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The surprising way Series X may outperform PS5

The next generation of gaming begins in four short days — and reports are starting to come in about how well fans can expect the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5 to perform. Early reviews indicate that Microsoft's system may have one up on Sony's when it comes to loading times. 

GameSpot tested and showed a side-by-side comparison of the loading times of the same games on each system. The loading time difference for Red Dead Redemption 2 was negligible: the Xbox Series X came in at 1 minute 4:55 seconds, while the PlayStation 5 version took 1 minute 5:06 seconds. For Final Fantasy 15, the Xbox Series X version came in at 48:06 seconds while the PlayStation 5 took 1 minute 10:29 seconds. For Destiny 2, the Xbox Series X loaded the game in 42:53 seconds, while the PlayStation 5 took 57:30 seconds to get to the same mark. In Monster Hunter: World, the Xbox Series X took 35:46 seconds to load, and the PlayStation 5 took 51:37 seconds. On the last game, Batman: Arkham Knight, the Xbox Series X once again beat its competition with 58:48 seconds to 1 minute 07:27 seconds.

Trusted Reviews also tried out the new systems. Final Fantasy 15 loaded in 9:09 seconds on the Xbox Series X, while it took 27:18 seconds for the same title to load on the PlayStation 5. For The Witcher 3, the PlayStation 5 had the clear edge with a 10:13 seconds load time versus the Xbox's 26:06 seconds. The Outer Worlds loaded on the Xbox Series X in just 7:14 seconds, but took 28:05 seconds on the PlayStation 5. Yakuza loaded up in just 4:18 seconds on the PlayStation 5 and 6:14 seconds on the Xbox Series X, which isn't a huge difference. NieR: Automata was the last to be tested, and booted up in 21:06 seconds on the Xbox, followed by 24:16 seconds on the PlayStation. 

All these times are impressive when compared to the last generation, but the Xbox Series X appears to have a slight edge. Note that there might be some issues with the methodology, as both videos looked like they might be loading different save files and locations in some cases. However, others are finding similar results. Senior editor Tom Warren at The Verge posted times for Destiny 2 over Twitter, saying it takes the Xbox Series X 47 seconds to go to the menu, and 29 seconds to go from "orbit to EDZ." For the PlayStation 5, it takes 57 seconds to go to the menu, and 39 seconds from orbit to EDZ.

"Either way, most back compat games I've tried load faster on Xbox Series X than PS5," Warren said. "The difference is so small that it doesn't matter, both consoles are excellent for load times."

This news comes despite earlier analysis that the PS5 might be more powerful in this regard. Certainly, both companies —but especially Sony — have been playing up load times as a significant difference between these consoles and the previous ones. Also, it should be pointed out that these games aren't necessarily optimized for the new consoles. They may not be indicative of the speeds users will see from upcoming true next-generation games.

Still, the importance of load times is something of an unknown factor when it comes to sales. Sure, long load times can be annoying and may even influence how often games are played or affect the game experience. Will load times influence whether or not the Xbox Series X does better than the PlayStation 5? Even if it's a factor, it may be overshadowed by other things, such as cost, the launch lineup, and availability. Next week, gamers will find out more.