New Oodle Texture tech is set to slash PS5 game sizes by roughly half thanks to advances in texture encoding and compression.
With the recent news of the Xbox Series X/S pricey expansion card and Sony revealing the size of several PS5 launch titles, there’s concern the next-gen will precipitate the ever-swelling size of games.
Yet, tech Oodle Texture, made by RAD Game Tools, the company behind the PS5’s Kraken compression solution, and licensed by Sony for both the PS4 and PS5 developers, comes as a welcome boon set to slash file sizes by roughly half thanks to advances in texture encoding and compression.
After announcing the technology back in the summer, RAD Game Tools has now revealed the extent to which the technology will effectively ‘supercharge’ the PS5 IO system, notably going much further than initially slated by Sony when it comes to decompressed bandwidth.
“Sony has previously published that the SSD is capable of 5.5 GB/s and expected decompressed bandwidth around 8-9 GB/s, based on measurements of average compression ratios of games around 1.5 to 1. While Kraken is an excellent generic compressor, it struggled to find usable patterns on a crucial type of content : GPU textures, which make up a large fraction of game content. Since then we’ve made huge progress on improving the compression ratio of GPU textures, with Oodle Texture which encodes them such that subsequent Kraken compression can find patterns it can exploit. The result is that we expect the average compression ratio of games to be much better in the future, closer to 2 to 1.”
RAD Game Tools estimates that the 2 to 1 ratio achieve using Oodle can bring an uncompressed 80 GB game down to 40 GB on the SSD, effectively halving its footprint without sacrificing visual quality. Combining Oodle Texture and Kraken can even produce higher compression ratios. Using a texture set from ‘a recent game,’ RAD Game Tools achieved a ratio of 3.16 to 1.
RAD Game Tools notes that seeing this kind of improvement in the size of games will take some time. The company says the technology’s infancy means not all PS5 launch titles will incorporate Oodle Texture, but estimates that, over time, the majority of PS5 Games will do so.
Interestingly, Oodle Texture is also compatible with Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Max, and Linux. We’ve already seen its potential in action courtesy of developer Digital Extremes successfully reducing Warframe’s footprint by 15 GB in what it called ‘The Great Ensmallening.’
We are potentially looking at a game-changer here. Oppressively large file sizes (looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare) may soon be confined to the past.