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Xbox Series X: Loading times are the real next-gen game-changer

  • Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:20
    Forget native 4K resolutions, 120fps gaming, ray tracing, and all the rest — slashing loading times is the most important and impressive feature of the Xbox Series X, Luke posits.

    Please click here to read the full story: Xbox Series X: Loading times are the real next-gen game-changer
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    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:20
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  • Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:31
    While that's undoubtedly good I'm still struggling to see the value in the new consoles, an upgrade on graphics which are already great in a lot of games + faster loading times doesn't really seem worth several hundred pounds/dollars.

    The terrible loading times are a problem the industry created for itself anyway this generation.
    Grand Slam Tennis 2 world #1
  • 粉丝游戏粉丝游戏1,087,720
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:35
    YEA.DUDE,THX TO SSD
  • Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:42
    This is one of the reasons why I am getting the Series X. Really looking forward to loading games really fast and switching between games as well. Can't wait to see the performance on 4K as well.
  • nightw0lfnightw0lf1,186,619
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:45, Edited on 05 November 20 at 14:45 by nightw0lf
    This piece really misrepresents the biggest feature of the new generation. No, loading times aren't next gen's game-changer. Reviewing the next generation based solely on *current gen* titles is misleading. The NVMe SSD and Velocity Architecture are not strictly about load times. While improved loading times are a benefit for past games, next gen changes the entire dynamic for games and opens up possibilities that don't currently exist for games, even on PC.

    I'm going to copy/paste some of what I said in another recent thread:

    TL;DR - The hardware is designed to support new, innovative ideas from developers, reducing constraints on games that have been around for decades and unlocking new possibilities.

    Detailed version:
    These consoles (Series and PS5) are a much bigger generational leap than most people realize, much bigger than the last one. The new hardware is designed to allow for things we've never seen in video games. Games have always been constrained by storage bottlenecks, even on PC. That has resulted in a lot of tricks to disguise loading of assets. It has also constrained ideas and possibilities.

    The Velocity Architecture is a lot more than just a faster drive. It's a SET of hardware, PLUS new APIs and software improvements (new DirectX 12 APIs, DirectStorage, new compression algorithms, etc.). Those API/software changes are just as important as the SSD because they allow developers to take advantage of the hardware in ways they can't today, even on PC. This is new stuff that doesn't even exist in Windows yet - it's coming to Series S|X first and being added to Windows next year.

    For existing (BC) games, we get improved graphics and better loading times. For NEW games, this means WAY more than better load times.

    It's the ability to load gigabytes of content almost instantly, as needed. Initially, for games optimized for it, it can pretty much remove loading times and support near-instant fast travel and much larger worlds. As developers learn, it means ideas they've never been able to accomplish become possible. They no longer have to frontload choices and asset loading. They no longer have to alter the structure of a game and use awkward workarounds because of that frontloading. They no longer have to dumb down what's happening on screen in any given moment because they can't load content dynamically based on some action you've performed. It's hard to even try to explain the possibilities because we haven't seen them yet.
  • Sky ManiacSky Maniac862,837
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:47, Edited on 05 November 20 at 14:49 by Sky Maniac
    TheGillesMuller said:
    While that's undoubtedly good I'm still struggling to see the value in the new consoles, an upgrade on graphics which are already great in a lot of games + faster loading times doesn't really seem worth several hundred pounds/dollars.

    The terrible loading times are a problem the industry created for itself anyway this generation.
    I would say that is one of the main point on any console upgrade?

    The main point is it allows devs to actually utilise the hardware that has been around for years (but now affordable for mass market consoles), instead of developing for hardware that's rather outdated = better quality (hopefully laugh) games for everyone Xbox/Playstation/PC

    I think day one is only for those who just want the new tech, it will be several years before we may see any real impact.
    ...
  • WobbloWobblo1,134,072
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:54
    Honestly, as someone who also owns a gaming PC that runs games at 144fps, I'm most excited about being able to play games from my couch, albeit a slim selection currently, at 120fps. Having played 5000 hours of Overwatch at 60fps on Xbox and then booting it up on PC to run at 144fps, the difference is night and day. I am just terrible with KBM and find it impossible to get a comfortable posture so end up preferring to play from the couch with a controller.

    Given it appears Rainbow Six Siege is going to support 120hz at launch I will be taking the plunge in trying to learn it from scratch. Hopefully by the time I've got all the achievements in Siege, Cold War will have finished downloading so will be able to give that a go as well.
  • tuhin94tuhin94625,849
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:56, Edited on 05 November 20 at 14:57 by tuhin94
    I think the other game-changer is a console that can launch games without putting up stupid errors every time which read “Game X could not start for some reason.” That reason is the incompetent Don Mattrick. Thank goodness his legacy begins to die out within the next few days, although I will be waiting a bit longer.
    Regards, Tuhin
  • BetaSigX20BetaSigX20660,610
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 14:57
    laugh @ racist bees. Luke, I really appreciate your articles and your writing style.

    I haven't gotten to play a Series X yet, and I don't know when I'll finally pick one up, but I think the quicker loading times will be the feature I'm looking forward to the most. I'm not a huge graphics guy (although I do have a 4K tv, so I'm hoping I'll see some of the graphical benefits), but not having to sit through 30-60 seconds of loading times every time you want to start a game (or reload after dying) will be amazing.
  • Thief000Thief0001,082,685
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:00
    Definitely, it's why I think even the Series S will be a worthy upgrade for many.
  • Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:05
    Sky Maniac said:
    TheGillesMuller said:
    While that's undoubtedly good I'm still struggling to see the value in the new consoles, an upgrade on graphics which are already great in a lot of games + faster loading times doesn't really seem worth several hundred pounds/dollars.

    The terrible loading times are a problem the industry created for itself anyway this generation.
    I would say that is one of the main point on any console upgrade?

    The main point is it allows devs to actually utilise the hardware that has been around for years (but now affordable for mass market consoles), instead of developing for hardware that's rather outdated = better quality (hopefully laugh) games for everyone Xbox/Playstation/PC

    I think day one is only for those who just want the new tech, it will be several years before we may see any real impact.
    Much better way of saying what I meant.

    It still seems like it's going to be the smallest jump so far to me though, loading times are a definite plus but graphics? They've been good in AAA games for nearly 10 years now, an upgrade on those is way down the list of 'needs improvement' for a lot of series.
    Grand Slam Tennis 2 world #1
  • superniceguysuperniceguy444,210
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:15
    It is all good, just shame it is all expensive at the moment giving smaller capacity. We may save time when playing games, but will spend more time waiting for games to redownload / reinstall.

    Hopefully these consoles will take off, making SSD more popular, then the prices lower, and future consoles not too far ahead will have 5TB SSD for the same price. If it is going to take until next gen to make that happen, in another 8 years or so, they should have just given us the option to use HDD or SSHD or SSD in PS5/Series X and then some games take full advantage of the SSD, and if you do not have a SSD then you will need to upgrade or not be able to play the game, like N64 with memory expansion. Going all out on SSD at this time is just too expensive.
  • Thief000Thief0001,082,685
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:17, Edited on 05 November 20 at 15:18 by Thief000
    TheGillesMuller said:
    Sky Maniac said:
    TheGillesMuller said:
    While that's undoubtedly good I'm still struggling to see the value in the new consoles, an upgrade on graphics which are already great in a lot of games + faster loading times doesn't really seem worth several hundred pounds/dollars.

    The terrible loading times are a problem the industry created for itself anyway this generation.
    I would say that is one of the main point on any console upgrade?

    The main point is it allows devs to actually utilise the hardware that has been around for years (but now affordable for mass market consoles), instead of developing for hardware that's rather outdated = better quality (hopefully laugh) games for everyone Xbox/Playstation/PC

    I think day one is only for those who just want the new tech, it will be several years before we may see any real impact.
    Much better way of saying what I meant.

    It still seems like it's going to be the smallest jump so far to me though, loading times are a definite plus but graphics? They've been good in AAA games for nearly 10 years now, an upgrade on those is way down the list of 'needs improvement' for a lot of series.
    I agree with you and at this point, I'm still contemplating on whether I'll buy the Series X after the Holidays or wait for mid-gen and just do a few upgrades on my already fast PC in the meantime. I still want a newer model console at some point, but since there are few games that mandate it at the moment, I think I can hold out for a while longer.
  • Sky ManiacSky Maniac862,837
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:17, Edited on 05 November 20 at 15:32 by Sky Maniac
    TheGillesMuller said:
    Much better way of saying what I meant.

    It still seems like it's going to be the smallest jump so far to me though, loading times are a definite plus but graphics? They've been good in AAA games for nearly 10 years now, an upgrade on those is way down the list of 'needs improvement' for a lot of series.
    While I agree graphics are already very good in the majority of games, there's always room for improvement.

    Personally I think the jump will be much bigger than 360/One, although the games will most likely be the same old recycled formula or remasters as per the current gen.

    In a way though, the consoles are sort of going the way of smartphones - impressive hardware but at a glance hardly any different to the previous model.


    Just curious, what is a more important thing they need to improve?
    ...
  • nightw0lfnightw0lf1,186,619
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:35
    Sky Maniac said:
    TheGillesMuller said:
    Much better way of saying what I meant.

    It still seems like it's going to be the smallest jump so far to me though, loading times are a definite plus but graphics? They've been good in AAA games for nearly 10 years now, an upgrade on those is way down the list of 'needs improvement' for a lot of series.
    While I agree graphics are already very good in the majority of games, there's always room for improvement.

    Personally I think the jump will be much bigger than 360/One, although the games will most likely be the same old recycled/remastered as per the current gen.
    You're right - the leap in technology is MUCH bigger than the last couple generations, but this time, it's not just about prettier graphics.

    In a way though, the consoles are sort of going the way of smartphones - impressive hardware but at a glance hardly any different to the previous model.
    Maybe eventually, but not yet. The new technology removes constraints that have held games back for the last couple of decades. There's a reason (lots of them, actually) Microsoft and Sony have invested so heavily in the SSDs and related hardware+software this generation.
  • nightw0lfnightw0lf1,186,619
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:41
    superniceguy said:
    It is all good, just shame it is all expensive at the moment giving smaller capacity. We may save time when playing games, but will spend more time waiting for games to redownload / reinstall.

    Hopefully these consoles will take off, making SSD more popular, then the prices lower, and future consoles not too far ahead will have 5TB SSD for the same price. If it is going to take until next gen to make that happen, in another 8 years or so, they should have just given us the option to use HDD or SSHD or SSD in PS5/Series X and then some games take full advantage of the SSD, and if you do not have a SSD then you will need to upgrade or not be able to play the game, like N64 with memory expansion. Going all out on SSD at this time is just too expensive.
    The high-speed SSDs and related hardware+software ARE the generational leap. There's a reason (lots of them) that Microsoft and Sony have invested there. The new capabilities will remove constraints that have held games back for the last couple decades. Removing those constraints does even more than just graphical bumps. Providing the option to continue using ridiculously slow HDDs would have continued holding devs back and wouldn't be "next gen."

    Also, prices aren't going to drop nearly as fast as you think. SSDs are expensive to manufacture and that's even more true for the NVMe 4th gen disks. Even a 4TB SATA (old school version) SSD is 80%+ of the cost of a Series X. The $500 USD price point of a Series X really isn't very expensive, and anyone who feels it is can easily stick with current gen for at least a few more years.
  • EveryBaseEveryBase463,443
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:43
    TheGillesMuller said:
    While that's undoubtedly good I'm still struggling to see the value in the new consoles, an upgrade on graphics which are already great in a lot of games + faster loading times doesn't really seem worth several hundred pounds/dollars.

    The terrible loading times are a problem the industry created for itself anyway this generation.
    If you play with your young kids it is. They have a short attention span and load times cause them to jump around and/or fidget. Both get under my skin LOL...and for me it's better for my health, quick load times means I don't have time to run and get a snack LOLOL
  • superniceguysuperniceguy444,210
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:52
    nightw0lf said:
    superniceguy said:
    It is all good, just shame it is all expensive at the moment giving smaller capacity. We may save time when playing games, but will spend more time waiting for games to redownload / reinstall.

    Hopefully these consoles will take off, making SSD more popular, then the prices lower, and future consoles not too far ahead will have 5TB SSD for the same price. If it is going to take until next gen to make that happen, in another 8 years or so, they should have just given us the option to use HDD or SSHD or SSD in PS5/Series X and then some games take full advantage of the SSD, and if you do not have a SSD then you will need to upgrade or not be able to play the game, like N64 with memory expansion. Going all out on SSD at this time is just too expensive.
    The high-speed SSDs and related hardware+software ARE the generational leap. There's a reason (lots of them) that Microsoft and Sony have invested there. The new capabilities will remove constraints that have held games back for the last couple decades. Removing those constraints does even more than just graphical bumps. Providing the option to continue using ridiculously slow HDDs would have continued holding devs back and wouldn't be "next gen."

    Also, prices aren't going to drop nearly as fast as you think. SSDs are expensive to manufacture and that's even more true for the NVMe 4th gen disks. Even a 4TB SATA (old school version) SSD is 80%+ of the cost of a Series X. The $500 USD price point of a Series X really isn't very expensive, and anyone who feels it is can easily stick with current gen for at least a few more years.
    It is all great and all, but it is like if car manufacturers decide to release only high powered cars like Ferraris and not your average every day car like a mini.

    It may not be quite next gen yet, but will they sell?

    It is the reason why PS3 with Blu Ray did not so great against the Xbox 360, blu ray was next gen but it made it more expensive, and people preferred the cheaper DVD option in the Xbox 360. When PS4 and Xbox ONE released they both had Blu Ray drives and were affordable then.

    SSDs have been around for ages, but the HDDs for the Xbox 360 dropped swiftly. The original Xbox 360 120GB drive cost me over £100 when I got, then few years later could get new design 320GB for about £30, then a bit later they made USB externals compatible for up to 2TB costing £60.

    The SSDs have only been slowly lowering in price because they are not worth the extra speed. If they started selling like hot cakes, then the price will drop faster. Hopefully the PS5 and Series X/S will make the SSDs sell like hot cakes and make the prices drop faster than they have been.
  • EveryBaseEveryBase463,443
    Posted on 05 November 20 at 15:52
    superniceguy said:
    It is all good, just shame it is all expensive at the moment giving smaller capacity. We may save time when playing games, but will spend more time waiting for games to redownload / reinstall.

    Hopefully these consoles will take off, making SSD more popular, then the prices lower, and future consoles not too far ahead will have 5TB SSD for the same price. If it is going to take until next gen to make that happen, in another 8 years or so, they should have just given us the option to use HDD or SSHD or SSD in PS5/Series X and then some games take full advantage of the SSD, and if you do not have a SSD then you will need to upgrade or not be able to play the game, like N64 with memory expansion. Going all out on SSD at this time is just too expensive.
    They seem expensive but for what you are getting they are really cheap already. the Video card equivalent to the XSX by Nvidea the RTX 3080 costs $700 alone. Your getting a $1500 - $2000 PC for $500.
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