be streamed in and out of memory is pretty big," Peklar said. "That’s the main reason why both console manufactures went with the SSDs and a specialized I/O approach. This approach was pretty much a necessity. You could, for example, get similar results with average SSD speeds and more memory.
"You would have to preload more game data into memory, but on the other hand your SSD wouldn’t need to fetch that much data every second. When next-gen engines start to incorporate these kinds of workflows, some new possibilities will open up in theory. Like having an open world game with high fidelity assets found in smaller scale games, or as they said in the Unreal 5 tech demo, movie quality assets."
He provided two reasons as to why this is currently not possible on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. However, he did warn developers that bigger worlds are not always better as it could lead to more copy and paste of assets.
"There are two reason why this is not possible on current gen," he said. "One is hardware. Mechanical drives simply can’t keep up with the amount of data- there’s not enough memory, current CPU/GPU would struggle to compute it all adequately etc. Second is the amount of work/time needed for developers to create all these very high quality assets, for any game size, let alone for a large open world game.
"I feel that this second problem will stand as a decent obstacle, even with Unreal 5 automatically helping with optimization. And if developers foolishly decide to go for even bigger size maps, and they will, because bigger is always better in their minds, then these open world games will look beautiful at first glance but end up even more copy-pasted and padded with samey content than they are now. And it’s already a sad affair in that regard."
Peklar is positive that down the road we will see games that take full advantage of it, but it won't occur right away.
"I’m positive that down the road, developers will find a way to create experiences that would be impossible to realize on current gen, but that journey starts with interesting concepts that will be organically realized by having these technologies available," he said. "You shouldn’t design solely from the perspective of technology, as you could end up having peculiar things like a game with all reflective surfaces just so you could show off ray tracing."
As for the differences between the SSD in the Xbox Series X and PS5, Peklar said it is not going to be as big of a deal as it seems on paper.
"As for differences between the two solutions I feel that it will end up a matter of diminishing returns," he said.
Scorn, the atmospheric first-person horror adventure with inspiration from HR Giger's artwork, is currently in development for the Xbox Series X and Windows PC. The reason the only console it is coming to is only coming to the Xbox Series X is because it is a "very capable hardware that enables parity with the PC version of the game."
A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TrunksWD.