One of the hopes for the new hardware was that it would cut down on loading times for games like MLB: The Show. The series has struggled with them in the past – along with NCAA Football it was the worst in this regard last generation. Unfortunately the loading times have not only failed to improve but have gotten much longer.
The boot to menu process has been extended when compared to the PlayStation 3 version (57 seconds vs 81 seconds on PS4). At least with this there is only one instance for each gaming session. Where it really starts to get damaging is loading into and out of individual games.
A simple exhibition game takes 24 seconds to get into the action on the PS3. On the PS4 it’s 77 seconds. It’s literally over three times as long! In Franchise mode that would really add up – especially if getting through games faster by utilizing a feature like Player Lock.
Where it arguably would have the most impact is in Road to the Show. Thankfully there the added time is not quite as significant. On the PS3 loading into a RTTS game takes 29 seconds and on PS4 it’s 45 seconds. That’s still excruciating considering how much in and out is done in the career mode. However had it been as long as the regular games it may have been enough to drive many people away from it completely. Hopefully those load times don’t get longer once reaching the majors but that could end up being the case.
Other areas tested include Community Challenges (30 seconds on PS3, 82 seconds on PS4) and Postseason mode games (20 seconds on PS3, 37 seconds on PS4). For the Community Challenges, which are bite sized experiences, that really hurts the appeal.
Server slowdown is also causing modes and features connected to online to drag significantly. Unlike the regular load times this is something that should clear up soon. The PS3 version is even being affected by it.
It’s unfortunate that there is now a trade-off to the visual enhancements that have separated the PS4 version from the PS3. Loading times are undoubtedly an area SCEA will have to focus on addressing with MLB 15.