PS5: Denuvo Anti-Cheat now part of tools available to game developers
Company Irdeto, behind the Denuvo anti-cheat suite, have announced today that they joined the PS5 middleware program, meaning game developers will now be able to use the anti-cheat technology if they choose to.
The company states that a number of PS5 launch titles already incorporate Denuvo’s technology, to “protect sensitive game logic or data, preventing cheaters from changing sensitive variables and ensuring its trustworthiness”.
This is probably good news for video game developers. From the point of view of hackers on the infant PS5 scene, this is probably not a disrupting event. Denuvo is there to protect online and offline gaming, not to protect the PS5 system itself, or prevent hackers from running unsigned code.
Denuvo performance controversies
From gamers’ perspective though, I expect this to be received with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I believe every gamer will appreciate an online experience with less cheaters. On the other hand, the Denuvo software comes with a pretty big amount of controversies. The Denuvo solution has been accused of high CPU usage and increasing wear and tear of SSD drives (the company has denied those accusations), and alleged to slow down games such as Tekken 7 and Sonic Mania.An Ars Technica Article from 2018 shows evidence that Denuvo impacts games framerate and loading times, and that a growing number of games saw significant speed improvements after removing Denuvo in updates.
Denuvo on PS5: anti-cheat, probably not an additional DRM
Denuvo is actually mostly infamous for providing an anti-piracy (DRM) solution on some platforms, but it doesn’t seem this functionality (Anti-Tamper) is part of the solution being proposed on consoles, including the PS5. Rather, it is likely that console manufacturers rely on their own technology for that aspect. People have suspected that it’s the DRM technology, not the anti-cheat, that’s been responsible in the past for performance impact. Denuvo anti cheat has been available on PS4 for years, without any particular reports of it impacting performance.
In conclusion, probably not a huge deal for the scene, but as for everything we’ll have to wait and see if it impacts game performance on the PS5.