We’ve all played a game where you’re frequently forced to squeeze through cracks in a wall or boost your buddy up a ledge. This form of game design can be found in dozens of titles, but Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and God of War are particularly egregious examples. While the PlayStation 5’s uber-fast SSD will make load screens non-existent, it’s also worth considering how it will alter game design.
For example, when Kratos is forced to squeeze through a small enclosure, it’s actually a hidden loading screen. Rather than take you out of the game, Sony Santa Monica keeps you in control of the axe-wielding anti-hero, but it slows you down while it can stream in the next set of environmental data. With the PS5’s lightning fast data access, though, this kind of design will become a thing of the past.
It means that you’re going to see bigger and better worlds with less obstructions and bottle necks. Consider the sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn, for example – rather than just ground-based mounts, you’ll hypothetically be able to commandeer flying robots, navigating the world at obscene speeds without any hitches or slowdown.
We already saw an example of this when Sony showed how Marvel’s Spider-Man’s swinging speed could be increased on PS5 because Manhattan’s open world could be streamed onto the screen quicker than with the PlayStation 4’s bog-standard hard drive setup. This is about more than load times: it’s going to fundamentally change the way games are designed.