Say Goodbye To Loading Screens, Chris Roberts Suggests

The legendary developer has made another bold prediction — and its one that gamers should be pretty happy about.

When you raise nearly US$90 million from crowdfunding alone, you tend to get invited to a lot of things. So it was no surprise to see Chris Roberts make an appearance at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco recently.

Intel brought the veteran developer on stage, where he gave a brief breakdown of what Star Citizen was to a crowd full of developers. It was fairly dry, standard stuff — and then Roberts got asked for his thoughts on the CPU manufacturer's 3D XPoint memory technology.

In case you're confused, here's the skinny. The new memory chips — the ones used in storage devices — were announced a couple of days ago and it's a joint venture between Intel and Micron Technology that will supposedly be about 1,000x the speed and endurance of NAND (what you find in SSDs today).

There's some discussion already how these new chips could replace system memory entirely, although any real-world benefit in games would probably take a few years to be realised.

Anyway, back to Chris Roberts. Already up to speed on the matter, he remarked that it could eliminate loading times. "One of our big challenges is how we deal with all that data and how do we move everything we render, and you can't actually keep it all in memory."

"Being able to stream it in and out is really important, and having fast I/O throughput and be able to deal with it on an asynchronous basis," he explained. "I think that's going to be completely revolutionary that you seamlessly run around and I think when it's fairly ubiquitous, I think loading screens will be a thing of the past."

Intel's 3D Xpoint technology and the Optane chips it comes in won't arrive until next year some time. If I was Intel, I'd probably launch it around the same time as their annual CPU refreshes, but we'll see how it all plays out.


Comments

    'Most' loading times nowadays are quick and minimal anyway, so I'm quite happy

    Last edited 24/08/15 8:28 am

    TODAY'S NEWS: Chris Roberts promises something amazing.

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    Last edited 24/08/15 8:37 am

    Phew, I was worried it was going to be another feature that delays Star Citizen.

      It definitely is tho. The more Robert promise, the longer the game is gonna take. I kinda gave up on hoping for a release date before 2020.

        how do you mean 'definitely'. Is Star Citizen going to require every player have 3D Xpoint hardware?

          Every single idea or implementation of new things into development will increase development time regardless of how significant it is. If Robert found that it is worth investing into these new chips, he will definitely push the release date with reason that Star Citizen will need those no loading screens for full experience etc etc.

          I just want Robert to stop being sidetracked and focus on release.

            yeah, but this article isn't about a Star Citizen feature, it's about Intel hardware. which is why I was like "phew"

      Considering they haven't even reached their initial release date which is mid-late 2016 don't you think it is premature to assume it is going to be delayed?

    Not sure what this article is saying. Is it new hardware designs are going to help or are the developers going to change how they load games and the data required?

      It's Software taking advantage of brand new Hardware.

      I'm sure there will be some Tech Nerds YouTube videos explaining it better in a couple of days - but its something that could I don't say this lightly because I'm a paid member of the PCMR - but it could potentially put next gen consoles closer to PC's than they've been for a long long time.

    No loading screens? Like GTA V beyond the initial startup? There's many, many games that have achieved this at this point.

      Such as Metroid Prime. Or any game that came on a cartridge.

        How great would it be if carts made a comeback with this tech? I would love that.

        Metroid Prime loaded the rooms when you shot the doors. So while no loading screen there was certainly loading time.

      And then there are games like Mass Effect 3 that have to load 5 times to cover one ship.

    I already said 2 months ago that SSD and RAM are combining

    So kind of a side-track here... What's the current status of star citizen and when can I expect to be able to actually play something? I basically gave up on my $35 investment which was... Wow almost 3 years ago now. So I have no idea what the status of the game is and when I can expect to use it. If anyone has a TL:DR summary of what's happening I would be very appreciative :)

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