The latest in PS4 vs. Xbox One comparisons come on the heels of Sniper Elite 4, which hit both consoles on Valentines Day. All relationship status jokes aside, the issue at hand is the frame rate on both consoles’ latest versions.
A recent look at the differences between the consoles’ releases on said consoles’ latest versions has revealed that the Xbox One’s frame rate is often half of what is on the PS4 Pro. This may be the first time Sony’s upgraded console actually showed significant improvement since its launch. Games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim showed a definite problem at first.
Older gamers might be inclined to ask, “Who cares? I grew up with Pac-Man, and the frame rate wasn’t even an issue back then.”
The frame rate can actually render a game nearly unplayable if it dips too low. For example, Warner Bros. Games’ Mad Max sometimes drops enough to make the game look more like a slideshow even when nothing is happening. This is likely due to a “bottle-necking” in the RAM, where it’s attempting to load a new area and having difficulty due to how much it can load at one time.
If it occurs in a battle scene, it could end in Max’s quick demise. Imagine Pac-Man slowing to a point where each animation frame takes about a second to load, and you might get why frame rate is important. Most action titles require quick reflexes, and the better the frame rate is, the better the control is. It’s the difference between getting hit by Ryu’s Hadouken in Street Fighter V and blocking it.
For the console war fanatics, this is a bigger deal, because Xbox One S has been boasting 4K streaming and upscaling along with a 4K Blu-ray drive, the latter of which the PS4 Pro lacks. Instead, it seems Sony focused more on improving resolution in future titles and ensuring that the original benchmark of 1080p would be the new standard. Many titles for both consoles in their original iterations often hit 720p, possibly due to inexperienced developers just coming off of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. PC versions only had the issue to glitchy launches, but usually always ended up performing better than consoles.
If you look at 720p versus 1080p on an average HDTV from 2010, there is very little difference visually. Of course, in games like Sniper Elite 4, each pixel counts. You’re zooming in on a group of pixels and enhancing them for a better shot. The more pixels there are in that view, the better your shot will be.
The 60-frames-per-second benchmark on the PS4 Pro vs. the Xbox One S is still a limitation developers seem to be fighting with, though GameSpot claims that Sony’s upgraded console gets closer to it. The Pro unlocks the frame rate, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbone tend to be capped at 30FPS. This means Sony’s Pro console is capable of reaching up to 55 frames per second, while the Xbox One S still hangs around 30 or less. For Sniper Elite Pro 4, it plays much smoother on the PS4 Pro and likely maintains a consistent resolution.
This could all change by the end of 2017 when Project Scorpio hits retail shelves with a processing power based more on PCs than prior consoles. The 1080p resolution could easily become the average if the processor needs to cut something down to maintain the frame rate, though it’s usually the other way around.
The Sony higher-ups have stated that they may consider a PlayStation 5 if the Scorpio proves to be a worthy competitor, so gamers may be waiting until the holiday season of 2018 for that rumor to become reality.
The PS4 vs. Xbox One console wars will continue until then.
[Featured Image by Rebellion Developments]