During Sony’s PS4 Pro unveiling today, a variety of games were shown that take advantage of the new hardware. One of those games was Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man game, and the footage on display showed off a cityscape with an impressive degree of graphical fidelity. One detail that was called out was how pedestrians far in the distance looked like people, instead of formless blobs. That got me thinking: Wouldn’t that give players in a multiplayer game a potential edge over their traditional PlayStation 4 counterparts? The answer, it turns out, isn’t so simple.
In a roundtable discussion during the show, I asked Christian Gyrling, lead programmer at Naughty Dog, about multiplayer and the PS4 Pro. His response addressed my concern about how improved visuals might factor in, while also touching on something I didn’t think much about beforehand: frame rate.
“I don’t think that is that big of an issue,” he said. “The main thing that we’re making sure of is that the frame rates are the same; there’s definitely no frame-rate advantage. You can’t run one at 60 and one at 30. You want to make sure the updates are exactly the same. Today, users have a variation of 720p and 1080p TVs, so this is like one more of those. Even if you have a mix of someone with a PS4 Pro on a 1080p TV, you would still get the perceived detail even though there are not more pixels. I do believe we’re trying to make it so the community as a whole stays coherent and we’re not favoring the high resolution for the PS4 Pro. Obviously there will be a few pixels and details for them, but we don’t perceive that as being a huge advantage.”
There you go. While you might be able to enjoy crisper visuals on the PS4 Pro – provided you have a 4K display – that additional GPU horsepower won’t go toward doubling your frame rate or anything like that.