PS5 SSD is 'amazing', says God Of War director – but what could it mean for gaming?

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“Near-instant load times.” That’s quite a bold claim, but one that Sony is sticking to ahead of the PlayStation 5’s release later this year. 

Much has been made of the next-gen console’s “ultra-high-speed” SSD, which promises lightning-fast loading for installed games. The drive boasts custom integration with the rest of the PS5 hardware. This means that data can be pulled from the SSD extremely quickly – enabling developers to “design games in ways never before possible”. 

In fact, Sony is pushing the SSD as one of the PS5’s headline features. But is it really that quick?

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Well, according to one high-profile game director, the answer is: yes. Cory Barlog, helmer of the Bafta-winning PS4 actioner God Of War, says the PS5 SSD is “just amazing”. And that’s coming from a man who’s been up close and personal with Sony’s futuristic-looking console.

“[The PS5 is] pretty exciting actually – there’s a lot of stuff that we’ve been messing around with,” Barlog enthused in an interview on virtual talk show Animal Talking (as reported via VGC). 

“I’m impatient and I don’t like any kind of load times,” he continued. “We’ve gone to great lengths in [the God Of War] series, like all the way back to the PS2, of trying to hide any kind of loading so that you never really feel like you’re having that artificial layer of the game break you out of it.”

READ MORE: How much storage will the PS5 SSD offer?

PS5 SSD drive is a ‘game-changer’

Barlog’s opinion carries a lot of weight and, while he wouldn’t be drawn on what exactly he’s working on next, most gaming folk fully expect a God Of War sequel to be announced as a PS5 exclusive at some point. 

His comments also lend credibility to PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny’s description of the SSD as “a true game changer”.

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The PS5 marks the first time a Sony console has used an SSD (solid-state drive) for its internal storage. Its predecessor, the PS4, relied on a hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs offer improved performance and faster load times. And, because they have no moving parts (unlike HDDs), they are much more durable and energy-efficient. They stay cooler during use, too.

The PS5 SSD is reported to be able to load 2GB of data in just one-quarter of a second. Now that’s speedy. In fact, Cerny has previously claimed that the drive is so “blindingly fast” that gaming techniques such as fast travel might actually have to be slowed down by game creators.

Not only that, but the PS5 SSD’s capabilities will reportedly transform the way in which developers design their game worlds. It will allow them to craft huge, sprawling and detailed environments without worrying about memory issues or having to build load-masking distractions.

For more about what the PS5 has to offer, check out our complete guide to the new console’s features and specs.

READ MORE: The PS5’s DualSense controller explained