Speaking to Axios, PlayStation developer Insomniac details why the PS5’s SSD was a game-changer for Rift Apart. Described by Insomniac’s director of technology Mike Fitzgerald as being the ‘hugest jump’ from PS4 to PS5, the PS5 SSD freed Insomniac from the limitations of what was needed to be loaded from storage into RAM.
Spider-Man on the PS4 limited Insomniac in what it kept loaded into memory, meaning the devs had to limit the number of building materials and props used in a given scene. For Rift Apart, Insomniac focused on visual variety and density, so there was no need to reserve memory on assets that would’ve been off-screen behind the player. Instead, they spent as much memory as possible on things players could see in front of them.
Additionally, Insomniac highlighted Rift Apart’s near-instantaneous loading times and traversal between different worlds as benefiting from the PS5’s hardware. Insomniac were entirely unloading one world and loading in another world with just the SSD, so loading times only took a ‘fraction of a second.’
PS5 players, rejoice?
The high visual fidelity of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart should excite PS5 owners about upcoming PS5 exclusive, but most upcoming PS5 games will be cross-gen on both PS4 and PS5, which means they can’t be built to take full advantage of the PS5’s SSD, as they need to optimize the games for the older console.
Rift Apart, meanwhile, was designed exclusively for the PS5, so it wasn’t limited by the PS4’s hardware, and that provided Insomniac with the tools to deliver a visual masterpiece.
It’s uncertain if future PS5 blockbusters God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7 will take full advantage of PS5’s SSD. This jeopardizes our dreams of Kratos’s having an epic battle against Thor, with the two fighting seamlessly across the nine realms being realized.
What is certain is Insomniac being one of PlayStation’s best developers, so we can’t wait to see what Insomniac has in store for us with their next Spider-Man PS5 game. Spider-Man battling Green Goblin across the entirety of Manhattan? Insomniac, just take our money now.
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