Home Gaming Epic Games had to rewrite sections of Unreal engine 5 just so that it could keep up with the PS5’s SSD

Epic Games had to rewrite sections of Unreal engine 5 just so that it could keep up with the PS5’s SSD

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“So games are going to load faster, right? That’s nice.”

That’s the general consensus with the PlayStation 5, whose limited messaging to date has painted the picture of it having the best solid state drive technology in gaming. It’s not just revolutionary new technology powering the games on that system, but also how they function on the system. No matter how fast your graphics card is or how much RAM you can shove into a console, hard drives do matter for more than just the basic reason of having a location to store your games on.

Think of it this way: Imagine needing to paint a massive canvas in a rush but you’ve got a tube of paint whose nozzle is the size of a pin prick. Will you be able to fill that blank sheet up with visual information? Eventually, yes! But think how much quicker it would be if your paint came out of a fire department hose instead!

That’s the idea with the PlayStation 5, as that console is emphasising on filling your TV screen with information at a quicker clip, thus allowing for more detailed worlds and special effects, according to Epic Games. Having recently shown off a good-looking tech demo (that will function just as well on Xbox Series X!), Epic reckons that the PS5’s ability to render content at an amazing clip will create a revolution in how games are designed.

“The PlayStation 5 provides a huge leap in both computing and graphics performance, but its storage architecture is also truly special,” Nick Penwarden, VP of engineering at Epic Games explained to VG247.

The ability to stream in content at extreme speeds enables developers to create denser and more detailed environments, changing how we think about streaming content. It’s so impactful that we’ve rewritten our core I/O subsystems for Unreal Engine with the PlayStation 5 in mind.

Sony and Microsoft is gearing up for a console generation where the competition won’t be based solely on whose games look the best on which system. The next generation is about comfort, quality of life and speed. While Microsoft’s Xbox Series X does have a stellar NVMe SSD of its own, Sony’s focus on going above and beyond with what this technology is capable of, is going to give them a sizable advantage in the tech department.

It’s going to be exciting to see just how games take advantage of this in the years to come.

Last Updated: June 4, 2020

7 Comments

  1. All this talk about how amazing the super duper drive is kinda has me worried about how long it will last and what it will cost to replace.

    Reply

  2. Iskape

    June 4, 2020 at 12:15

    The way they are punting the storage capabilities of the PS5! I am eager to see if it really is the be all and end all for the next generation. Usually graphics power is punted more than storage capabilities. I can’t help but feel they are making up for a lack somewhere else…I could very much be wrong of course, and just maybe, just maybe, the deciding factor for some as to whether they go PS5 or XSX will be storage capabilities. I can definitely see the importance of storage performance in multi-tasking, and if that is there angle, then yeah, it makes sense. But in terms of gaming – it is important of course – loading times and all that – but is it more important that your console’s ability to run a game in 4k at an average of 60 fps or more. I would happily wait for a game to load if it means my game will look amazing in 4k at 60 fps +.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 4, 2020 at 12:28

      It’s not just loading though. The faster drives mean less need for LoD meshes, means you can have high-res textures, means you can load more on screen at once. It also means seemless, loadless games are 100% actually possible. Sure, 4k looks great. But with this SSD tech, you can have MORE than ever before. Beautiful textures make much more of a difference to visual quality than I think you’re giving them credit for – and that’s something this tech can provide.

      Couple that with the UE5 engine, and in a couple years games are going to look fantastic.

      Reply

      • MechMachine

        June 4, 2020 at 14:11

        I heard it makes flapjacks, flapjack/pancakes….

        Reply

      • RuadRauFlessa

        June 5, 2020 at 13:56

        Errr seriously… Open world games with seamless transitions from area to area is already possible. Has been for the past 10 to 15 years already. They use predictive algorithms to determine what to preload well in advance of you even getting close to the point where it needs to think of using the asset in the scene. Also we have stuff such as Random Access Memory. It would have simply been cheaper and quicker to load the console with decent RAM wherein you can preload the assets and textures required. On my PC for instance I can easily load 1/4 of all the assets in Destiny 2 into RAM. More than what is required. Now go and bump the RAM up decently and see where you get at. You can also prioritize the loading of assets into memory based on the probability of them being needed. So if you immediately need the textures and assets for that all important into scene then they will be prioritized but you know that after that intro there is other scenes to follow and while the intro is busy playing you keep loading data in the background to keep feeding assets into memory until you do not need to any more. Bragging rights about having the fastest SSD tech in the segment is like saying you have a 104MP camera but you can only store a 2mp image from it.

        PS: SSD’s are more expensive than RAM 😉

        Reply

        • Ron

          June 11, 2020 at 17:51

          Open world games are still plagued by lower textured objects at distance and popins, I wish game engines would allow for better utilization of free ram, loading up all 32-64GB etc, with no need to constantly swop assets from ssd.

          Reply

  3. MechMachine

    June 4, 2020 at 14:11

    The ultimate irony is it’s taking forever to see the dang thing.

    Reply

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