PS5 games could get a performance boost with this upgrade — can Xbox Series X compete?

(Image credit: Sony)

At this point, you might be tired of hearing about the mind-bending speed of the SSD in the PS5, particularly if you're still trying to secure a PS5 pre-order. Stay with us though, you are going to want to stick around for this one.

The latest love letter to the PS5 SSD comes from a blog post written by Charles Bloom with RAD Game Tools. He's not completely unbiased as his company's Oodle Kraken compression technology is the basis for what he says will allow the PS5 to offer "the fastest data loading ever available in a mass-market consumer device" (via Tom's Guide).

Again this is probably all sounding pretty familiar so far, but not only does Bloom go into more detail than we have previously seen, but he asserts that the eventual speeds have been undersold by others and also offers hope for those concerned about running out of space on their PS5.

Sony has indicated that the PS5 SSD will be capable of delivering 5.5 GB/s bandwidth and decompressed bandwidth of around 8-9 GB/s, but this is based on compression rates of approximately 1.5 to 1. Bloom says the newer Oodle Kraken and Oodle Texture are able to apply compression to GPU textures that are a significant portion of the game size and that going virtually uncompressed will yield compression closer to 2 to 1.

This means Sony's theoretical peak SSD bandwidth would get bumped all the way up to 8.25 GB/s. And that's only one of the benefits; the other is a reduction in the storage requirements for these next-gen games. With some games at or beyond 100GB, this could mean a savings of 25-50GB when compared to standard Zip compression or no compression.

See more

According to Bloom, "Not all games at launch of PS5 will be using Oodle Texture as it's a very new technology, but we expect it to be in the majority of PS5 games in the future." We're accustomed to seeing performance improvements over the course of a console life cycle as developers learn the ins and outs of the hardware, but this sounds like it could be a reasonably immediate and significant boost in the short term.

The surface-level look at this is that, with this compression, PS5 games will be faster and require less storage space, but if you are interested in the nitty-gritty details of how it all works, you can read Bloom's full blog post.

The other obvious question is whether Microsoft has something similar and the answer is yes. But we're less certain of the specifics. BCPack is the compression tech used by the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S and it also addresses texture problems, so could see the same results Bloom is reporting on the PS5 side.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.