One of the most annoying aspects of updating games on PS4 right now is the excruciatingly long time it takes for the patch files to copy over to your game install. Sony knows that, and it’s why it will be a thing of the past with the PlayStation 5.
Touched on by lead system architect Mark Cerny during Sony’s Road to PS5 stream (which revealed the system’s full specs), the problem hinges on the speed of the hard drive. The PS5 is going to utilize a custom SSD that will feature transfer speeds up to 5.5GB/s, which can, as an example, fill the system’s 16GB of RAM in just two seconds.
It’s not the raw speed that matters specifically to game installs and their inherent patches, but rather how flash memory differs in architecture to standard platter HDDs. As Cerny explained, the problem is seeks–the operations required to locate files on an HDD and figure out where to put new ones, like those downloaded in a patch.
With an SSD, those seeks disappear entirely, and so do the long copy times for both game and patch installs. “With an SSD though, no seeks. So, no need to make brand-new files with the changes incorporated. Which means no installs as you know them today,” Cerny stated.