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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Why the SSD is a big deal for PS5, Series X.

Cerebralbore101 said:
PC has had access to SSD for something like 10 years. I'm sure a lot of PC games are already capable of taking advantage of you having an M.2 drive. But this high speed SSD being in PS5 will pretty much standardize taking advantage of faster SSD for all games on PS5 and PC. So it should be exciting times.

I'm kind of afraid of the HD trying to make up for limited RAM like it did last gen. That tends to make consoles age poorly. If RAM requirements of PC games balloon into 32 GB, the shared VRAM and RAM of PS5 will not be enough. Series X would be even worse off. Then they'd leverage the SSD speed in PS5. But overall that would make both Series X and PS5 age terribly. Unlikely scenario, but just a thought.

Not really, Cause many people have slow hard drives on their PC, or SATA SSD's (like me) they still have to design basically every PC game around slower hardware.

So games out on PC will either start having SSD Speed requirements, or corners and weird level designs to accomodate slow speed will have to be made. PS5 Exclusives on the other hand, all the chains will be off.



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Cerebralbore101 said:
PC has had access to SSD for something like 10 years. I'm sure a lot of PC games are already capable of taking advantage of you having an M.2 drive. But this high speed SSD being in PS5 will pretty much standardize taking advantage of faster SSD for all games on PS5 and PC. So it should be exciting times.

I'm kind of afraid of the HD trying to make up for limited RAM like it did last gen. That tends to make consoles age poorly. If RAM requirements of PC games balloon into 32 GB, the shared VRAM and RAM of PS5 will not be enough. Series X would be even worse off. Then they'd leverage the SSD speed in PS5. But overall that would make both Series X and PS5 age terribly. Unlikely scenario, but just a thought.

PC could have done this with SSD's (to a lower degree) looong ago. But they didn't. And still generally don't. (Star Citizen being the first that does iirc.)
It's not because even the older SSD's weren't fast enough to improve level design and the fidelity of the game. It's because not every PC (or console if they were multiplatform games) could be expected to have an SSD.

If developers make use of an SSD this way, it completely changes how they design many aspects of the game. This is not somethign they can just 'scale' for HDD users. They'd essentially have to create two different games, increasing their workload tremendously. It's just not wroth it.

PS5 and XBO standardizing SSD for console gaming can change this. PS5 in an extreme manner. But even developing games around the lowest common denominator SSD would see a huge improvement. Though such games would then require an SSD of certain speed to be playable on PC.

sales2099 said:
Ok so it handles texture pop in, or in this case near eliminates it. On top of loading times. Good to know, but most gamers will be comparing resolution and FPS like always.

When comparing multiplatform games? Yes.
They won't be able to take full advantage of the fastest SSD in multi-platform games though, because the games have to work properly on other systems, and this isn't something you can generally scale down for a slower SSD. If you build a stage with a certain amount of objects becoming visible when you turn around on PS5 to the point where it pushes the limits of the SSD, then on another system they may have to build a wall there instead to block your view, etc. That's too much work if you have to do it constantly.

But what they can 'scale' is the resolution. They can have bigger sized textures load up in time on PS5's SSD.
The former Naughty Dog developer mentioned that.

What will mainly be interesting to see though are first party PS5 games trying to utilize this fully.

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 March 2020

SSD drives are great however I cannot see it making that much difference when it comes to how games are designed. Developers will still go with there own game design choices. Linear style games wont see much difference because they are designed around scene by scene while openworld games can benefit but how much are devs willing to invest and design even bigger worlds? Is there a thing as too big? because sometimes for me, when I play openworld games, being too big can be a chore.

I welcome the faster load times on both consoles and honestly that's all id expect, if they do more with it great but I couldn't care if they do or not. They just need to continue to make great games.



Azzanation said:
SSD drives are great however I cannot see it making that much difference when it comes to how games are designed. Developers will still go with there own game design choices. Linear style games wont see much difference because they are designed around scene by scene while openworld games can benefit but how much are devs willing to invest and design even bigger worlds? Is there a thing as too big? because sometimes for me, when I play openworld games, being too big can be a chore.

I welcome the faster load times on both consoles and honestly that's all id expect, if they do more with it great but I couldn't care if they do or not. They just need to continue to make great games.

>Developers will still go with there own game design choices.

It's not really how it works.  Take a look at the Jak 2 map, this is the one that Mark was showing.

The developers had to do a lot of work to add in twists and turns so that the game would have enough time to load everything in.  

A lot of devs are talking about SSD's being a potential game changer, because they'll no longer have to worry about these kinds of designs.  

They'll be able to actually make the kind of designs they wanted to make.  

The point here is that yes, linear games are made scene by scene, but with SSD's they'll be able to do a lot more with those scenes.

>openworld games can benefit but how much are devs willing to invest and design even bigger worlds?

It wouldn't benefit games by making bigger open worlds, it'd be more about making them more full.  



Azzanation said:
SSD drives are great however I cannot see it making that much difference when it comes to how games are designed. Developers will still go with there own game design choices. Linear style games wont see much difference because they are designed around scene by scene while openworld games can benefit but how much are devs willing to invest and design even bigger worlds? Is there a thing as too big? because sometimes for me, when I play openworld games, being too big can be a chore.

I welcome the faster load times on both consoles and honestly that's all id expect, if they do more with it great but I couldn't care if they do or not. They just need to continue to make great games.

It's not that this was a 'design choice' in the past. It was always a hardware limitation forcing them to deign the games around it.

- They had to create a flight of stairs here so that they could load in a new area in front of you while fading away the one behind. If that area could load up in time without the long flight of stairs, they wouldn't have needed to add it, and could have done something they actually wanted there instead.
- If it takes you 1 second to turn around, they had to limit the amount of objects in a room to the amount able to load by the time you turn around to see them.
- They had to put up a wall here, and have you turn a corner, rather than seeing everything in the area the whole time.
All this goes for linear games as well.

A high fidelity game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake for example could make very good use of this.
Though even with PS5's SSD, I still can't imagine that it would be possible to load in all of Midgar properly as you fly over it at high speed with the airship. That still seems impossible without trickery. But it certainly would work a lot better now, at the very least.

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 March 2020

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Hiku said:

It's not that this was a 'design choice' in the past. It was always a hardware limitation forcing them to deign the games around it.

- They had to create a flight of stairs here so that they could load in a new area in front of you while fading away the one behind. If that area could load up in time without the long flight of stairs, they wouldn't have needed to add it, and could have done something they actually wanted there instead.
- If it takes you 1 second to turn around, they had to limit the amount of objects in a room to the amount able to load by the time you turn around to see them.
- They had to put up a wall here, and have you turn a corner, rather than seeing everything in the area the whole time.
All this goes for linear games as well.

A high fidelity game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake for example could make very good use of this.
Though even with PS5's SSD, I still can't imagine that it would be possible to load in all of Midgar properly as you fly over it at high speed with the airship. That still seems impossible without trickery. But it certainly would work a lot better now, at the very least.

I guess my point is, those stairs would have existed anyway because if a house has stairs it will have stairs. If you are in an alleyway than you are going to have walls and objects there. I can see this working with games where flying is a thing as you mentioned flying over cities or landscapes and games like Star Citizen but the every day type game like platformers and FPS games, I honestly cannot see much use here aside from the fast load times. 

Last edited by Azzanation - on 19 March 2020

Hiku said:
Azzanation said:
SSD drives are great however I cannot see it making that much difference when it comes to how games are designed. Developers will still go with there own game design choices. Linear style games wont see much difference because they are designed around scene by scene while openworld games can benefit but how much are devs willing to invest and design even bigger worlds? Is there a thing as too big? because sometimes for me, when I play openworld games, being too big can be a chore.

I welcome the faster load times on both consoles and honestly that's all id expect, if they do more with it great but I couldn't care if they do or not. They just need to continue to make great games.

It's not that this was a 'design choice' in the past. It was always a hardware limitation forcing them to deign the games around it.

- They had to create a flight of stairs here so that they could load in a new area in front of you while fading away the one behind. If that area could load up in time without the long flight of stairs, they wouldn't have needed to add it, and could have done something they actually wanted there instead.
- If it takes you 1 second to turn around, they had to limit the amount of objects in a room to the amount able to load by the time you turn around to see them.
- They had to put up a wall here, and have you turn a corner, rather than seeing everything in the area the whole time.
All this goes for linear games as well.

A high fidelity game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake for example could make very good use of this.
Though even with PS5's SSD, I still can't imagine that it would be possible to load in all of Midgar properly as you fly over it at high speed with the airship. That still seems impossible without trickery. But it certainly would work a lot better now, at the very least.

They can using the geometry engines to load and differential texture mapping detail by distance.



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Azzanation said:
Hiku said:

It's not that this was a 'design choice' in the past. It was always a hardware limitation forcing them to deign the games around it.

- They had to create a flight of stairs here so that they could load in a new area in front of you while fading away the one behind. If that area could load up in time without the long flight of stairs, they wouldn't have needed to add it, and could have done something they actually wanted there instead.
- If it takes you 1 second to turn around, they had to limit the amount of objects in a room to the amount able to load by the time you turn around to see them.
- They had to put up a wall here, and have you turn a corner, rather than seeing everything in the area the whole time.
All this goes for linear games as well.

A high fidelity game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake for example could make very good use of this.
Though even with PS5's SSD, I still can't imagine that it would be possible to load in all of Midgar properly as you fly over it at high speed with the airship. That still seems impossible without trickery. But it certainly would work a lot better now, at the very least.

I guess my point is, those stairs would have existed anyway because is a house has stairs it will have stairs. If you are in an alleyway than you are going to have walls and objects there. I can see this working with games where flying is a thing as you mentioned flying over cities or landscapes and games like Star Citizen but the every day type game like platformers and FPS games, I honestly cannot see much else happening here. 

You're actually missing the point. The alleyway wasn't necessarily created because they wanted it there. It was created to obstruct the view of the Eifel Tower, so that they can load up all the flashy neon signs around the corner on top of Bob's Handgun shop.

This happens essentially all the time in game design, whether it's stage design or the character models.
In Cerny's video he gave a good example with the Jax stage that Pi-Guy showed you, but a more visual example is this one:

This is a character's field of vision in a room:



Notice how all the furniture outside of his field of vision is blacked out?
That's because they actually vanish when you're not looking at them. As soon as you stop looking at them, they load out of the memory, to make room for the things you actually see. Why do they do this you ask? Because what if the developers want to improve the visual quality of what you are looking at? Either by adding more objects/characters, or by improving the quality and resolution of the textures. That's normal for any game development, right?

Ok, but here's the issue essentially every developer runs into. They keep improving the visuals to the point where the system can no longer store all of them in the memory. So they have to remove things you're not looking at. But, and here's another problem, they have to be able to re-load those assets again as soon as your character turns around to look at them. Let's say it takes you 1 second to turn around. Oh shoot... we can't load all that in in just 1 second. What do we do? Well let's remove some furniture/characters, and lower the resolution. Also divide this big room into two small rooms, by placing a wall and a doorway in the middle.

Now do you see that this has nothing to do with just open world games? It's essentially every game.
Developers have been held back by this limitation since PS1, and little has changed since.
PS5 is trying to essentially eliminate his issue completely.

You're only thinking about objects created because they're actually supposed to be there. I'm talking about objects forced to be there (or removed) due to hardware limitations.
And btw, even stairs in a house can be used to offset loading speed issues. Though I was more thinking of something like this:



Or a long corridor like this in order to load up the impressive huge city up front:



(It's actually much longer than I could show in the gif)
This is essentially everywhere in game design. 

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 March 2020

DonFerrari said:
Hiku said:

It's not that this was a 'design choice' in the past. It was always a hardware limitation forcing them to deign the games around it.

- They had to create a flight of stairs here so that they could load in a new area in front of you while fading away the one behind. If that area could load up in time without the long flight of stairs, they wouldn't have needed to add it, and could have done something they actually wanted there instead.
- If it takes you 1 second to turn around, they had to limit the amount of objects in a room to the amount able to load by the time you turn around to see them.
- They had to put up a wall here, and have you turn a corner, rather than seeing everything in the area the whole time.
All this goes for linear games as well.

A high fidelity game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake for example could make very good use of this.
Though even with PS5's SSD, I still can't imagine that it would be possible to load in all of Midgar properly as you fly over it at high speed with the airship. That still seems impossible without trickery. But it certainly would work a lot better now, at the very least.

They can using the geometry engines to load and differential texture mapping detail by distance.

Right, that's what I meant by trickery.
It wouldn't be the same fidelity Midgar we're able to see up close.



Hiku said: 

You're only thinking about objects created because they're actually supposed to be there. I'm talking about objects forced to be there (or removed) due to hardware limitations.
And btw, even stairs in a house can be used to offset loading speed issues. Though I was more thinking of something like this:

I completely understand what you mean however.. how would a super Fast SSD benefit games like Ori and the Will of the Wisp or a 2D Platformer? Just to name this genre as an example.