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Game File Sizes on PlayStation 5 Are 60% Smaller Thanks To Crazy Compression Tech

A playStation 5 console and controller
(Image credit: Sony)

The PlayStation 5 has one of the smallest storage sizes of any console over the last decade, but it's not as bad as it seems. Sony is reportedly using a specialized data compression technology that can shrink game file sizes by as much as 60%. This would more than compensate for 825GB of storage on the console.

Twisted Voxel reported that the survival game Subnautica has just a 5GB file size on the PS5. Compare this to 14GB on the PlayStation 4 and you're saving more than 60% of storage space.

TechRadar reports that Control: Ultimate Edition also benefits significantly from Sony's compression tech, coming in at just 25.79GB on the PS5 compared to 42.5GB on the Xbox Series X. That's a 39% reduction in file size.

A lot is still unknown about Sony's compression technology, all we know at this time is Sony's name for the tech, so-called "Kraken". We don't know if all PS5 games are supported, or if games need to be optimized for this compression tech. Kraken could also extend to support PS4 games and older but we're making educated guesses at this point.

Traditionally, compression technologies have never required game developers to optimize for compression, so technically all games running on the PS5's built-in SSD should support Kraken.

Hopefully, PS5's Kraken compression will expand to the console's second M.2 SSD slot, once Sony unlocks it. We could also see Kraken coming to external USB drives, but that could be wishing for too much.

It's great to see such massive advances in compression technology in an era where games are doubling in size every three to four years. Hopefully it means people can upgrade their storage a bit less often and keep more games on their systems.

  • Heat_Fan89
    That's impressive but Microsoft was doing something similar during the XBOX 360 days when Sony had the BR drive and Microsoft had to massively compress a game on a single HD-DVD. Now it seems it's Sony's turn.
    Reply
  • thejeffpower
    It's Oodle Kraken from RAD Game Tools (now part of Epic), which anyone can license.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    Heat_Fan89 said:
    That's impressive but Microsoft was doing something similar during the XBOX 360 days when Sony had the BR drive and Microsoft had to massively compress a game on a single HD-DVD. Now it seems it's Sony's turn.

    Xbox 360 only had a DVD drive. The external HD DVD player couldn't be used for games.
    Reply
  • adamboy64
    This just means the system has to use more resources to uncompress (or process) the game somewhere down the line, right?
    Reply
  • TommyTwoTone66
    Not every game will compress as well as Subnautica, but certainly this is impressive to see in action.

    Yes it uses CPU but the PS5 has so many cores it can afford to dedicate an entire core just to compression.
    Reply
  • anonymousdude
    adamboy64 said:
    This just means the system has to use more resources to uncompress (or process) the game somewhere down the line, right?

    Sony implemented Oodle Kraken and Oodle Texture in conjunction with a custom I/O unit. Namely there is a Kraken decompressor in it specifically to deal with this. So while technically speaking it uses more resources, it is also allocated a specific resource to do the decompression. I think I read somewhere that the decompressor performs like 9 Zen 2 cores or something like that.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    With each method, there's pros and cons. Compressing takes up less space, but uses more resources to unpack. In games where CPU is not the limitation, there should be minimal impact. But for games where its CPU intensive, then there may be some performance penalty.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    I guess Pied Piper is finally making some money
    Reply
  • TommyTwoTone66
    watzupken said:
    for games where its CPU intensive, then there may be some performance penalty.
    No there won’t, because there is a dedicated compression core in the CPU.
    Reply