PS5 SSD vs PS4 HDD Load Times Comparison

If you’ve played any game in the past few years then you’ll understand a harsh reality: load times are getting longer. As our gaming worlds got bigger, textures and geometry got more detailed, graphical effects increased, and load times also increased. While a handful of well-optimized games managed to cut the time, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to wait close to a minute or even longer to load into some games.

A big selling point of the next-gen consoles are the internal SSDs, which aim to nearly eliminate load times on next-gen games, but what about last-gen games? Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S allow for backwards compatibility with older games, but do those older games get any of the new console’s loading benefits? We’ve seen that this is in fact the case on Xbox Series X|S, but what of PS5?

We’ve taken some of PS4’s most popular, and longest-loading titles, and put them to the test on PS5’s SSD. Do note, to get the most out of PS4 titles on PS5, the games have to be installed on the PS5’s SSD. You can still play PS4 games off an external HDD, but you won’t get the load time benefits.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Ubisoft’s already large open worlds continued to expand exponentially throughout the PS4 generation. It all started with Caribbean in 2013 and ended with all of Ancient Greece in 2018. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey delivered Ancient Greece in an extremely-detailed way, which also meant some extremely-long load times. Getting into the game could take minutes, and even worse, getting around quickly or back into the game after death also cost precious time. PS5 mostly solves this, shaving off about 10 seconds when first booting up the game, and bringing the load time into the game well under a minute.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~54s ~40s
Load Save ~1:50m ~47s
Fast Travel ~1:12m ~20s
Respawn ~1:19m ~30s

Bloodborne

Released early in the PS4’s lifecycle, Bloodborne remains one of the best games on the platform. Unfortunately, at launch, the game was hampered with extremely long load times. Thankfully, From Software continued to work on that post-launch. Today, Bloodborne’s load times are extremely fast on PS4, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be better, which is where PS5 comes in. Overall, we’re looking at modest improvements to an already fast-loading game.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~30s ~22s
Load Save into Hunter’s Dream ~12s ~8s
Load Save into World ~35s ~17s

Destiny 2

Of all the PS4 and Xbox One AAA titles, perhaps none is more infamous for its load times than Destiny 2. Booting up the game is a chose on current-gen machines, and then comes loading into the planets and Tower. Considering you have to go to the Tower to collect bounties, missions and decrypt engrams, getting around Destiny 2 is a chore. While we await the proper PS5 version coming December 8, playing the game on PS5 via backwards compatibility actually isn’t so bad. Load times are dramatically lower than on PS4, making getting around less of a chore. It excites us to imagine what next-gen load times look like.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~3m ~52s
Load Character ~13s ~8s
Load to Tower ~1:35m ~48s

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Square Enix finally delivered its long-awaited first part of Final Fantasy VII Remake earlier this year. While fans anxiously await details on what’s next, there’s plenty of reason to revisit the game on PS5, now with less waiting time. Booting up the game and loading up a save file is much faster than on PS4, but we’ve noticed something weird with Final Fantasy VII Remake on both PS4 and PS5 compared to all other games we rested. For some reason, our testing found that it takes longer to load into a save file than it does to boot up the game. We’re not sure this is, but at least both loads are still an improvement over PS4.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~36s ~24s
Load Save ~37s ~27s

Ghost of Tsushima

The PS4’s swan song, Ghost of Tsushima dazzled us with its beautiful world, which took some time to load. Unfortunately, playing the game off the SSD on PS5 doesn’t impact the loading times. Despite launching a patch that optimizes the game for PS5, it does not appear that the SSD plays much of a factor. It’s extremely odd as loading has benefited every other PS4 game tested.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~44s ~43s
Load Save ~21s ~21s

God of War

Santa Monica Studios’ Norse-themed sequel to the classic God of War trilogy was breathtaking when it launched. With a sequel planned for PS5, many players are likely to want to replay God of War ahead of time. Load times aren’t terrible on PS4, but switching over to PS5 offers some substantial improvements, especially when booting up the game.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~41s ~23s
Load Save ~23s ~19s

Resident Evil 2

Our 2019 Game of the Year, Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil was an astounding addition to the PS4’s library. Despite being a linear game in a set map, Resident Evil 2 took a long time to load, especially when first booting up the game. While it didn’t reach the horrid minute mark, it always cut it too close. On PS5, the bootup time is cut in half, getting players in faster. There’s not a huge change when loading a save, but there’s at least a slight improvement.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~56s ~23s
Load Save ~26s ~19s

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

It took six years since EA got the exclusive rights to develop Star Wars console games, but last year we finally got our first, full-fledged action-adventure game from them. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order delighted with its story, gameplay and world design. Despite this, there were a few technical problems. In addition to bugs, glitches and frame rate issues, the game also suffered from, you guessed it, long loading times. This was particularly true when traveling between planets. Luckily, PS5 presents so much needed to boosts to load times.

PS4 PS5
Bootup from Home Screen ~1:20m ~54s
Load Save ~53s ~28s
Planet-to-Planet ~1:22m 1:06m

PlayStation 5 launches November 12. All but 10 PS4 games will work on PS5 via backwards compatibility.