At Times, Some Games Run Slower on PS4 Pro Than PS4 - Report

The Last of Us and Skyrim are among the culprits.

274 Comments

The newly launched PlayStation 4 Pro is a more powerful system than the existing versions of PS4, allowing for better-looking and smoother games. But that isn't always the case, with a new report suggesting games sometimes suffer from performance issues that result in lower frame rates on a Pro than on a standard PS4.

This is according to findings by Digital Foundry, which notes that this is only true of a select number of games with PS4 Pro updates and only at certain times. Still, the fact that this is happening with the PS4 Pro--the high-end version of Sony's console--is disconcerting. Not only that, but leaked Sony documents from earlier this year state that this goes against the company's guidelines for developers.

And it's not just some no-name games this is occurring with. While Mantis Burn Racing, a smaller title, is affected, it was also found to be the case with a major Sony game (The Last of Us Remastered) and one of October's biggest releases (Skyrim: Special Edition).

In the case of The Last of Us on Pro, you can choose to play at 60 FPS with a resolution of 3200x1800. There are frame rate dips with this option, but Digital Foundry notes this isn't necessarily a huge deal considering how gorgeous it looks, particularly in HDR. However, you can't opt to simply maintain a 60 FPS lock at all costs.

What's worse is the scenario faced by those playing on a 1080p screen. In that case, The Last of Us renders at a higher resolution and then downsamples to 1080p to improve anti-aliasing. It's a less meaningful visual improvement, yet you still have to deal with dips that result in a frame rate lower than that of the game on a standard PS4. There's no option to forgo the anti-aliasing enhancements in favor of a frame rate that is at least as stable as on PS4.

Skyrim also features a similar situation. You might be willing to deal with some frame rate drops to enjoy a higher resolution on a 4K display. But those on a 1080p display might prefer the slightly more consistent frame rate seen on a standard PS4, and that isn't an option if you're playing on a Pro.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is cited as another example, although its Pro performance can be either better or worse than on a standard PS4 in different spots. Some dips on Pro reach the 20 FPS mark, which is far from ideal.

The videos above--and Digital Foundry's accompanying write-up--document this issue in greater detail and are worth a look if you're interested in further specifics. The site says it's shared all of this with Sony, which indicated it's investigating the issues.

The PS4 Pro launched earlier this week for $400. You can read our review for more impressions and see a list of all the games being upgraded to support the system here.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Sevenstorms
Sevenstorms

I hope Bethesda and Naughty Dog patch these games to improve performance .

Avatar image for lvsolja
lvsolja

that was enough to make me change my mind on the ps pro..wtf!!...im expecting bettee graphics,better performance and i get a trade off..!.!.!hell frigggin no

Avatar image for deactivated-584b982711a1c

Every 4k upscaled game runs at 20fps/30fps on the ps4 pro. If you run the game at 1080 "enhanced graphics" you see the same game but in a updated ps4 version. To see the game with enhanced graphics you need a 4k tv with Hdr not all 4k tvs has it only high end. And If you want to playa 1080 60 fps you see a downgraded version of the game.

Don't belive the GS and Ps lies watch another channels and compare.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

Still, the fact that this is happening with the PS4 Pro--the high-end version of Sony's console--is disconcerting

No, it's not. It's no different from "regular" PS4 games sometimes having worse frame rates than a Xbox One version because they have higher settings enabled. Obviously ideally you could toggle off the enhancements (or have a "medium" setting), but it's not a shock that developers may push hardware too far. (Although I don't know that they actually have in these cases.)

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Rushaoz

Sony really needs to make developers stick to either 1080p or 1440p. 1440p looks really damn good on a 4k HDTV. anything over that and you're looking at diminishing returns. The console just simply isn't fast enough.

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xgalacticax

That 'Greatness' is here at last!

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twerkloak

TLOU has never ran at a constant 60fps even on the ps4, so it still not running at constant 60fps is nothing new. bethesda just sucks at making any sort of optimizations we all know this. Deus Ex is one of those titles it'll take some time even in the PC market to play that game uber smooth, its currently the Crysis of its time. Also Sony should ad some support in for its controller, its pretty insane that Steam has better support for the PS4 controller than Sony does LoL.

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Infernoxas

@twerkloak: Bethesda didn't make The Last of Us lol :P.

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twerkloak

@infernoxas: never said they did. need help with reading and comprehension?

Avatar image for RS13
RS13

PC gamers would like to welcome you to optimization hell.

Avatar image for RS13
RS13

@akassassin11: It's not just that these problems are occurring. It's that these are precisely the sort of problems that you expect when you introduce multiple hardware configurations. If they stay at just two versions of each console, things probably will smooth out over time. But if they go the iphone route--and you'd better believe that's their goal--with several configs on the market this sort of thing will continue to happen.

Avatar image for RS13
RS13

@akassassin11: I would add that 1080p TVS released the same year as the xbox 360. So, if this were technology driven, you would have expected 1080p-capable consoles sometime in the middle of last gen.

Avatar image for RS13
RS13

@akassassin11: Why do you think they aren't going the iphone route? That would be a more profitable route. And consoles have become more and more like PCs over the last few years. And now Sony's talking about offering souped up consoles to compete with the advancements in PC tech while MS's bragging about having an option for every price point. This doesn't sound like a one-off thing driven by a fluke jump in technology. Going the iphone route seems like a natural progression of their current practices and talking points.

Avatar image for RS13
RS13

@akassassin11: Well, a couple of things. First, I expect that it would be more like every two years than every year. I'm just guessing, but even PC components don't release every year.

Second, I agree that there's not demand *now,* but I expect that Sony and MS will create demand. I think simply by releasing a new console they do that to some extent. By talking about how their console is for customers how "demand the best" they're doing that again--"what do you settle for less, pfft!" Relatedly, I expect that they will ease into this: now that they'd done mid-gen refresh, you can bet they'll do it again next-gen. (They will even have a tech based excused: When 21:9 TVs come out, consoles will need more power to run at the 21:9 equivalent of 4K.) Even if MS and Sony didn't want to, I expect that fans with money to blow would demand it. It won't be long til they til the do a 1/4-gen refresh.

Third, I think you're right that this is unnecessary: in fact, I think it's a mistake. If they go this route, they'll give up the simplicity and ease of use that is console gaming's big advantage over PC gaming. But I think that is the way they're going. I think that in the long run that will just turn them into bad non-upgradable PCs, but MS and Sony are playing a game of chicken here. If one adopts a good feature of PCs--multiple price points, backwards compatibility, customizable visuals, etc.--and the other doesn't, the PC-adopter will gain an advantage.

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lion2447

@RS13: Sony or the developers could have at least offered an option to the user. Something simple as two options: quality or performance.

Avatar image for maitkarro
maitkarro

They should've just used the default setting 1080p and 60fps, like it was promised, not force it to render at higher res and downscale it to 1080p, that way you cannot guarantee 60fps, considering 970 isn't even able to maintain it for some games at 1080p at max settings without anti aliasing, while the console version clearly isn't using max settings, at the best high, unless those are sony exclusive games.

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Securator

The comments are a bit....CANCEROUS.

Avatar image for phantomoftruth
PhantomOfTruth

As rounds and rounds of applause find their way to the heart of our most beloved gaming companies, Microsoft and Sony, the limited and mugged number of gamers keep up the revolution by criticizing where our industry is headed next with this mid-generation consoles that will be optimized to give the players something they hardly asked for. I have a question for Microsoft and Sony: When will we finally get a chance to play a masterpiece again? Will that day ever come? The mentioned companies’ diehard fans will extend the domain of decay as we embark on the beginning of an end to our beloved form of entertainment that was once worshiped by a great many of passionate gamers that created a magnificent and remarkable community of sharing their experiences for years and years of unprecedented eminence in quality and content. Aye, those days are over!

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@phantomoftruth: Forza 6 feels like a masterpiece and Horizon 3 is amazing.

GoW4 is awesome...cant tell about Halo 5 as i didnt played it yet.

With Scorpio there should be FM7 and Turn 10 will deliver again technically a flawless game and if they achieve 4K at 60fps,that would be be an eyeopener.

I dont know why many talk about lack of great games on the current gen plattform.

Sure,there arent as much as in the X360 era but still many...just look around.

Avatar image for puckhog27
Puckhog27

They should get it rendering at 1080p at 60 fps first IMO. They could always upscale to 4K. 1080p actually looks quite good and is more suited to the video card in the machine. I have a GTX 1060 (which is more powerful) and it requires turning down a lot of games settings to get games to run smoothly at 60fps.

Avatar image for Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

@puckhog27: yeah but thing is, these games are optimized for their hardware. PC games are just games that you use different hardware to run as best as that hardware can. the games here are designed for that specific hardware so they should run almost perfectly. im sure they just need to update it and fix the issue. chances are this was overlooked. and the framerate drops aren't even that bad. digital foundry pointed out that the original one had drops to like 55fps. but i played the original and its really hard to see the drop from 60 to 55 lol

Avatar image for puckhog27
Puckhog27

@Dark-Exsphere:

Thats true, but it's likely that they had to use very low settings to get it up to 60 fps. I'm sure it still looks great, but it's hard to say if it's better to have the higher resolution or the more advanced effects past a certain point. I generally play games on PC at 1080p and it looks quite good. Depending on the size of your TV and the distance your are sitting from it 4K is resolution is likely overkill. You might notice it on PC if you are sitting really close to the screen.

Avatar image for Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

@puckhog27: they visually just lowered the shadow quality on the ps4 60fps version. i remember switching between them because of digitalfoundry. and quiet honestly i dont think lower shadow quality matters for that game and i probably wouldn't have noticed. you don't really pay much attention to dynamic shadows anyways. of course on PC i put them on high. like currently playing gears of war 4 and putting them on ultra drops the frames to 120fps and putting it on high makes it about 140 (20fps difference). i use the 980Ti seahawk card.

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Shay-Cormac

Gg Sony

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GirlUSoCrazy

This is what happens to early adopters of new tech, there's growing pains. I'm sure these issues can be addressed.

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JayMikells

Wow, lol PS4 "pro".

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iohannfus2015

@jaymikells: LOL, you have one ?

Avatar image for jaymikells
JayMikells

@iohannfus2015: Why would a want one when my vanilla PS4 runs games at a higher framerate? I won't buy another console until Scorpio. I want a true 4K experience, not a F4K experience (Fake 4K).

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@jaymikells: You do realize this is just some games that developers out of the gate have pushed the hardware too far on, right? And that they're still enhanced?

Personally i'm not playing any more PS4 games on a "regular" PS4, because why bother?

Avatar image for lvsolja
lvsolja

@wolfpup7: the system just came out and devs have pushed it too far already 😂..omg..this keeps looking like a ad idea more and more

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@lvsolja: Huh? It's easy to push any hardware too far. That doesn't indicate a problem with the hardware.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@jaymikells: while i look forward to get me a Scorpio i also know that not every game will be 4k native. I expect them to run on higher base resolution than most Ps4 versions and will be upsaled to 4k.

Avatar image for kargion
kargion

Nothing like news poking the bear for clicks. This is old news not new news. Also on pc running a game at 4k and AA on most people would not be steady 60fps and would see frame rate dips. This is a developer issue not ps4 pro issue.