With the new thing having gamers hyped for next generation being reduced/zero load times due to SSDs how will PC gaming hold up in that factor? Consoles advantage of being sold at a lost along with some parts like the blu-ray drive and storage being directly manufactured by their respective companies to reduce cost even more give it an advantage. Solid State Drives have been available for PCs for over a decade but only in recent years have they've been affordable to get a decent storage size. You can get a 1TB SATA 3 SSD for less than $100 and a PCIE 3.0 1TB NVME SSD with read & write speeds varying between 1000mb/s and 3500mb/s costing between $100-$130.
The Steam hardware survey doesn't keep track of what type of storage device you use and that information could be vital in whether or not devs will optimize their games to fully utilize SSDs on PC versions of games. Most prebuilt gaming PCs and even cheap laptops nowadays come with SSD storage by default whether it be SATA 3 or PCIE NVME. With the prebuilt PC market already moving on to SSDs that gives me some confidence that a sizeable amount of the DIY demographic has already or plan on using SSDs. I recently bought a Crucial BX500 and I am impressed with how fast games load. It only takes me 1-5 seconds to load up a level on Warframe and most of the time I get loaded in before the rest of my team. Installing games to my SSD is much faster than installing it to my 7200 RPM HDD since the disk usage isn't bottlenecked by low HDD reading/writing speeds the only thing holding it back in download speeds is the internet now. My windows boot is pretty much instantaneous now and I don't have to give the PC time to warm up. And I'm using a SATA 3 SSD with no dedicated DRAM cache and it's read/write speeds are 550mb/s & 515mb/s.
Now while I'm enjoying all these benefits just from 550mb/s the console SSDs are going to be even faster than what I got. The Xbox Series X has 2.4gb/s raw and 4.8gb/s compressed while the PS5 has 5.5gb/s raw and 9gb/s compressed. A PCIE 4.0 SSD can rival the PS5's SSD speeds but it'd cost you $200 to get one that has 1tb storage capacity as it $110 just for a 500gb one. Although PS5 SSD speeds shouldn't matter as much since Xbox Series X is slower and devs will have to develop around that limitation so PS5 will likely only have its SSD speed shine in exclusive titles thus not making it that relevant. Most PCIE 3.0 NVMEs even those ranging around $130 for 1TB should have no problem rivaling or surpassing the Xbox Series X SSD in speed.
Would the differences in speed really matter? The only game that is optimized to take advantage of different SSD speeds on the market right now is Star Citizen and the difference between a SATA 3 SSD and a NVME M.2 in load times is a few seconds and the in game performance difference being miniscule.
What do you think? Will PC gamers have to take the L in no longer the faster load times advantage or would it not really matter with the difference in load times ranging from few a few seconds to milliseconds.