Welcome to the first in new series of tech-focused articles highlighting the cool enhancements developers are bringing to their titles with the power of PlayStation 4 Pro.
Whether you’re a gaming aficionado who can spot a crawling pixel at a hundred yards or just a regular player curious about what difference that extra horsepower makes, we hope to bring you regular rundowns of what some of the latest titles will be delivering.
First up, it’s the talented team over at Epic Games:
This week sees the early access launch of Fortnite on PlayStation 4 – a brand new ‘action builder’ that brings together base-building, class-based tactics and good old-fashioned co-op shooting. As with Epic’s prior release, Paragon, PS4 Pro owners can look forward to a range of visual upgrades.
While the game renders at a native 1080p, the team have poured the extra power of PS4 Pro into dialling up the bells and whistles for a greatly improved overall visual presentation.
Scene lighting gets a huge boost with the inclusion of light shafts, screen-space subsurface scattering and a four-fold increase in volumetric lighting resolution. All in all, this delivers a far more refined and natural simulation of real-world lighting, backed up by a higher quality ambient occlusion (which creates more realistic shading around objects and characters) and higher quality reflections across the scene thanks to a sampling boost in screen space reflections.
Visual effects also see an improvement, with spawn rate for particles being doubled to create fuller, more impressive ballistic effects that also benefit from interaction with scene lighting, making their appearance more natural within the environment.
Taking into account the fast-paced action of the game, not only is motion blur improved on PS4 Pro hardware, creating a more natural sense of movement, the temporal anti-aliasing (which smooths out jagged edges and improves the clarity of fine detail on objects and textures) has an additional feature called ‘dynamic anti-ghosting’, which cleverly improves image quality around rapidly moving objects.
All of this is important too, as – owing to 25% increase in draw distance – there’ll be more objects visible from greater distances and more detail to take in.
Last, but certainly not least, all of these excellent refinements are bolstered by a performance boost throughout, giving a more consistent overall gameplay experience.
This week also sees the welcome return of Supergiant Games (Bastion, Transistor) as they bring their unmistakable artistic panache to bear on a top-down RPG adventure set in a mystical realm of exile and ancient rite.
PS4 Pro owners can look forward to enjoying these sumptuous visuals in absolutely pixel perfect clarity with a full, ultra-HD resolution of 3840 x 2160; a fully native 4K presentation running at a silky-smooth 60FPS.
Those using regular HD displays will also benefit from hugely improved image quality thanks to down-sampling. This process allows the console to construct a more finely-detailed 1080p image from the full the 4K render, smoothing jagged edges and refining object and texture detail, particularly at a distance.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
Finally, we have a strategic ninja-em-up from German-based Mimimi Productions. While this game doesn’t provide a boost to pixel counts or effects, the addition of an option to lock frame rates at either 30FPS or 60FPS (or completely unlock the framerate altogether) means that Shadow Tactics can take full advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s boosted CPU clock to deliver much improved rates of performance.
In raw numbers, the team have confirmed that while on the base PlayStation 4 framerates typically peak around 30-35FPS (which you can lock to 30, if you prefer), on PS4 Pro, users can expect a reliably smooth 60FPS throughout play.
All information provided has been sourced directly from the developers.
For a full list of all this week’s new releases, visit our weekly PlayStation Store post.