The PS5’s SSD Is Exactly What Single-Player Games Needed

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I have owned my PS5 for a little over a year. Sony has enabled the ability to upgrade the PS5 hard drive, but it’s so lightning fast that I’ve felt no need to do it. Its lightning-fast SSD is great! With games getting bigger and bigger, I’ll probably need a bigger SSD one day, or just hook up an external hard drive to the back of my system and have my whole library of games available to me. But in the meantime, I’m just enjoying that speedy SSD performance for the first time on a console.

The SSD drive that comes standard with every PlayStation 5 has a read/write speed of 5,500 MBps. Other SSDs allow you to upgrade the drive by by a couple of thousand MBps, which is like putting nitrous in a 10-second car. But the standard SSD revolutionized my ability to player single-player games.

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So it’s great to be able to go from playing one game, then quickly jump into another one within a matter of seconds. To put it all into context, the PlayStation 4 used a regular HDD (hard disk drive) that had a read/write speed of around 100MBps. Hard disk drives are louder, they take more time to read data, and are way more prone to mechanical failure due to their many moving parts (which SSDs don’t have). No momentum has to be gained with the PS5’s SSDs.

SSDs have been around for a long time, and are not new technology. It’s just now they’re more affordable and more widely used. But single-player games really did need something like this to be installed in consoles. I remember watching comparison videos of load times between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and the results were night and day. Let’s look at the testing done on GTA V, which showed the game loaded in 27 seconds on the PlayStation 5 compared to almost two minutes on the PlayStation 4. It’s mind-blowing stuff, but the most important aspect when it comes to games is how it smooths transitions between scenes, thereby having a direct impact on the play experience.

Imagine playing Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on a last-gen console. The scene where Ratchet is falling through different worlds and dimensions would not be as clear, clean, or as smooth as it is on PS5. You want to be able to go through different areas and doorways without having to twiddle your thumbs waiting for the world to load. Despite being on PlayStation 5, Resident Evil Village contains a bunch of long elevator rides that serve no gameplay purpose. This is most likely to conceal the long loading transitions that would take place in the PS4 version PlayStation 4. If it were only on PlayStation 5, then the SSD would most likely make those long protracted elevator rides a good bit quicker.

The PS5’s SSD changed the way games can be made and enjoyed, because it eliminates the unnecessary waiting times. No longer do owners like myself have to slow down our playthroughs because what is ahead of us has to load. It eliminates the need for the dreadful moments where you have to crawl through labyrinths of vents just so the world can load. As a growing number of games become designed for this new generation, gameplay will become more fluid, and that’s great for developers because when they are making a game, they won’t have have to worry about slowdowns mandated by old hard drives.

If you own PS4 games, the built-in SSD of the PS5 also increases their performance as well. As a single-player gamer, the scrapping of a hard disk drive for an SSD is not only a welcome change, it’s a necessary one.



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