PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: Kraken gets cracking with Control and gives the PS5 an almost 40% smaller file size to store
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During the marketing process for the PlayStation 5, lead architect Mark Cerny delivered a deep dive into the technology that makes up Sony’s console. Part of his presentation was given over to Kraken, which is a lossless data compressor created by RAD Game Tools. The PS5 team enlisted the use of Kraken (and Oodle Texture) to complement the console’s I/O system, with Cerny stating that the combination of the tool and the PS5’s fast SSD could lead to 22 GB/s bandwidth with well-compressed data. Incidentally, RAD Game Tools was also behind the development of Bink Video and was acquired by Epic Games, the creator of the Unreal Engine, in January 2021.
The tech talk has now demonstrably been shown in action, with owners of the Control Ultimate Edition game sharing screenshots of file sizes that come from the PS5, Xbox Series X, and the Xbox One. Apparently, the Xbox One had to give up 42.1 GB of its hard drive for storage, while the Xbox Series X coughed up 42.5 GB of room on its 1 TB NVMe SSD. Meanwhile, Kraken seemingly got to work on the Control files and left just 25.79 GB of space needed for file storage on the PS5. The percentage difference from the Xbox Series X to the PlayStation 5 in terms of pure file size is -39.32%.
Of course, it’s worth calculating the total file space taken up by Control Ultimate Edition on the PS5 and Xbox Series X to show just how important Kraken’s compression and decompression work is. Theoretically, the Control files would take up 4.25% of the XSX’s 1,000 GB space, but with around 802 GB room actually available to the user, the percentage rises to 5.30%. The PS5’s 825 GB SSD would be occupied by just 3.13% with the game’s files, and with the 667.2 GB of actual space available, the figure rises to 3.87%. That means the Xbox Series X still needs to use nearly 37% more space for storing Control than the PS5 with only 20% more overall room on its SSD. Kraken counts.