The PlayStation 5 and next-generation Xbox could borrow a surprise feature from the Nintendo Switch, it has been suggested.
With the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett expected to be unveiled in 2019 – with a release date likely to follow in 2020 – speculation has mounted about what the new consoles will be capable of.
While improved visuals, increased memory and faster processing speeds are a given, one thing that hasn’t received as much attention is what format games will come in.
In an illuminating interview with GamingBolt, Hellpoint developer Marc-André Jutras said that Microsoft and Sony are unlikely to ditch physical media due to partnerships with retailers.
But Jutras suggests that Sony and Microsoft could follow Nintendo’s lead and release games on cartridges, or maybe USB.
“But one thing I would like to see is, because right now I have issues with Blu-rays, they are slow to load,” he said. “So that’s why in the last generation of consoles, you have games with long loading times, and the games needing to be installed.
“One thing I would like to see, is some games should be able to be offered on cartridges or USB keys.”
“For developers when we end up trying to ship games on a disc, it’s pretty much always the same issue, you have your game ready ahead of time by two months, so they can be pressed on disc.
“I think the issue of having a disc or a USB key or a cartridge is pretty much the same. I could see that printing Blu-rays takes time, just to do it properly. Flashing a USB key with an existing image on the other hand is much faster.”
And Jutras isn’t alone in suggesting that Sony and Microsoft should look for a solution to the disc problem.
In a recent interview with Express Online, WWE 2K19 executive producer Mark Little said that he hopes Sony and Microsoft ditch Blu-rays.
“Literally, having blu-rays as our media is challenging, because the advent of 4K gaming means everything is getting better and bigger and bigger, and we try to add more content every year,” he said.
“One of the challenges we have every year is how do we try to fit everything on to a blu-ray, and then how do you load it fast enough, because you’re literally talking 50GBs of data.
“It seems like a funny problem to have, but it is one of those challenges we face, and we talk to the hardware guys about it and they’re like, ‘yeah, that’s hard’.”
Expect to find out more later this year.