Xbox Series X: Load Time Tests And Comparisons (With Red Dead 2, Control, FFXV)

With its Velocity architecture and SSD, the Xbox Series X flexes much shorter load times than the Xbox One X, but by how much?

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One of the most important next-gen features is much shorter load times. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are built with state-of-the-art solid-state drives that flex really fast read and write speeds. Since we have the actual Xbox Series X on hand, we got to experience its speed for ourselves--and we put it to the test to see just how much faster it really is compared to the current-gen Xbox One X.

Fast load times are also made possible by the Series X/S Velocity architecture, which optimizes I/O speeds and allows for features like Quick Resume, Direct Storage, and sampler feedback streaming. But for our practical purposes, this means less time waiting around for games to load up and more time spent actually playing those games.

Basically, the Xbox Series X loads games much faster than the Xbox One X, and we tested this in four different games: Red Dead Redemption 2, Control, Final Fantasy XV, and The Outer Worlds--big games with some notable load times on current-gen systems. To get our numbers, we recorded the time it took for the games to get into a playable state by loading up save data from their title screens. With the help of my good friend Jeff Bakalar (senior editor at CNET), we came away with the following numbers:

GameXbox Series X Load TimeXbox One X Load Time
Red Dead Redemption 238 seconds2 minutes, 8 seconds
Control10 seconds58 seconds
Final Fantasy XV13 seconds1 minute, 11 seconds
The Outer Worlds11 seconds43 seconds

Our results indicate that the Series X cuts down 70-80% of the Xbox One X's load times with our particular parameters. It's also worth noting that these are games that haven't been specifically optimized to take full advantage of the Xbox Series X, but are loading faster simply because of the speed of the more advanced hardware.

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These benefits extend to all parts of those games as well, such as quick boot-up speeds when launching from the dashboard, loading up save data mid-game, or going into different scenarios in-game that require loading a new area. Overall, this makes console gaming much snappier and quite similar to what I get on my PC that's equipped with an NVMe SSD.

I feel like these are the kinds of features that will make next-gen gaming more exciting because these are genuine and practical improvements for the user experience, which I detail in my full Xbox Series X preview. I also talk about how Quick Resume is another Series X/S feature that provides a great benefit that can change the way we spend time playing games. And for more on next-gen consoles, be sure to check out our stories below.

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