Kraken: Sony's compression technique that boosts PlayStation 5

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1622044842*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
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Thanks to the Kraken technology, Sony is able to considerably reduce the disk space occupied by video games on the PlayStation 5 compared to the PlayStation 4, but also the Xbox Series X.

Released last November, Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X are the first representatives of the so-called ninth generation of home consoles. Not only were they released at more or less the same time, but the two competitors also share many technical features, so much so that a quick look at their specifications doesn't reveal any major differences: AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores clocked at 3.5 GHz on the PS5 / 3.8 GHz on the Xbox Series X and AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 36 CUs at 2.23 GHz on the PS5 / 52 CUs at 1.825 GHz on the Xbox Series X.

However, there is one point where the gap is more remarkable: storage capacity. True, the PlayStation 5's operating system only occupies 158 GB compared to 192 GB for the Xbox Series X, but with its 1 TB SSD, the latter is better off than the Sony machine and its "only" 825 GB SSD. On paper, the Xbox Series X has 832 GB of available space while the PS5 has to make do with 667 GB. A 165 GB difference which is not insignificant when you see the very important increase in the size of the last video games, with high definition textures.

However, Sony has a trump card up its sleeve: a devilishly efficient data compression technique. Called Kraken, it allows to largely compensate this small weakness of the PS5 on the storage side. Computerbase has studied the case of several games to note how efficient Kraken is. Thus, it was noted that Subnautica occupies only 5 GB on the PS5 when it requires 14 GB on the PS4. Similarly, Control: Ultimate Edition takes up 25.79 GB on PS5, but 42.5 GB on Xbox Series X, which is a difference of 39% in favor of Sony. This difference should be confirmed for all the games available on the two competing platforms, but it seems to give a significant advantage to Sony's machine, even though it seemed to start with a handicap.