Next-Gen Consoles Load So Fast I Can't Doomscroll Anymore

Illustration for article titled Next-Gen Consoles Load So Fast I Cant Doomscroll Anymore
Photo: Sandy Huffaker (Getty Images)

2020 hasn’t been a good year to check the internet. So, a nice bonus of playing on new, faster consoles is that I no longer have time to doomscroll through Twitter anymore.

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I first started noticing this when I played Godfall, of all games. I like Godfall. It’s mindless fun with some shiny, fancy graphics and a satisfying amount of loot and combat. But it’s not the most narratively engaging game, so I find my mind wandering a bit during cutscenes or between missions. And when I’m in this state I tend to grab my phone and check Twitter during long periods of downtime. This usually meant during loading screens. But I can’t do that anymore because Godfall, like so many other next-gen games, loads in seconds or less.

I still reach for my phone when a loading screen or bar pops up in games like Miles Morales or Godfall. Habits don’t break overnight. But by the time I grab it the game is done loading and it’s time to play.

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I could pause the game and do some doomscrolling, but I’m trying to avoid that as much as possible. I don’t need to read every single update on how the President is trying to use court cases and cowardly Republicans to break democracy. I don’t need to read each new report about how bad the Covid-19 pandemic is getting. I don’t need to watch as millions of people around the world scoff at basic science and avoid wearing masks. I don’t need any of that, not when a video game has loaded up and is ready to be played.

Illustration for article titled Next-Gen Consoles Load So Fast I Cant Doomscroll Anymore
Photo: Microsoft / Sony

Going into these consoles, we knew that they would be fast. But it’s one thing to see a video from Sony showing how fast a game loads. It’s a whole another thing when that game is in your room and it is really, truly that fast. No tricks. No editing magic. Just raw speed and power being piped through a 4k display. And all that power is helping me spend less time reading bad tweets and watching sad news clips, which is a huge help to my overall mental state.

I’ll never completely stop doomscrolling or reading the news. (Whatever you prefer to call it.) I care too much about what’s going on to truly disconnect. But these new consoles and their speedy loading screens and instant boot-ups have cut out a few minutes of my day that were once spent looking at a tiny screen, hoping for good news but only finding pain, sadness, and despair.

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Now I’ve replaced that time with web-slinging and big men swinging swords at lizard-people. I’m a happier person for it.

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Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

The PC I got at the beginning of the year is my first experience with an SSD. It does load many things very fast. RDR2 loads so fucking fast. Like, maybe 30 seconds? Pretty sure it took 2+ minutes on my PS4. Anyway, the real annoyance are games that already loaded pretty quickly and don’t seem to be boosted by an SSD.

Sitting here like, “Why am I waiting eight seconds for this old-ass game to load?! What did I even pay for an SSD for?!

Patience is not one of my stronger traits.