Microsoft Aims to Virtually Eliminate Loading Times on Xbox Series X

Dec 19, 2019
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Following the unexpected reveal of the Xbox Series X console at The Game Awards 2019, Microsoft shared new details with the press.

Speaking to Gamespot, for example, Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald highlighted the goal to 'virtually eliminate' loading times in Xbox Series X games.

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It's really about giving the developers the tools and the capabilities to use the hardware in the most efficient way possible. A good example of that is on the [solid-state drive] side--we've basically reached the limit of [what's] possible with the traditional rotational drive. We're basically at the upper bounds of the raw performance we can get there. So we've invested in NVMe SSDs and we're also giving developers a lot of new capabilities on top of that to try to virtually eliminate load times.

You know, whether that's a level-based game and I'm going from level one to level two, or if you think about a massive open-world game and actually want to fast-travel or teleport from one end of the world to the other, I shouldn't have to [have] this loading experience [that takes] me out of the immersion, and that's all possible with some of the investments we've made on the I/O side.

It is, after all, the same goal that Sony has stressed since the reveal of the first PlayStation 5 specifications. PS5 will also feature a built-in SSD that, according to Lead System Architect Mark Cerny, is going to be specifically designed for gaming purposes.

Since then, a few game developers have also commented on the SSD. Counterplay Games, the developers of PlayStation 5 console exclusive Godfall, stated that it is exceptionally powerful and allows for seamless loading of the game's expansive world. Speaking to Wccftech, Crytek described the new fast storage solution as a potential game-changer.

However, Remedy's Technical Director Mika Vehkala warned that loading times may not be necessarily eliminated in all of the cases.

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