A few weeks ago, we learned how the PS5’s DualSense controller would enhance features in specific games, from sensing enemy locations in Spider-Man: Miles Morales to unloading dual shotgun barrels in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Now, a handful of developers have taken another deep dive on two more pivotal PS5 features: the console’s high-speed SSD and innovative 3D audio.
Just as the DualSense could help games feel more immersive through touch, the SSD could help make games feel more immersive through speed, and 3D audio, through sound. Information comes from the official PlayStation Blog, in a story by Mary Yee, vice president of Global Marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- PS5 and Xbox Series X SSDs: How this tech will define next-gen games
- PS5 and 3D audio: Everything you need to know
- Plus: PS5 tipped to have massive Sept. 9 event — what to expect
“From the DualSense wireless controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, to the ultra-high speed SSD, to the immersion felt with Tempest 3D AudioTech engine, we want players to lose themselves in every PS5 game,” Yee wrote.
From there, the post polls a number of different developers about SSD and 3D audio tech. Like the DualSense post, some of them give specific, useful examples; others give vaguer “the future of gaming is here!” answers. Still, it’s instructive to see what the PS5 might offer gamers aside from just better graphics.
Blazing SSD speeds
On the SSD front, Brian Horton, the creative director of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, praised the hardware’s speed. Not only can the PS5’s SSD load levels quicker, but it also works for textures and assets.
“This should lead to the city looking better than ever,” he said. “It’s a fundamental change that we can’t wait to take more advantage of in the years to come.”
Gavin Moore, a creative director on the Demon’s Souls remaster, added that the SSD will severely reduce the amount of time between dying and reloading — which is key in an ultra-tough FromSoftware game.
“[We’re] utilizing the speed of the SSD to load data at blistering speeds, bringing you straight back into the action to avenge your many deaths,” he said.
Marcus Smith, creative director at Insomniac Games, also reiterated what we learned about Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart at Gamescom.
“The SSD and custom I/O architecture around it allows us to send players across dimensions with near-instant speed,” he said. Gamers need only think back to last week to remember Ratchet and Clank crossing dimensions into fully rendered worlds within seconds.
3D audio upgrades
On the 3D audio side of the spectrum, most devs focused on how locational sound could make a tangible difference to gameplay, including Mathijs de Jonge, creative director on Horizon Forbidden West.
“We’ll be able to play with sounds in such a way that players will be able to locate the machines around them with greater ease, which is great for situations in which you find yourself surrounded or just want to sneak on machines,” he said.
Jun Takeuchi, an executive producer on Resident Evil Village, argued that 3D audio had genre-specific benefits, which could make a big difference for Capcom’s long-running horror series.
“It’s almost as if 3D Audiotech was made specifically with horror games in mind,” he said. “It used to be that in order to get that spatial audio, players would have to invest a lot of their own time and money. Now, just putting on a headset, they can get a full 3D audio experience.”
Even games that are out on current-gen consoles could benefit from the PS5’s 3D audio, as Jurjen Katsman, studio head of Nixxes, which developed Marvel’s Avengers, explained.
“When Iron Man is destroying a turret positioned above you, or Hulk roars as he takes on the enemies below you, you want to hear the sound coming from those directions,” he said. “We can just take the actual positions of the audio and ensure we get them to the PS5 3D Audiotech engine and significantly improve your sense of being in that world.”
As with the DualSense, it’s difficult to demonstrate the benefits of SSD speed and 3D audio through prerecorded video footage. But as the PS5 release date (whenever that may be) draws closer, we’ll hopefully get a chance to try these features out for ourselves.