GTA 4: New Report Compares Xbox 360 And Xbox One Versions

Faster on Xbox One.


Rockstar's acclaimed 2008 open-world game Grand Theft Auto IV was added to the Xbox One's backwards compatibility program this week. We played it. You might have as well. But how does the game perform on Xbox One compared to Xbox 360? According to Eurogamer, the Xbox One version runs faster, though there are some issues as well, apparently.

"It hits the same performance level as original hardware, but can actually deliver anything up to a 5fps advantage," the site reported. "In terms of the quality of Microsoft's virtual machine, this is impressive - GTA IV hits CPU hard, in particular."

According to Eurogamer, the frame pacing is different comparing the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions--and it's not to the new console's benefit.

"Where 360 delivers new frames in 16ms and 33ms intervals, Xbox One often tosses in a bunch of 50ms and even 66ms spikes," the site said. "The end result is that while mathematically, GTA IV runs faster on Xbox One than it does on Xbox 360, the experience is something else entirely. It feels choppier and more uneven, while controller latency--hardly one of the game's strongest points on original hardware--sometimes feels significantly laggier on Xbox One. In certain areas, frame-pacing seems to normalize but by and large, in-game performance seems less stable."

You can read Eurogamer's full report here and watch the video above to learn more.

There are now more than 300 Xbox 360 games in the Xbox One backwards compatibility catalog--you can see our full roundup here.

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Avatar image for DamageIncM

What about the PC nowadays?... I mean, I have the game, but it's installed with a heavy graphics mod that doesn't run well for me.
Just wondering how the best PCs run GTA IV now, if there's still severe frame-drops or stutters or crazy pop-in or whatever simply because of bad optimization, or if it FINALLY just runs like it should (being, smoothly with unnoticeable or bothering performance-drops, OR crashes for that matter). - I have no idea how it is on today's systems... And I don't have a "today's system", I'm talking about coughing-up-money Titan X and above type stuff.

Avatar image for tevic

Amazing game

Avatar image for naryanrobinson

Such a boring game...

Avatar image for RabbiSchmuley

wow, that's awful.

Avatar image for Judas_III

I wonder why it runs better on superior hardware.....Interesting.

Avatar image for chippiez

@Judas_III: You do know they're taking 3x3.0 ghz PowerPC cores, and splitting those over 6.5 1.75 Ghz x86 cores, right? Do you realize how LITTLE room that leaves for emulation wrapper overhead. As you can't take PowerPC instructions and wrap them up as GPGPU instructions, the extra power afforded by the Bones' GPU doesn't really do much of anything. CPU is the bottleneck for emulation of X360 on XOne. Now, if title owners were willing to open up their source code for a little tinkering, the games could easily be set to run at 1080p with 4x MSAA and there would be no performance hit as that is entirely GPU on the bone. Alas, they don't and updating that many titles would be a ton of work (due mostly to bug-checking and QA). Alas, depending on whether games were CPU or GPU starved on 360 determines whether they will or won't run better on Xbone.

Avatar image for YohanDeEmercer

@chippiez: Now that's interesting.

Avatar image for sonypony4eva

Grand Theft Auto 4 was the only game in the series that sucked to me. I found it to be extremely boring and vastly overrated on top of "Roman" being super annoying. Nobody wants to shoot darts and go bowling with you every 15 minutes Roman.

Avatar image for DamageIncM

@sonypony4eva: Still better than V...
GTA V has turned the franchise into cancer. - They would've done the same to V if they knew how, but they were luckily limited in knowledge. Sadly, that also meant that the game was unoptimized, because it just goes to show what a technical mess it was if they're talking about performance-issues a decade later.

But then, they'll never re-create the feel of GTA 2, which is pretty much my favorite.
Obviously it's an entirely different game, and while "III" got close in replicating it in 3D, they just turned it into something else after, or perhaps more particularly with "San Andreas", which I also liked less than "III" or "Vice City".

I really hope they take a step back and either go back to the "Miami Vice / Scarface" kind of feel or perhaps go to Europe or some such thing. :)

Avatar image for J_P-

@DamageIncM: I think GTAV was originally going to be Vice City 2 but they changed it to a San Andreas 2 likely due to all the fanboys whining to get their own way. Vice City was more in need of a sequel than San Andreas IMHO, SA was only one game away from GTAV ffs.

Avatar image for davismeister

@sonypony4eva: while I wouldn't use the same adjectives you did I do agree. It was kinda boring and overrated. I think the best moments came from the start of it when get a first look at the graphics and thought "wow this is grand theft auto?"

Avatar image for feenixx7

This is like porting a game to a new OS with different hardware...its not just a matter of installing a game after they get things can and do go wrong. But I'm just wondering how many players will actually notice unless comparing it side by side like they did.

But I still find it funny that they cant bring actual improvements to these games while working on them, sort of like how emulators are, its always the bare minimum with them. I guess thats MS for you though...its on a list now move on.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


MS isn't just doing the bare minimum with this. Each title requires license renewals, and tweeks to the emulator to get it working. Sometimes an update to get one title working will stop another title from working, sometimes it will help a title run better. The emulator is constantly being updated. Sometimes they can get a game running smoothly, but there are other issues that need to be addressed. Forza Horizon is an example of this. At one point they had the game running smoother than it did on Xbox 360, but the collision detection was completely absent, so they had to go back to the drawing board.

Take Halo: Reach as a prime example. The game was announced for backwards compatibility, but faced several issues when they launched it for backwards compatibility. MS followed the game closely, and in a month provided a patch that improved performance considerably.

There is actually quite a bit of work that goes into this backwards compatibility program. Which is why Microsoft wants to launch Scorpio with full backwards compatibility through hardware and not emulation. Emulation is rarely ever perfect.

Avatar image for feenixx7

@doctor_mg: I dont think I did a good job at explaining what I meant, but what you described is basically what I was trying to say but not in so many words but yes they need to do a lot more to get it working that just installing it to the HDD ...which I believe a lot of people think that's all that goes into it.

But when I said that MS does the bare minimum I was talking about enhancements/performance, for 3rd party titles mostly. When it comes to 1st party they give them the most attention and that's fair, but what happens the rest of the games...not much, just get them working and if it happens to that it performs better than great if not...oh well and they wont spend much time on it.

I as well as others obviously since this article even got written in the first place, would like to have seen SOME benefits of playing it on the XB1 than an actual X360 but thats not going to happen, however thinking back on it, its not like any other console is better, Sony would rather sell us Remastered versions of PS3 games than make them compatible with the PS4, and Nintendo...well is Nintendo who acts like they are royalty so they don't have to do anything normal. Even though the WiiU played Wii games natively it was a joke and felt like they abandoned it out of the gate and let the 3DS carry the company to the next generation...that was so weak and why I think the Switch better be amazing or it will follow the same fate, but its already looking like another gimmick that will shock and awe for a few months but then back to the same old story "wait for 1st Party exclusives and settle for the weakest version of the 3rd party titles". Thats a whole other story...

I just think the whole idea that Scorpio can make this all done in hardware is going to be a stretch. Look at the first PS3's that tried that with PS2 games. Those shipped with the actual EE processor from the PS2's so it drove up costs considerably and no one really cared that much in the end. Not like this is what MS is planning with the Scorpios BC but unless you have the actual hardware onboard or a iteration from that generations hardware, its going to have some work to get it going.

It will be interesting to see how they try and do it, but even if they do, unless there are significant enhancements or benefits to having it run on the Scorpio console it won't be that important to me since I already have a XB1 S but that would be a major win for them if so for existing XB1 owners but maybe not so much for the current XB1S owners.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


Well, you are right and wrong about some parts. MS works on their first party games a little more to ensure that they work, and patch them faster if they don't. However, there are quite a few games that provided performance gains on the Xbox One that were third party. Such as Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty 2.

Even aside from that there are quite a few reasons to play it on an Xbox One vs Xbox 360 (if you have both that is). When you play on the Xbox One you are still able to use all of Xbox One's features with the game. That means multitasking, music in the background, and even DVR. Not to mention just the convenience of keeping it all together in one console.

It may drive up cost, you are definitely right about that. However, the cost to manufacture an Xbox 360 is incredibly cheap. It isn't quite like the PS2 which used a complex synthetic processing unit. Not to mention that the cost of the PS3's hardware was just incredible to begin with.

Scorpio is going to cost a premium price. That is for sure. Whether it will be worth it remains to be seen.

Avatar image for angrycreep

@doctor_mg: Games Emulation is always tough and like you said you fix something and you mess something else in another game that was working fine before. I was playing (The Cave) and there are some really nasty slow downs in that game that the original Xbox 360 version didn't have. The game crash and won't load again. I had to delete the save file and start from the beginning again.

Avatar image for dudebropartyyo

@doctor_mg: Thats why smart folks keep their old hardware i guess.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


Well, I didn't have a 360 last generation. So any support is great support for me. In addition to that, I get to keep all those 360 games that I get for "free" with Xbox Live. I've been able to visit quite a few games I never have before, which is nice.

Not everyone is in my same boat though, and I agree. Keeping your old systems is a good idea.

Avatar image for me3639

LMFAO 9 yr old game still barely manages 35 frames. MS is a joke. Maybe I will lend them my 8 year old video card that probably could do better.

Avatar image for FLOPPAGE_50

@me3639: poor ignorant cow

Avatar image for Cryio

@me3639: The game isn't running natively on the X1. If the game would've been ported by Rockstar themselves, they could easily achieve locked 1080p60 at maximum PC settings.

Avatar image for neoistheone

I played this last night and honestly it's not as bad as the gaming media is saying that it is. Most of the guys that say it's laggy probably didn't compare them personally. I never finished it, but I think I will this time. I always hated that I gave up on it,but everyone kept wanting to borrow it from me. After purchasing my 3rd copy I said screw

It feels like it's running on a ps3. It's still playable lots of people played it on ps3 so it's not too bad.

Avatar image for southsouthsac

Eddie!!!! Thanks for staying on top of this! 8 years in journalism school is paying off, big league!
We also need articles for the numerous games that run BETTER on X1 hardware compared to X360.

Avatar image for Blade_Runner_07

I pay attention to these videos but rare do I notice any improvement. I'm happy the tech-people saying most games run better on new hardware. I'm happier these older games run period, on this newer hardware. Now can we get Blops 2 and the remainder of the Assassins Creed games now? Seriously the list is all be clean now. If we don't have our favorite games BC they at least have a remaster or arguably superior current gen counterpart.

Avatar image for PayneKiller

overrated GTA

Avatar image for Duffy12323

@PayneKiller: Hardly..

Avatar image for camou504

I know this is off topic but can you play steam games you bought on any other console?

Avatar image for alaannn

@camou504: i think portal is the only game that does that

Avatar image for neoistheone

@camou504: no but never say never when micro$oft is in the gaming industry.

Avatar image for feenixx7

@neoistheone: I know this doesnt exactly have to do with current consoles but I his question might be a reality soon since I think, and maybe this is public knowledge now I don't know, but I think starting with Scorpio all PC games that work in Windows 10 will be Play Anywhere titles or whatever it's called this time. That's why I think it's specs seem as close as possible to an actual Gaming PC...which I would guess because they talk about performance as if it were being compared to a PC graphics card (6TFlops is between a 980Ti-1070) and considering the time window it will come out and MS working towards One Core. So hopefully we will see all PC games playable in Windows 10 will run with Scorpio....but the downside is I wouldn't put it past them to try and take a huge chunk of business from Steam since you will have to buy them from the MS Store...which I absolutely hate. I just hope it doesn't turn into another Steam Machine with the only difference being an XBOX logo.

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

Hmm, seems the uncapped framerate issue really hurts with the extra power from the Xbox One. That's a shame.

Avatar image for sladakrobot

@lionheartssj1: wondering why they didnt cap the x360 version at 30fps back then

Avatar image for Cryio

@sladakrobot: Early days? Who knows. The game was and arguably still is technologically groundbreaking.

Avatar image for maximo

Amazing. I just shot my load.

Does anyone even work at gamespot or are the offices just empty because this is really weak.

Avatar image for elmarine2064

Well I have the OneS and I've seen nothing but stuttering.

Avatar image for joshrmeyer

@7tizz: They called and said "You're welcome... sorry about all the BC issues you'll encounter"... What a sweet company.

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl

@joshrmeyer: :D thank you for the chuckle , to be honest i laughed a lot at ""What a sweet company."" :D

Avatar image for joshrmeyer

@Flyin3lvl: Lol, only to 7tizz... I'm not generally that much of a dick, but I know he can take it.

Avatar image for domiddian

@joshrmeyer: Wait... Did you just say 7tizz can take dick?

Avatar image for joshrmeyer

@domiddian: Bahha, I wouldn't know.

Avatar image for chiefwiggum16

Now try it on a game that not the most over rated pile of crap.

Avatar image for merwanor

Hey Niko let's go bowling!

Avatar image for davillain-

@merwanor: Sorry cousin but maybe some other time.

I always hang up on that loser of a cousin.