No surprise there
Most of the discourse around the Xbox Series X has been what it can do faster than the Xbox One. Its PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD means that it’s capable of performing loading and transfer tasks quicker than console players are used to. For instance, the breakdown of file transfer times demonstrates nicely what kind of speed we’re dealing with.
Here’s an area where Xbox Series X hasn’t improved: When installing from a disc. According to GamesRadar+’s preview coverage of the new Xbox, its disc installation times are almost identical to last-gen. The example given is that Titanfall 2 took about 35 minutes to install.
Thinking of getting an #XboxSeriesX? Want to know more about Microsoft’s monolith? We’ve gone hands on with it and so are here to answer your questions.
First up: How long do discs take to install? pic.twitter.com/ZgWaQ5OcEe
— GamesRadar+ (@GamesRadar) October 16, 2020
This shouldn’t come as much surprise because disc read speeds haven’t magically gotten faster. That’s the bottleneck here. The SSD can write the data quicker than the disc can deliver it. That’s just a limitation of physical media at this point.
So, saying that next-gen has slow installations from disc isn’t an indictment of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It just means that the discs themselves are slow. (Also, the installation is necessary because load times off of the disc would be extremely lengthy, and that compromises both Microsoft and Sony’s vision for next-gen.) Just keep that in mind when new consoles arrive next month. It’s pretty obvious when stated outright like this, but it’s also an easy part of the process that a lot of people are going to overlook — especially for those who haven’t yet transitioned to digital media.