If you thought everything going on between Microsoft and the FTC in regards to its acquisition of Activision Blizzard was done and dusted, you’re mistaken. Recent revelations from internal emails sent between Xbox executives and both Xbox head Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reveal that Microsoft is acutely aware that Sony’s PlayStation 5 excels in one key next-generation feature; in fact, Microsoft thinks it’s twice as good as the Xbox Series X. Sure, these revelations aren’t shedding any light on whether all those upcoming Xbox games will also be upcoming PS5 games, or not, but it does reveal that the PS5 SSD speed is reportedly two times that of the Xbox Series X – and that the PS5 is more consumer friendly when it comes to storage space options in general.
As reported by The Verge, Xbox’s former head of platform engineering and hardware Liz Hamren reports – in her emails to the aforementioned executives – that the PS5 has a “2x advantage” over the Xbox Series X when it comes to SSD performance. Specifically, she says the following in a non-redacted section of the emails shared:
“They have optimized for raw higher throughput… 2x ours with slightly better hardware compression and associated performance improvements”.
We know the console war is a little silly, especially when it comes to how the difference between the two consoles is discussed on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), but this is a rather frank admission from Microsoft. Although, it doesn’t mean your Xbox Series X is all bad. Hamren also comments that these improvements seem to be made in opposition to “more integrated streaming architecture enabled by Sampler Feedback Streaming”. That and the fact that the Series X has 12 Teraflops of performance to the PS5’s 10 teraflops – although, that doesn’t matter quite as much.
Interestingly, The Verge also reports that Hamren mentioned that the storage solution for the PS5 is “similar to [Xbox] in reality due to minimum size and speed requirements”. However, we agree that this isn’t quite the case when you think about the fact that all of the best PS5 SSD options are widely-available SSDs – rather than the best Xbox expansion cards being specifically built for the platform.
What does this mean for the future? Well, we’re not sure – probably nothing for a while yet. However, it could mean that the next generation of Xbox consoles – or, the next Xbox console in this generation – has improved SSD speeds. That would help you load up all the best Xbox games a lot faster than you can now; although, it doesn’t take too long at the moment.