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PS5 might have one huge advantage over the Xbox and even gaming PCs

Published Oct 31st, 2019 7:31AM EDT
PS5 Specs vs. Xbox Scarlett
Image: LetsGoDigital

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The PS5 is easily one of the most popular things in gaming right now, even though the console doesn’t officially exist. You won’t be able to buy the PlayStation 5 until about a year from now, and Sony will need at least three more months to properly unveil it. Truth be told, we already know some of the most important things about the next-gen PlayStation, its specs, which will deliver a major boost over its predecessors, and make possible new gaming experiences. The same goes for the equally secret Xbox Scarlett, which shares the PS5’s main specs. But Microsoft, unlike Sony, hasn’t announced the official name of the console, and we haven’t seen any Xbox Scarlett dev kits leaked. Microsoft, in fact, has revealed fewer details about its next console than Sony did, as the latter has recently announced a brand new controller, and quietly revealed some of the console’s new features. Among them is a trick that might be exclusive to PS5, for all we know, although it’d make sense for the new Xbox to support it as well. And, funnily enough, it’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare that actually reminded me about this cool Sony invention for the upcoming console.

Activision’s brand new COD episode is a huge hit with players, but a story earlier this week highlighted one of the most annoying things about the new game: Its sheer size.

Downloading the game was “an absolute nightmare,” according to Kotaku, as the game requires 128GB of storage on PC:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is fun as hell, but it took me well over four hours before I could find that out. The process for getting the dang thing to run was one small misery after another, a perfect illustration of how jagged and frustrating the install experience for highly anticipated AAA games can be.

Similarly, IGN pointed out that Modern Warefare is 125 times bigger than the original Call of Duty. The PS4 version of the game needs well over 60GB of storage, not including the day one patches.

Game quality and content have evolved significantly in recent years, which is why you need more and more storage on gaming rigs for massive games such as Modern Warfare. And with PS5 and Xbox Scarlett delivering even better chips and speedy SSD, developers will probably have to further increase the size of new games in the coming years.

Things like cheaper drives, faster Wi-Fi 6, and 5G technologies should definitely help make those pesky downloads more manageable, but Sony has another clever idea about how to prevent such problems on the PS5.

Game installation will work differently on the PS5 than the PS4 and other devices. Instead of having to install the full game, even if you don’t plan on getting on the single- or multiplayer side of it, you’ll be able to customize your experience — from Wired:

Game installation (which is mandatory, given the speed difference between the SSD and the optical drive) will be a bit different than in the PS4. This time around, aided in part by the simplified game data possible with the SSD, Sony is changing its approach to storage, making for a more configurable installation—and removal—process. “Rather than treating games like a big block of data,” Cerny says, “we’re allowing finer-grained access to the data.” That could mean the ability to install just a game’s multiplayer campaign, leaving the single-player campaign for another time, or just installing the whole thing and then deleting the single-player campaign once you’ve finished it.

That kind of game experience should help reduce install time and get you into the action as fast as possible, especially if you’re getting a digital version of the game. It’s all theory for the time being, but the feature could help you save on disk space as well as wait times — Sony hasn’t said how much default storage the PS5 will have at launch. And it’s something gamers should experience on other devices, whether its the Xbox, gaming PCs, and even game streaming services, especially when it comes to buying games online.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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