Scorn Dev: Difference Between PS5 and Xbox Series X SSD is a Matter of 'Diminishing Returns'

Scorn Dev: Difference Between PS5 and Xbox Series X SSD is a Matter of 'Diminishing Returns' - News

by William 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.

Scorn

"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.

Scornthe 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 wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


More Articles

26 Comments

Bandorr (on 30 May 2020)

"end up a matter of diminishing returns," doesn't that apply.. to everything? We are at the point that basically applies to anything and everything.


Mr Puggsly (on 31 May 2020)

As I've said before, HDD bottleneck wasn't a significant issue on 8th gen because the primary bottleneck was at the APUs and RAM. Hence, 8th gen games could have improved loading times and streaming with better CPUs and increased RAM. With that said, I expect much the same next gen. Regardless how fast 9th gen SSD speeds are, the CPU and RAM will still suffer from bottleneck first.


ClassicGamingWizzz (on 30 May 2020)

Can Someone tell What other games this people made , dont find any shit about these devs


poroporo (on 30 May 2020)

They're been working on this game since 2014, as there is pre-alpha footage from 2014 on youtube.


  • +2
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 30 May 2020)

Its a new gaming team then. First game? This game looks só Much like Prometheus movie. Its almost a ripoff of the arquitecture in that movie.


  • +9
JRPGfan (on 30 May 2020)

Yes I think its their first game, also as a Microsoft guy without access to a PS5 kit.... his words arn't exactly trustworthy.
This is just PR spin from xbox side.


  • +10
DonFerrari (on 01 June 2020)

Didn't made anything but thinks he is good enough to bad mouth other devs (using copy and paste assets), determine SSD is diminishing returns, but PS5 can't run their game.


  • 0
chakkra (on 30 May 2020)

The part the caught my attention the most was this: "Theoretically, If I had to choose I would rather take an average speed SSD (an even slower than the one in Series X) and have more memory. Now since that kind of system would be obviously too expensive, these SSDs with custom I/O solutions are the best option."


JRPGfan (on 30 May 2020)

Thats part of what makes the Sony SSD so good though? They dont need to keep as much assest in ram anymore, because things out of player field of view, can be dumped (by the ram) and then loaded as needed (when the player turns and objects come into view). They made the load times insanely fast, to the point were it gives access to more ram pool.


  • 0
chakkra (on 30 May 2020)

@JRPGfan, In theory, yes, but having a bigger number on one specific part doesn't automatically translate into proportional gains bcuz you are always bound to the other parts of the system. For example: putting 64GB of RAM or an SSD into a Xbox 360 wouldn't make much difference bcuz as soon as you reach the limits of the GPU and CPU, there is no more gains.


  • +1
Hynad (on 30 May 2020)

Diminishing return... Maybe. But considering the studio's limited pedigree, to say the least, I doubt he has access to a PS5 dev kit to make any meaningful comparison. Still, I don't expect the end-result to be day and night between the two consoles. What he said is fair enough in the sense that developers need to have a vision and push it, rather than try to push some new fancy tech just because. One thing is sure, it will be interesting to see what this paradigm shift will bring to us players. Developers say this exponential increase in memory bandwidth speed will allow game design to flourish and I can't wait to see that come to fruition.


DonFerrari (on 01 June 2020)

He is very knowledgeable. He knows the SSD is almost irrelevant gain (twice as fast) but with the GPU/CPU from PS5 being 10% weaker he can't make the game on it. Very beliveable.


  • 0
LudicrousSpeed (on 30 May 2020)

You don't need access to a dev kit as a developer to understand how I/O and memory and SSDs work, lol. Still, this should be taken with a grain of salt just like what Epic said about UE5 and the PS5 SSD should be taken with a grain of salt because there are deals between these companies, so of course they're going to speak fondly of one box and downplay the other.


Hynad (on 31 May 2020)

Your take on anything should be taken with a bag of salt.


  • +3
Hynad (on 31 May 2020)

Sorry, I forgot...

“Lol!”


  • +3
LudicrousSpeed (on 31 May 2020)

Yet I'm sure you agree with everything I said there. I'd go into more detail but i don't want more whiny DM's on Discord. Hope that helps!


  • +1
poroporo (on 31 May 2020)

I'm not sure that we can pretend to understand the performance implications of the PS5's unreleased SSD just by throwing numbers. 6 priority lanes has an impact, on-chip decompression will lighten the CPU load by a %, but no one really knows by how much. A game dev isn't an engineer. Why should anyone pay attention, especially when they're talking about a competitor's hardware that they've likely never touched?


  • +1
LudicrousSpeed (on 31 May 2020)

Yes yes devs who spend years working on hardware and know these numbers have no idea how hardware works and what means what. Only Sony engineers truly understand how an SSD works. Adorable, just like the eSRAM in Xbone. PS5 gets their own secret sauce this gen.


  • 0
DonFerrari (on 01 June 2020)

So the SSD is diminishing returns, but the CPU/GPU in PS5 isn't enough to run their game. Plus other devs will mostly use to make bigger worlds that aren't copy and paste... well certainly true from his credentials.


freedquaker (on 31 May 2020)

So 2.4 GB/s vs. 5.5 GB/s (More than 100% difference) in SSD is a matter of diminishing returns but 10.2 TB vs 12 (less than 20% difference) in raw GPU is not! It sounds like MS is in damage control mode by proxy this time, after having played on the wrong horse again (Last time on the ESRAM and this time on the raw speed!). The 15-20% GPU raw power will not be noticeable to 99% of the people but the over 100% difference in SSD will certainly be! Faster loading times, better textures in all games, and better level design in first party games vs, maybe a maximum of 20% resolution disadvantage in games. (2160p vs 1980p is about right) while the frame rate will not be much different as both have very similar CPUs.


Pemalite (on 31 May 2020)

Anyone with a PC will know that an SSD on Sata 3 @ 500MB/s isn't really going to be orders-of-magnitude slower at loading a game than a 2,500MB/s nVME SSD with 5x the bandwidth, the biggest benefit was those low access times when SSD's first appeared on the market... Which greatly benefited random reads/writes which made mechanical disk transfer rates tank.

Obviously there are other use case scenarios at play here that hasn't been demonstrated in-engine, in-games, time will tell.

But there are diminishing returns with extra computational capability... And SSD transfer rates to provide additional benefits.

Flops and Resolution can also be unrelated.


  • +2
DonFerrari (on 01 June 2020)

And Sony decided to put a very expensive SSD solution instead of 500Mb/s because????


  • 0
GaoGaiGarV (on 31 May 2020)

Well i just hope their game has less copy and paste than the gameplay demo they released a couple of years ago, despite being only narrow corridors in a grid arrangement.


Jigsawx1 (on 30 May 2020)

This guy is sso right!


Comments below voting threshold

JRPGfan (on 30 May 2020)

Something tells me this is just negative PR spin, by a xbox dev, to throw shade at sony. I have serious doubts he has access to a PS5 dev kit, has read up on how to code for it, to take advantage of the SSD, or tried to see how it effects his game.


mutantsushi (on 30 May 2020)

I think that isn't fair to the developer, who in fact isn't MS first party but apparently his game has time limited console exclusivity and he isn't supposed to talk up the opposition. The "game journalist" asked him the question, and he spent 98% of his answer avoiding saying anything about PS5 vs XSX. What he did say "in general" is actually an interesting way to put it: a faster SSD is equivalent of having much more RAM, albeit he didn't phrase that in regards to PS5 the logic obviously applies. It also points to how we may see real-world benefits for PS5's system in crossplatform games: facilitating equivalent experience for games which can leverage larger RAM sizes... which are much commoner on PC and will only become more so in future. With one of the "big" consoles now EFFECTIVELY having much larger pool of RAM access (in some aspects), game devs can now create systems which require that effective larger RAM and have larger combined market. XSX doesn't, so won't really change "what games can do" as much in that regard, other than "turning up the GFX settings" with GPU advantage, although it seems to also have certain CPU advantage which is it's own advantage potentially.


  • +8