A report from research firm DRAMeXchange (opens in new tab)this week said that the arrival of the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles will lead to a "surge" in demand for SSDs and graphics DRAM (opens in new tab), namely GDDR6, in the second half of 2020. To which extent this surge will affect consumer prices is unclear, but we do know that prices for both DRAM (opens in new tab)and NAND (opens in new tab)are already expected to rise in 2020.
"TrendForce expects game consoles to be a new source of SSD demand in the future, taking up as much as 3-5% of total SSD shipment in 2020. This share figure will grow significantly in 2021, with NAND Flash bit consumption from game console SSDs projected to reach 5% of the global total in 2H20," DRAMeXchange said in its announcement.
However, the analyst doesn't expect the consoles to have a big impact on SSD prices, noting that the costs of NAND have been rising due to inventory pressure on the supply side, along with increased demand for SSDs (opens in new tab)from PC OEMs and data center customers.
The research organization said that the PlayStation 5 (PS5) (opens in new tab)and Xbox Series X's will each pack PCIe 4.0 (opens in new tab) SSDs (and rumor has it that the Xbox's SSD will use a Phison controller (opens in new tab)) that are either 512GB or 1TB big, depending on the variant you pick.
BOth using AMD GPUs, the DRAM pools are expected to be up to 16GB of GDDR6 for the PS5 and 12 or 16GB of GDDR6 for the Xbox Series X, depending on the variant. Of course, these consoles need to be ready for the future, which means including support for 4K (opens in new tab)HDR (opens in new tab)and to able to run games at 60 frames per seconds (fps). Still, even by today's gaming PC (opens in new tab) standards, these are huge DRAM pools.
"In comparison to the GDDR5 memory used in PS4 (8GB) and Xbox One X (8/12GB), GDDR6 represents a significant upgrade in terms of performance and density," DRAMeXchange said. "Sony and Microsoft will enter their peak procurement period for components after mid-2020. As well, Nvidia will start offering its new lineup of GPUs based on a new microarchitecture codenamed Ampere in 2H20. These factors are projected to trigger a massive rush to stock up on GDDR6 memory later this year."