It remains to be seen how big the difference between PS4 and Xbox One games and PS5 and Xbox games will be. And while there will certainly be games on Xbox Series X and PS5 within the first year of each respective console that look and run considerably better than your average PS4 and Xbox One game, we won't see the true power of the next-gen consoles until deeper into the cycle when developers truly begin to understand how to squeeze the most out of each.
That said, if one developer is to be believed, the PS5 and Xbox Series X won't help with one big problem plaguing Xbox One and PS4 gamers, and that's file sizes. In fact, the developer suggests the problem could get worse.
Thanks to the various tech improvements each console is packing, games will be larger than they ever have before. According to Ryan Shah, CEO and lead programmer of Kitatus and Friends, Unreal Engine 5's new micro-polygon rendering system will in particular translate to game file sizes increasing.
“It takes a lot of the headache out of asset creation, but at the same time, it starts to raise more concerns," said the developer about the system, dubbed Nanite, while speaking to Wccftech. "And one of the examples is Call of Duty: Warzone at the minute, as people are harassing Activision over the size of Call of Duty: Warzone. And I think when we’ve got technologies now in the Unreal Engine 5 that allow us to use the original source meshes, with the original source textures and everything like that, the game file sizes are going to have to skyrocket, which presents a unique set of challenges.”
As you may, in the past some of have suggested the exact opposite to this, pointing towards the SSDs of each console as key to reducing game file sizes. In other words, there seems to be some confliction here, and unfortunately, we have no way of knowing who's right.
What we do know is that game file sizes have steadily gotten bigger and bigger not only from generation to generation, but within generations as well. And it looks like this will continue to be a problem.