In Sony's new PS5 talk, lead system architect Mark Cerny called SSD "key" to the next-gen hardware, explaining that it's the "number one ask from developers." Here's what that means for games.
First and foremost, Cerny says SSD "gives the game designer freedom" to make faster, more seamless games. Though it's worth noting that the PS5's 825GB SSD doesn't quite match up with the 1TB SSD in the Xbox Series X, Cerny says it should still load games about "100 times faster than PS4." Likewise, that should mean "no installs as you know them today" (regarding updates at least).
Naturally, the PS5's 5GB/second SSD will also provide real in-game benefits to the player. Shorn of "hard limits on the player's run speed or driving speed," larger, more detailed environments will load more quickly and allow players to explore them at a faster pace.
"As the player is turning around, it's possible to load textures for everything behind the player in that split second. If you figure that it takes half a second to turn, that's 4gb of compressed data you can load. That sounds about right for next-gen," Cerny said.
Cerny also commented on the size of the PS5's SSD as it relates to manufacturing costs and ultimately, the hardware's retail price.
"Is that enough? It's tempting to add more, but flash certainly doesn't come cheap, and we have a responsibility to our gaming audience to be cost-effective with regards to what we put in the console."
Here's a more detailed look at SSD vs HDD in next-gen hardware.