“Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”, Another Masterpiece Realized by Semiconductors

By February 18, 2021 March 4th, 2021 No Comments
The excitement from jumping around the skyscrapers of Manhattan in New York City, the joy of soaring into the rosy sky at sunset using a spider web as a swing,

Image source: Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea Inc.

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The excitement from jumping around the skyscrapers of Manhattan in New York City, the joy of soaring into the rosy sky at sunset using a spider web as a swing, and the thrill of attacking freely with a bioelectric venom punch – these are special and incredible experiences provided by the “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”, an action game with a realistic portrayal of New York City.

As the previous work “Marvel’s Spider-Man” released in 2018 recorded the largest sales volume in the history of superhero games with approximately 20 million units sold, this game is also expected to attract huge attention among other exclusive games unveiled along with the release of PlayStation (PS) 5.

Insomniac Games, the developer of the previous Spider-Man game, was acquired by Sony for USD 229 million in 2019. It looks like Sony was buying it because of Spider-Man’s success, but it is analyzed that the purpose was to secure software that would make the best use of Sony’s latest hardware in the future in fact.

PS5 Meets Spider-Man: Detailed Graphics and Sense of Speed at the Same Time

The success of Sony’s PlayStation in the game console market meant a win for software. It was thanks to securing exclusive games that can maximize the hardware capabilities with excellent quality, like Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us Part II”. The achievement from this has been the PS’s secret for the sustained superiority over its competitor, Xbox, in the last PS4 era.

Insomniac Games, which became the 14th “first-party studio” of the content group collectively referred to as “PlayStation Studio”, was a group of masters that could be called artists of hardware utilization. It was excellent at absorbing new technologies in line with the latest trend, creating three exclusive VR games for Oculus. Especially, Insomniac Games’ technology incorporated in its own engine is well known for its capability of handling Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD)1 and threads2.

Image source: Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea Inc.

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Image source: Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea Inc.

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Image source: Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea Inc.

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In the movement of games by Insomniac Games, you can feel the sense of life. The feeling of running through a three-dimensional space like in “Ratchet & Clank” is the highlight. It is the same in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Wherever you go as Spider-Man jumping around the vast New York City, you can experience the vivid and detailed elements. This is because, no matter where you land in any place by shooting the web from the hand, the game instantly absorbs all data and shows the flawless surrounding landscape. This is the moment when the difference in technology is revealed.

Nevertheless, no matter how the quality is differentiated by using the code, what cannot be changed is the amount of basic data to be prepared initially. On PS4 equipped with a hard disk, it took a long time when loading a bigger game. PS5’s ultrahigh-speed SSD, however, boasts a transfer speed of 5.5 GB per second. This is an extraordinary production and design specification that cannot be easily achieved by mass-produced products for PCs currently available on the market. In most cases, preparation can be done in only one second with the SSD in PS5.

Advanced Semiconductor Technology Enables Graphics that Embody Even Each Ray of the Reflected Light

It is indeed an honorable thing to be a PS5 launch title, but Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not a game exclusive for PS5. This is because it needs to be supported by the previous model PS4 for timing reasons as PS4 is still dominating the market. Thanks to that, however, you can feel the difference in performance between the two models.

What stands out in particular is the visual beauty. The PS5 comes with Fidelity mode, which maximizes how beautiful ray tracing3 can be. Modern skyscrapers with a lot of glass, especially the urban landscape reflected on the wet road surface of New York in winter, harmonize with the light of the sunset creating a feast of light. When considering the number of light particles scattered directly or indirectly by various light sources in a game, you can see that an enormous amount of computing resources is processed rapidly.

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As an Open-World game4, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales allows you to freely travel around New York City in a different way. In particular, you can see some BLM5 murals in the game. In East Harlem, which has become the heart of African-American culture, many Puerto Rican Hispanics also reside. It is noteworthy that the protagonist of the game was set as an Afro-Latino based on this fact. The game well explained the meaning of this protagonist living in New York City, with the subject of family. Even when evaluating the game only for its story, it is worth saying that it is a masterpiece that embraces cultural identity into storytelling.

There is a term “system seller”. It refers to a kind of game that makes you want to purchase a system that implements it because you want to play that particular game so much. The performance gap with PS4 is remarkable, but it is uncertain if Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will play the role of a system seller as it can be enjoyed on PS4 as well.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that PS5 was released very recently. This is highlighted by Insomniac Game’s saying that all developers are merely “scratching the surface” of what the PS5’s hardware is capable of. The power of the SSD of 5.5 GB per second and the GDDR6 memory of 450 GB per second will be revealed from now on.


1Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD): It refers to a method of processing data in parallel by applying one CPU command to multiple data simultaneously. It is like taking several green onions in a hand and chopping them at once.
2A unit that divides processing for simultaneous parallel processing; multiple threads within a single process create each execution context.
3Technology that realistically reproduces the light movement in the world within a game, especially reflected lights, as if calculating each individual ray; since visual rendering is an effect of light, it enables extremely realistic reproduction.
4A game method that guarantees a non-linear story and free movement, unlike a story-driven game where movement is limited; it is characterized by no restrictions in playing as it is based on a high degree of freedom.
5Black Lives Matter; it means “black lives are precious as well” and refers to a human rights movement against the brutal and violent police actions against African Americans.

※ This article is based on the subjective view of the contributor, and may differ from the official stance of SK hynix.

By Kook Hyun Kim

Representative of Editoy