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The PS5's storage system is helping Sucker Punch change how it makes games

The PS5's storage system is helping Sucker Punch change how it makes games

March 17, 2021 | By Bryant Francis




If you’re curious about what opportunities new consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are offering to developers, Sucker Punch co-founder Brian Fleming shared one piece of insight that might help other developers evaluate what’s possible with Sony’s powerful new tech.

During an Ask-Me-Anything session at GDC Showcase (full disclosure, the session was moderated by the author of this piece), Fleming took a question from the audience asking what new technology most excited him as a game developer.

The Ghost of Tsushima producer took the opportunity to discuss the PlayStation 5’s storage tech, and explained that the company has been examining how the device handles loading and storage.

“It's so fast!” he exclaimed. “Even the idea of unloading the things that are just offscreen on camera, and as the player turns, bringing them [back on camera] just in time, is possible.”

While still saying there was still “lots of exploration” to do in the field, Fleming excitedly said that process “could fundamentally change how we think about making games.”

Sucker Punch’s focus on loading technology already helped the massive open-world of Ghost of Tsushima run reliably on even the oldest PS4 devices. (I played the game on a launch-year PS4 and it loaded quite fast compared to other open-world games and rarely, if ever, encountered frame loss).

Fleming admitted that the Sucker Punch team was surprised by player and press reactions about the game’s load times. He credited the game’s ability to load so well both to Sucker Punch’s engineering experts and an art team that produced high-quality assets that didn’t exceed the game’s technical capabilities.

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