PS5 has a killer feature to beat Xbox Series X — and it goes beyond raw power

Spider-Man PS5
(Image credit: Sony)

We have a much better sense of the fancy tech powering the PS5 after last week's deep-dive presentation from Sony, but we still haven't seen how the console's powerful guts will benefit players in the real world. Thanks to a new account from Kotaku news editor and industry insider Jason Schreier, we just might have one answer.

Posting on the Resetera forums (via TechRadar), Schreier noted that he's heard from developers that PS5 games should load insanely fast, and that the console will be built to enable quick sessions that seamlessly get you in and out of your titles.

"One of the pitches [Sony has] been making to developers is 'playing a PS5 game should be as easy as Netflix.'" wrote Schreier. "They want to make players feel like they can load up the game immediately and know exactly how much time a given activity is going to take them. They want people to feel more inclined to play in short bursts rather than only wanting to turn on the console when they have a few hours to spare."

This feature seems in line with much of the recent tech talk Sony has given around its console, particularly when it comes to the system's 825GB solid state drive (SSD). During last week's tech reveal, PS5 system architect Mark Cerny noted how an SSD will allow games to load incredibly quickly, and will make in-game activities such as fast travel happen near-instantaneously rather than stick players behind long loading screens. 

This new report about Netflix-like immediacy is also backed up by an interview Sony gave Wired back in October 2019. In that interview, Cerny noted that the SSD will allow players to install only the parts of the game they need (for example, only the single-player campaign), and that the user interface will provide information such as what missions a player can play in a game or which friends they can instantly join. That speaks to Schreier's claim about the PS5 letting people know "exactly how much time a given activity is going to take them." 

While the PS5's ability to render games at up to 8K resolution and deliver immersive graphical features such as ray tracing are exciting, the true killer feature of next-gen consoles just might prove to be their ability to get you in and out of games with the same ease of use as a streaming service. We look forward to seeing just how seamlessly the PS5 and Xbox Series X can achieve this goal when they arrive in Holiday 2020.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.