The ninth generation of consoles isn’t even a year old but it’s still interesting to look at the strategies that Microsoft and Sony are employing. While the former is all about support across generations, backwards compatibility and cloud gaming, the latter is leaning more into high-profile exclusives (though some like Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 and the next God of War are coming to PS4 as well as PS5). Given the similar technologies in the Xbox Series X and PS5, it’s interesting to note the subtle differences in their make-up.
While both utilize a custom octa-core Zen 2 CPU, the Xbox Series X is notable for its 3.8 GHz clock speed (3.6 GHz with Simultaneous Multithreading active) while the PS5 runs at a variable frequency up to 3.5 GHz. However, the PS5’s SSD is an different league, offering a Read Bandwidth of 5.5 GB/s (Raw) and 8-9 GB/s (Compressed) while the Xbox Series X’s Read Bandwidth is 2.4 GB/s (Raw) and 4.8 GB/s (Compressed). We spoke to Invader Studios co-founder Michele Giannone, who’s currently working on Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle for previous and current-gen platforms, on how developers can take advantage of the former along with how it compares to the latter.
“The first and most logical of the answers is obviously linked to the speed of the uploads. Having the ability to access data so quickly allows us to have almost instant uploads, so as to avoid long waits between one map and another. If we analyze everything more deeply, however, we can understand how much this speed of access to gigs of files can also have an impact at the level of game design or go to redefine some pipelines now consolidated in the gaming industry. Just think of what Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart did.”
However, it may be a while before we see such pipelines becoming prevalent in the entire industry. As Giannone notes, “The current bottleneck, however, appears to be the almost always cross-gen nature of the products in the pipeline and the concept of multi-platform itself. So we will see only the exclusive titles for a single platform fully enjoy these new technologies, while for all others will have to ‘be content’ with being able to pass from the start menu to the actual game in a matter of seconds.”
As for how the PS5 or Xbox Series X compares in terms of their SSDs, “We believe that Sony has a distinct advantage from this point of view.”
Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle is out in 2022 and serves as a prequel to Daymare: 1998. It’s in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC.