Sony’s first party studios seem to be laying the foundations for support on the next generation PlayStation 5 with patches to a number of PlayStation 4 exclusives that, by happy coincidence, dramatically improve the loading times on PlayStation 4 as well.
One of the most notable examples of this comes from The Last of Us Remastered, where the initial loading time has dropped from 90 seconds to just a shade under 14 seconds on PS4. You can see this in action here:
The speculation is that these games are being updated to be able to take advantage of the Boost Mode on PlayStation 5, detecting the more powerful hardware and enabling new performance profiles for resolution and frame rate. It’s already been confirmed that Ghost of Tsushima will run at 60fps on PS5 thanks to Boost Mode, but it’s something that is being selectively applied. Games that do not recognise the PS5 hardware will only be able to use the additional power to boost up to the programmed maximum resolution and frame rates available for PS4 Pro.
So how has this affected the PS4 load times? Well, it’s likely that as developers are revisiting the games to add PS5 support, they’re also able to implement the newer loading techniques that they’ve learnt through the PlayStation 4 generation – Ghost of Tsushima is noted for its short loading times already – and potentially also some newer compression techniques available to the PS5.
In general, the PS5 is almost universally compatible with PS4 games, with just a handful of games noted for not working on the newer console through backward compatibility.
There’s been a lot coming out of Sony’s camp around the PlayStation 5 UI reveal, which showcased the speed of the system, the Control Centre overlay that provides access to pretty much all system features while in game, the new PlayStation Activites and card-based interface, and more. A part of the change is that the PlayStation Store will be baked into the main system software and not be a separate app.
There have also been other foundational changes made over the last few weeks. The PlayStaiton 4 was updated to system software 8.00 making fundamental changes to how parties and messages work to tie into the new philosophy behind social interactions on PS5 – much to the chagrin of some users – and the standalone PS Messages mobile app is being discontinued as the feature will be integrated back into a new PlayStation App on smartphone.
The PS5 officially launches next month, arriving in the US and other select territories on November 12th, then everywhere else (including the UK) on November 19th.