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Forspoken developer says one-second game load times are now a tentative reality on PC

Last Monday, Microsoft announced that DirectStorage would herald “a new era of fast loading times and detailed worlds in PC games”. And while that seems a little too grandiose now, the developers of the upcoming tech showcase game are revealing Exit just demonstrated that one-second load times are now legitimately within reach.

Speaking of at a presentation at the GDC 2022 Speaking of the technology embedded in the PC version of the game, Luminous Productions Technical Director Teppei Ono says that the Square Enix title will indeed load a few scenes in a second, assuming your Windows 11 PC has an NVMe SSD with a capacity of over 5,000 MB/s reads.

That one second load time doesn’t apply to every scene, and he actually didn’t show us any scenes that loaded in that time – instead we saw cutscenes and gameplay samples there Exit It took 1.9s, 1.7s and 2.2s to get us there, thanks the way DirectStorage offloads the streaming of graphical assets from the CPU to the GPU.

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Please forgive the poor quality of these screenshots from the GDC stream.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

You might be wondering if that’s significantly faster than running games without DirectStorage, and Ono admits the answer is actually no, not yet: While you’ll definitely see a huge speed boost from an SSD over the magnetic rotating platters of a hard drive, and from an NVMe SSD over a slower SATA-based drive, the power is Implementation of DirectStorage in Exit only eliminates one of the major I/O bottlenecks – others exist on the CPU.

And if you were hoping that DirectStorage would bring improved performance with normally spinning disks, the answer isn’t yet: “Disks don’t perform as expected because of hardware performance limitations,” says Ono.

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The times are about the same for HDDs with and without DirectStorage.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

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Impressive load times on both SATA and M.2, just not significantly different.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

But, says Ono, “I/O is no longer a bottleneck for load times” — DirectStorage’s data transfer speeds are significantly faster for SSDs, and they could improve on them in the future if they figure out other CPU bottlenecks and take full advantage of GPU asset decompression .

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Look at that huge leap in I/O; Too bad we don’t see much in the game yet.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

In general, he says, most PC games don’t take nearly as many advantages from fast NVMe SSDs as they do Exit, which claims that most games have loading times of over 10 seconds. In my experience, the fastest load times I’ve ever seen were Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on a PS5, which can take as little as 10 seconds from leaving the PS5 home screen to moving your character, four to five times faster than on PS4. It is not clear if Exit from app launch to playable gameplay counts or not.

with ExitOno says they also use other techniques to speed up load times, such as: B. Preloading the game while on the title screen.

AMD also revealed this today that Exit will support FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 Temporary upscaling for higher effective resolutions or faster framerates, which the team says took less than a week to integrate into the game.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/23/22993860/forspoken-pc-microsoft-directstorage-nvme-ssd-gdc Forspoken developer says one-second game load times are now a tentative reality on PC

Fry Electronics Team

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