The PlayStation 4 Pro is promising to improve game graphics and performance in upper resolutions, but according to one high profile developer, it will in no way carry those advantages into multiplayer.
With the announcement of the new console yesterday, fans immediately began to worry if input lag and frame rates would give players with the money to buy the better console an advantage. Naughty Dog Lead Developer Christian Gyrling has spoken out against this thought, though, with The Guardian, saying that boosted frame rates in multiplayer goes against Sony’s beliefs in fair play.
That is a big no, no. It’s part of the requirements for PS4 Pro, for multiplayer games in particular, you can not have an advantage. It has to be the same frame rate as on the standard PS4.
Frame rate wise, controller wise, lag, all of that will be identical.
Gyrling instead says that the PlayStation 4 Pro will only improve the graphical fidelity through resolution.
We’re not capping the frame rate. Instead what we’re doing is making use of all of the performance of the PS4 Pro to increase resolution. So we’re not leaving anything on the table, we’re increasing things as much as we can while maintaining the same smooth frame rate and adding visual fidelity.
Conceptually, if you have a 4K TV there will be more pixels and you are conceivably having slightly higher fidelity. That would be the one and only thing. But you would have that today if someone has a 720p TV or a 1080p TV, it’s a similar thing. Obviously the step up from 108op to whatever you have in your game is larger. But it’s still a matter of whatever TV you have and those settings.
In other words, not identical. Frame rates will be the same, but the smallest advantage will be given to those with bigger targets on the larger screen, the natural trade-off. That’s the TV’s fault, not the differences in the PlayStations. Those with a bigger TV can see players from a further distance, too.
If there are large maps then being able to identify small objects or small movements is easier. It’s easier to pick up things like that on a 4K TV; there is more fidelity in small objects.
Gyrling goes on.
Developers are free in single-player modes to make their games run at a higher frame rate if they can. For triple-A titles in particular, we tend to use everything in the machine.
When we’re moving over from standard PS4 to PS4 Pro we have double the GPU. On the CPU side we don’t have double the CPU, we have a higher clock rate. But what it would mean is that we would be bottle-necked by the CPU.
There are definitely games out there that don’t have that same pressure on the machine to begin with and they can definitely go and render 60 Hz instead. There is no mandate or requirements. For us it made the most sense to go high resolution but same frame rate.
We’ll see how this all turns out, most likely in Battlefield 1, where players are definitely going to make a bigger fuss about it than Sony is. There’s always that excuse to lean on when you lose. Is anybody going to include a way to distinguish between who’s playing on what console? That would certainly lead to verbal frustrations.