The Xbox Series X's SSD is so fast that it breaks The Witcher 3's loading screens

Polycount

Posts: 2,844   +575
Staff member
Next-gen power: For the most part, playing current-gen games on next-gen consoles will likely be a purely positive experience. Gamers will enjoy faster load times and higher framerates, provided engine restrictions don't interfere. However, in some cases, next-gen devices might be a bit too fast for current-gen games -- apparently, The Witcher 3 is one surprising example of this.

As discovered by the XboxNews Twitter account, the Witcher 3 is running great on the Xbox Series X: so great, in fact, that the loading screens literally do not exist, at least for fast travel.

As you can see in the Twitter video below, when the player attempts to travel to Woesong Bridge, the game loads so quickly that the visuals actually glitch out, with the player's camera getting momentarily stuck under the terrain. The game fixes itself in short order, but it's still an amusing testament to the power of next-gen hardware.

Obviously, these problems do not exist on PCs, since The Witcher 3 was optimized for that platform from the get go. The issue only seems to arise when you take a stripped-down version of the game, such as an Xbox One or PS4 copy, and pop it into the disc drive on a newer console.

This minor loading screen oddity certainly won't be a big deal for most people, especially given that CD Projekt Red already has plans to release a next-gen-optimized version of The Witcher 3 next year. When that arrives, The Witcher 3 is expected to receive major upgrades like ray tracing, so stay tuned for further announcements on that front.

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Axiarus

Posts: 614   +420
Then Sony's effort to develop its own ssd controller is futile and only adding cost to ps5.
It should simply use of the shelf pci 4.0 ssd controller with larger ram cache
Have you not seen the Miles Morales pipe load video? It is just as fast. In fact, the PS5's SSD being able to talk directly to the GPU means it WILL load assets faster.
 

Stiqy

Posts: 78   +83
Have you not seen the Miles Morales pipe load video? It is just as fast. In fact, the PS5's SSD being able to talk directly to the GPU means it WILL load assets faster.
I think his point is that it is an unnecessary innovation given how fast off the shelf tech already is (As this XBOX example shows), and it's merely adding to the cost of the PS5 for no real benefit. pci 4.0 SSD controllers are not going to be the bottleneck in performance on these consoles, so inventing something even faster is a waste of pricing in this generation.
 

Jpe1701

Posts: 58   +61
I think his point is that it is an unnecessary innovation given how fast off the shelf tech already is (As this XBOX example shows), and it's merely adding to the cost of the PS5 for no real benefit. pci 4.0 SSD controllers are not going to be the bottleneck in performance on these consoles, so inventing something even faster is a waste of pricing in this generation.
I think that I read that the controller for the ssd in the Xbox is a budget controller too for dramless drives.
 

Edster

Posts: 93   +66
Whatever the drive controller cost for Sony is, is actually kinda unimportant for us, the consumer. Just as the XsX could have saved us money for external drives if they use existing protocols instead of a propriety one.

They were always going to aim at the XsX pricepoint, they know they have a good enough product and goodwill that they don't need to sell it for cheaper, nor can they risk the PS3 fiasco by going higher.

As for the importance of the drive speed, we will see what happens once games are released on both platform, the better speed in graphics or storage is purely academic until then.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,015   +926
Nice try to steal the limelight from the impending PS5 release, Microsoft. (Especially considering the game title used and the timing of this announcement.)
 
Yeah, its an API upgrade. The PS5 still has twice the throughput as it is both an API and hardware architecture change. Meaning faster loading times.
Good thing MS is also using Xbox Velocity Architecture to offset this. Why Sony can load the entire game and load stream it faster, MS is doing it for the part of the game that is actually in use instead of the entire game, allowing load times to be nearly identical. One is using hardware and one is using software.
 

poohbear

Posts: 613   +518
I plan on finally upgrading my 4790k system from 2014 this Black Friday...to a Ryzen 5000 system with a PCIe 4 NVME! Never imagined my next system would be AMD, but they are the current leaders in the CPU space and the next gen consoles use AMD CPUs, so games will already be optimized in that regards. Intel won't even be a competitive option until Alder Lake at the end of 2021, and even then AMD will be on Ryzen 6000.
 
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poohbear

Posts: 613   +518
I think his point is that it is an unnecessary innovation given how fast off the shelf tech already is (As this XBOX example shows), and it's merely adding to the cost of the PS5 for no real benefit. pci 4.0 SSD controllers are not going to be the bottleneck in performance on these consoles, so inventing something even faster is a waste of pricing in this generation.

Developers have been commenting on the PS5's SSD as revolutionary and will start developing with it in mind to take advantage of it. There was a lot of cutting edge tech that never gained traction because developers couldn't be bothered to spend resources developing for something a minority of users had. With the PS5 being ubiquitous, the PCIe 4.0 standard will definitely gain traction.
 
Then Sony's effort to develop its own ssd controller is futile and only adding cost to ps5.
It should simply use of the shelf pci 4.0 ssd controller with larger ram cache
You should just not speak if you dont know what you're talking about the custom ssd is double the speed of xbox and they've already said and shown a pcie 4.0 expansion slot for an extra ssd while xbox has their memory card as well as the custom AI controller they built helps speeds even more
 
I think his point is that it is an unnecessary innovation given how fast off the shelf tech already is (As this XBOX example shows), and it's merely adding to the cost of the PS5 for no real benefit. pci 4.0 SSD controllers are not going to be the bottleneck in performance on these consoles, so inventing something even faster is a waste of pricing in this generation.
How is there no benefit? You're comparing an old game with no upgrade vs next gen game any old game will obviously load on an ssd fast but it's the next gen games with more textures and ray tracing that really needs the power of ssd and considering xbox isnt even at the speeds of upcoming pcie 4.0 means you will always be stuck with the same speeds on xbox while sony and its expansion slot can be upgraded everytime a new ssd comes out not to mention xbox has yet to show any next gen games performance on series x everything has been BC games sony has shown us footage run right off of ps5 with ps5 games
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,026   +406
I can confirm the above claims with Tetris for DOS.
With the new SSD the load times are basically non-existing.
 

Bp968

Posts: 209   +154
I plan on finally upgrading my 4790k system from 2014 this Black Friday...to a Ryzen 5000 system with a PCIe 4 NVME! Never imagined my next system would be AMD, but they are the current leaders in the CPU space and the next gen consoles use AMD CPUs, so games will already be optimized in that regards. Intel won't even be a competitive option until Alder Lake at the end of 2021, and even then AMD will be on Ryzen 6000.

It will be both foolish and disappointing to try and get a 5000 cpu on black friday. You better start looking for one now and buy it the second you see it. There is zero reason for AMD, Nvidia or retailers to discount the 5000 series cpus, or 6000 or 30 series GPUs. So they won't. The only discounts will be ram and nvme drives.
 

s3thra

Posts: 30   +38
TechSpot Elite
After completing Witcher 1 recently on PC, I found a similar glitch when going from inside a building to the outside. The outside geometry would appear to kind of glitch into frame and then come good after a second.
 
How is there no benefit? You're comparing an old game with no upgrade vs next gen game any old game will obviously load on an ssd fast but it's the next gen games with more textures and ray tracing that really needs the power of ssd and considering xbox isnt even at the speeds of upcoming pcie 4.0 means you will always be stuck with the same speeds on xbox while sony and its expansion slot can be upgraded everytime a new ssd comes out not to mention xbox has yet to show any next gen games performance on series x everything has been BC games sony has shown us footage run right off of ps5 with ps5 games

What he means is that the SSD speed is unlikely to bottleneck the system. When using any SSD, bottlenecks develop on other components. In my experience from using an NVME SSD (3400MB/s read) and sata SSDs which are limited to (550MB/s read) the difference in load times is negligible. Perhaps developers will be able to harness the power of a speedy SSD and change this but as of now I don't think it'll make as big a difference as other components.
 

DonquixoteIII

Posts: 78   +45
I have run many games (inc. W3) in a RAM drive... Never have I seen this type of behavior. Most games run pretty normally, not too many seconds cut off of load screens, etc. Interestingly, the game load times seem to be more related to the CPU than the drive. As is the actual gameplay.
I THINK that a RAM drive is a bit faster than the fastest SSD....

One area where the RAM drive shines is as the 'scrap' disk in PS. Cleanup is pretty quick. Blink - Gone.