We don’t know everything there is to know about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett, but we know enough to know that they won’t be a radical departure from the PS4 and Xbox One. It’s a bit reductive, but the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett are mostly just more powerful versions of the PS4 and Xbox One. However, there are some differences between the current-gen and next-gen systems that should have a big impact on some of the games we play on them. One of the bigger differences between the two generation of consoles is the inclusion of a SSD in the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett, which won’t just making long loading times a thing of the past, but will have a big impact on certain genres, such as the open-world genre.
Most genres won’t be hugely impacted by the inclusion of a SSD, but for open-world games, developers will be able to load more faster. This should mean not just bigger worlds, but much more density, much less pop-in, and smoother transitions.
“I think we’re going to see SSDs have the biggest impact on open-world titles that constantly stream textures and models into a scene,” said developer Will Traxler of Traxmaster Software while speaking to Gaming Bolt. “Level-based games like Exception may see less of a benefit from SSDs, since most of the assets are loaded up-front and the load times are already brief. I’m sure that developers will come up with some great new uses for SSDs once these become standard in consoles. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.”
As you will know, open-world games were very popular this generation, not only with consumers, but with developers, with a lot of teams taking stabs at the genre. And some of the best games this generation are open-world games, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In other words, if there’s a genre to be benefited by the next-gen consoles, open-world games are probably a great beneficiary given how much they’re trending.
That all said, we won’t really know the impact of the Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation 5 on open-world games until we get some open-world games natively built on the systems. Right now, the Xbox Scarlett is poised to release sometime holiday 2020, and the PS5 is expected to release around this time as well. However, it may take a couple years of the systems being available before we really see the benefits of SSD come into play with open-world titles on the consoles.
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