A former Valve employee believes that the Xbox Series X has a better texture decompression technique than the PS5. This decompression technique is called ‘BCPack’ which will rival the PlayStation 5’s ‘Kraken’ technique.
During the recent PlayStation 5 reveal, the console’s texture decompression tech called Kraken also came up. This new technology will benefit from the PS5’s blazing fast IO throughput. Game developers have been tripping over PS5’s SSD speeds as of late.
Microsoft hasn’t really elaborated on the texture decompression capabilities of the Xbox Series X. However, according to former Valve and Ensemble Studios employee Richard Geldreich, Microsoft’s texture decompression technique, BCPack, is a “dark horse”:
Gamers comparing Xbox Series X vs. PS5 aren’t factoring in Microsoft’s dark horse: BCPack. We don’t have any real details yet, but it’s possible that BCPack will be stronger than RDO BCx encoding+Kraken compression.
Geldreich is of the view that BCPack can decompress data faster than the PS5’s Kraken tech. Despite the PS5’s higher IO throughput, the former Valve employer states than Kraken tech doesn’t focus on the GPU texture data. This form of data is apparently the bulk of the data that the console has to decompress:
The bulk of the data games have to deal with is GPU texture data. Kraken (in PS5) is a general purpose system, not explicitly designed with texture data in mind. What Microsoft has is specially designed to kick ass on texture data. That’s what counts!
So BCPack is supposedly designed to focus on decompressing GPU data. On the other hand, Kraken is meant to focus on texture decompression in general. Geldreich thinks that Microsoft’s decompression technology could potentially overcome the PS5’s higher SSD speeds.
In the specification comparison between the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s console came out on top in terms of raw power. However, the PS5 boasted its higher SSD speeds which meant Sony Interactive Entertainment at least did something better than its competitor.
If what Geldreich claims turns out to be true, the PS5 may have nothing left to boast about against it’s Microsoft counterpart.