Sony Vice President of Publisher & Developer Relations, Adam Boyes, took to the stage at E3 2014 and proudly announced that Playstation 4 owners would be able to download the Battlefield Hardline beta in all of its “1080p / 60 fps glory.” A Digital Foundry analysis of the shooter on Friday indicates that is not the case, which raises questions about claims that both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Hardline will be 1080p.
A performance of the Battlefield Hardline beta on the PS4 shows that it is nearly identical to Battlefield 4. The game is running at 900p according to Digital Foundry and “doesn’t live up to the claims made for it.” While Hardline does hit 60 frames per second (fps) occasionally, the analysis shows the game is unable to sustain that frame rate.
“General action sees us sees vary wildly between 40-60 fps – with sudden fluctuations in frame-time giving a disjointed, judder-filled gameplay experience – definitely more than just a visual issue, as controller response definitely feels muggier when the engine is under stress. It seems that a combination of effects brings the frame-rate down, with transparencies in particular causing the PS4 version to struggle.”
Even without Digital Foundry’s analysis tools, you can tell that the game dips below 30 fps during the big Levolution events in the beta.
The reality is that Battlefield Hardline is still in beta and is still months from release. Visceral Games will spend those months optimizing but the actual performance of the Hardline beta calls into question the wisdom of Boyes’ bit of marketing on the stage at E3.
Another question this raises is how Battlefield Hardline the Xbox One will perform. Visceral Games previously claimed that the Playstation 4 will be 1080p and 60 fps. A recent interview with Gamingbolt suggested that the console will be at the same level.
“If you look at the games that Visceral Games has made before, we have always strive for total parity between our platforms,” Ian explained. “Of course, the PC version, it will do whatever your PC can handle, and the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will obviously not be as high res as compared to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. But those two [PS4 and Xbox One] should be locked in together.”
It’s important to emphasize the word “should,” however. Battlefield 4 on the Xbox One ran at 720p and 60 fps. To make the jump from 720p to 1080p would be quite the accomplishment even with the June dev kit upgrade that frees up 10 percent of console’s power previously reserved for Kinect.
Visceral Games is obviously aiming to get Battlefield Hardline to the now benchmark performance of 1080p / 60 fps on consoles. The developer says that the Hardline beta will come to the Xbox One to give us our first chance to find out how it performs. Do you think they will be able to reach the holy grail of next-gen resolution and frame rate before the game is released by the Oct. 21 release date?