‘Fallout 4’ Struggles To Maintain 30 FPS On PS4 And Xbox One, Budget PC Outperforms

The decision on which platform to get Fallout 4 largely rests on what players already own. If the choice is between a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and a moderately powerful gaming PC, however, you may want to steer towards the latter based on a Digital Foundry analysis.

The first signs of performance issues cropped up over the weekend with videos of Fallout 4 running on the PlayStation 4, as covered by the Inquisitr. Players who got their hands on the game early reported the game is unable to run at a consistent 30 frames per second (fps). This was notable in indoor areas as well as outdoor areas. In some instances, players complained that the dip in framerate affected their ability to aim properly.

Digital Foundry’s performance analysis of Fallout 4 revealed that both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have frequent dips into sub-30 fps areas, with the most notable drops occurring on Microsoft’s console. Certain spots on the map cause the framerate to drop as low as 20 fps on both consoles due to assets being loaded for the next area. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the analysis points out these connecting areas are “filled with enemies, and controller response suddenly takes a hit.”

Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) [Image via Bethesda]The Xbox One in particular suffers from a stuttering issue caused by game assets being decompressed and streamed while moving through different areas of Fallout 4. This paragraph from the Digital Foundry analysis will not help the console when it comes to the current console war with the PlayStation 4.

It’s a glaring hitch downward, and matching runs to the gates of Diamond City shows Xbox One dropping to a record 0fps (zero) while PS4 turns the same corner at 28fps. Each has their blips, but having tested two separate Xbox One and PS4 consoles, the results are always the same across the world at large: we get sizeable stutters on Microsoft’s console that aren’t present on PS4.

Sony’s last second decision to go with 8GB of DDR4 RAM for the PS4 appears to have paid off in this instance, and it looks like Bethesda still has some optimizing to do with the Xbox One’s 8GB of DDR3 RAM combined with the ESRAM to make up for the slower speed RAM.

Digital Foundry wonders if a faster SSD drive could help remove the Xbox One stutter. However, it’s been noted that games loaded on external drives tend to load faster than the internal drive thanks to the faster speed of USB 3.0. Xbox One owners concerned about performance should go the external HDD route to minimize the stuttering issue.

[Image via Bethesda] [Image via Bethesda]Still, this isn’t a good look for the Xbox One and could be an issue as players dive deeper into the game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was infamously nigh-unplayable on the PlayStation 3 due to memory issues as players progressed further and further in. Hopefully, this does not repeat with Microsoft’s console.

Interestingly, Digital Foundry included a budget PC build in their performance analysis showing that the Creation Engine used for Fallout 4 continues to perform better on PC than console.

“We’ve been playing the game on our budget gaming PC, pairing a Core i3 4130 with a GTX 750 Ti and 8GB of DDR3. We used the game’s high preset as a base, then dropped shadow quality and distance down to medium, with lighting pared back to high – this gives us a visual experience on par or better with console. We have enough horsepower left over to put its object fade setting on par with actor fade (in excess of the high setting) and the end result is improved performance and marginally superior visuals, still at 1080p.”

That budget gaming PC build is actually below the minimum system requirements listed on the Fallout 4 Steam page. The Intel Core i3 CPU used is a step down from the Core i5 CPU listed as the minimum. The graphics card is a step up from the minimum required, however.

Does the Fallout 4 performance on the PS4 and Xbox One sway your purchase decision? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Betheda]