We’ve allegedly had our first look at what Sony’s next-generation PlayStation console will be capable of doing — and, unfortunately, what we saw didn’t show us much of anything except that the PS5 will be able to run PS4 games very well. That’s great for backwards compatibility, but it doesn’t tell us as much about the PS5’s capabilities as we’d all like.
The footage comes from Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki, who appeared to take the footage at a management meeting showing off the new hardware. The presenters compared the performance of last year’s Spider-Man game on the PS4 Pro and then on the PS5. On the former, the game took several seconds to load, while on the latter it took maybe a single second, at most. The presenters also showed how the PS5 would seamlessly load areas where the PS4 would stutter and drop frames.
Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019
Sony also used Spider-Man as the test case in the Wired article where Mark Cerny revealed the initial details about the next-gen console. Cerny said the reason the PS5 would be able to load games much faster is because it comes with an SSD instead of the traditional HDD. And fast loading times are undoubtedly a boon for gamers, and if nothing else it means we’ll be able to play lots of current-gen games on the next-gen console, which is confirmed to have backwards compatibility.
The trouble is, as grand as Spider-Man is in terms of size, it’s a PS4 game. It will probably be at least two-years-old by the time the new console is released, practically obsolete in software terms — and Mochizuki also shared a company slideshow that revealed the PS4 is expected to ” remain the engine of engagement and profitability for the next three years.” While I appreciate the company can’t show off any of the games currently in development for the PS5, it’s still odd to see the capabilities of a console being sold with a game made expressly for its predecessor. We certainly aren’t growing the tech just to be able to run the game — it’s Spider-Man, not Crysis.
The only way we’ll be able to know for sure how fast a PS5 loads games is when we load a PS5 game on it. And since Sony’s skipping E3, it’s not likely we’re even going to see the new hardware for a while, let alone the new software. So while it’s a cool visual, I wouldn’t start salivating for the new console just yet.