Forget about 60 frames per second in new consoles. This is empty marketing

According to their manufacturers, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are to introduce 60fps as standard in games. And just as these consoles actually seem to have the appropriate computing power for them, they will probably be using it for other purposes.

It's amazing that players are still - quite rightly so - putting pressure on game developers and consoles to return to liquidity at 60 fps. This undoubtedly increases the pleasure of communing with the game, and in many cases can be very helpful in overcoming virtual challenges - after all, higher fluidity also means greater precision in control.

It is amazing because the 60 fps standard is not a standard for a long time. Long ago, when the games were designed for PAL and NTSC television standards, their creators tried to synchronize the work of the game renderer with the guidelines of those standards. However, when we switched to the HD digital signal, the developers stopped feeling this pressure.

After all, in the consoles preceding the current generation - which we complain about so much that it rarely offers a liquidity higher than 30 fps - it was even worse. The multitude of games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is not able to keep even those thirty frames, struggling to keep the frame above 20 fps. The creators have been tempting us with graphic design for many, many years rather than smooth animation.

In the case of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, they had an excuse - it was a weak central unit of both consoles.

When designing together with AMD, Sony and Microsoft came to the conclusion that the most important would be the graphics performance of both devices. Therefore, it was decided to use a relatively strong GPU, and to save on costs, energy consumption and the problem of heat dissipation, a relatively weak CPU using Jaguar architecture was selected for this GPU. It quickly turned out that this processor is a bottleneck of both hardware and does not keep up with the graphics processor.

xbox one games 2018
xbox one games 2018

As a result, Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro - the best editions of the current generation consoles - are able to render a picture with very high detail due to their fairly fast graphics layouts. However, said GPU must wait for the CPU to do its work to start rendering the next frame. This is obviously a big simplification of a more complex problem, but the fact is that achieving 60 fps on current consoles is not easy if you want to maintain high game complexity and graphic detail.

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are set to change this. And in some ways they will change.

This time Sony and Microsoft consoles have been equipped with a quite efficient central unit, which uses Zen 2 architecture. As if that was not enough, both machines also have a number of coprocessors relieving the CPU from time-consuming tasks. Additional circuits deal with the processing of mass storage operations, artificial intelligence algorithms, and spatial sound positioning.

playstation 5 gafika

In theory - and probably also in practice - both devices do not seem to have such bottlenecks as their predecessors. This should translate into a much higher fluidity of graphics, as confirmed by representatives of both companies. 60 frames per second in 4K resolution is to be the standard, and some titles are to offer even double the liquidity.

Richard Leadbetter, an industry authority, advises to be cautious in enthusiasm. In his opinion, the reality will look slightly different.

Listen to Leadbetter falls out. This is one of the most-valued experts in the media related to video games, cooperating with the exceptionally valued Digital Foundry editorial team. His expertise - like the entire FP - concerns gaming technology, in particular in the context of image rendering. It was him who was the first to give Microsoft the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X consoles so that he would make the most reliable material possible. And it is with him Mark Cerny - the main designer of PlayStation - who talks with the first.

In his recently published column , he warns that 60 fps in games will not appear as often as we would like. The journalist notes that in an acceptable rounding, the Xbox Series X is slightly more than twice as efficient as the Xbox One X. And although this is obviously a highly imprecise comparison - mainly due to the different hardware architecture - so even in the most optimistic scenario PS5 and XSX do not offer that much a great increase in computing power to provide both two or four times higher fluidity while significantly increasing the detail of the image.

- By doubling the computing power of the console and at the same time doubling the smoothness of the game, we basically use the entire increase in this power, leaving very little space for graphic improvements compared to the current generation

notes in his text.

As an example, he gives the sequel to Spider-Man announced on PlayStation 5. The game is not finished yet, but according to the video material provided by Insomniac, it is rendered consistently in 30 fps. This does not mean that there is no improvement - the game world contains many more elements with much higher detail. Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks much better than the previous game - but it works the same.

Fortunately, Leadbetter sees the light in the tunnel, noting that more and more developers are either clearly focusing on 60 fps also on the current generation, or in the game settings allow players to choose whether they want nicer graphics or higher fluidity. For the second time: both consoles seem to be designed in a sustainable way, where no component will be a bottleneck for the rest. Certainly more and more games will offer the desired liquidity of 60 fps.

According to Leadbetter, this will not be the standard, as Sony and Microsoft are trying to convince us. The jump in the performance of both devices is huge, but not enough for games to suddenly be able to work in Ultra HD, with much more complex rendering scenes, with ray tracing - and also in 60 fps. After all, the game is sold by trailers and screenshots, and these must be as beautiful as possible. Unfortunately, at the expense of frames.

Forget about 60 frames per second in new consoles. This is empty marketing


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