PS5 will be '100 times faster than PS4' — here's how

(Image credit: Concept Creator)

If Sony’s latest claims are to be believed, the PS5 could process data a full 100 times faster than its predecessor. That could lead to some unprecedentedly short loading times — or some unprecedentedly large levels.

Information comes from a Sony corporate strategy meeting on May 19, led by president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. Sony shared a shortened form of the presentation as a PDF, and it included a fair amount of information about the PS5. 

A lot of it we already knew: the console will be out around holiday 2020, the DualSense controller will employ haptic feedback, 3D audio will be a big selling point and so forth. But the slide that caught our eye was entitled “Evolution of ‘Speed’ in the Next Gen Console,” and claimed that the PS5 had “approximately 100 times faster processing speed” than the PS4.

Yoshida did not elaborate much on this figure, simply stating that “through a custom-designed high-speed SSD, we plan to realize game data processing speeds that are approximately 100 times faster than PS4.” In particular, he said that this advancement would shorten load times and facilitate moving through “immense game worlds” at high speeds.

Those of you who remember Mark Cerny’s deep dive on the PS5 back in March may recall that this figure is more or less in line with what Cerny discussed. In fact, that’s partially what makes it so surprising. A claim of a hundredfold increase in processing speed is the kind of thing we’d usually expect from an overeager developer, not a company CEO and a systems architect. If the “100x faster” figure isn’t true — or at least relatively close to true — Sony may have just opened itself up to a whole lot of backlash.

Granted, there are all sorts of ways to measure processing speed, so “100x faster” is a relative term. Furthermore, raw processing power doesn’t necessarily translate to in-game performance; if it did, gaming PCs would load most titles unimaginably faster than their console counterparts. Still, it’s an impressive claim, which Sony will have to back up somehow later this year.

It’s also worth noting that this is the latest in a long line of claims that the SSD is the key to the PS5’s power. The PS5’s GPU is not quite as powerful as the Xbox Series X’s, but Cerny and others claim that the unique architecture of the PS5’s SSD will give it a boost in processing speed that’s not even possible on today’s gaming PCs. Again, we’ll have to evaluate this for ourselves when the system comes out.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.