PlayStation 4 Pro updates are coming in droves, and it’s pretty hard for the Digital Foundry team to keep track of everything they touch. For this reason we have decided to view as many titles as possible and, since most of the improvements are represented by simple boosts to the graphic resolution, we have decided to bring all the information together in a single reference article that presents a video analysis and a detailed one. breakdown of key factors.

We then modified our benchmarks for 4K analytics with the goal of capturing exactly what Ultra HD compatible systems from PlayStation 4 Pro and PC can offer, but YouTube’s highest level of video compression is not enough. to give a precise idea of ​​the meaning of the updates. For this reason we have recently launched a Patreon platform, which offers access to everything we do in an immaculate downloadable Ultra HD format, currently with h.264 encoding, but we are gearing up for video in HEVC in order to achieve the same. same level of excellence with small download sizes. You can get an idea by taking a look at digitalfoundry.net.

In addition to covering as many releases as possible for PlayStation 4 Pro, we will update you on the most relevant patches that will improve performance or add new features. We recently revealed to you that the Pro versions of Watch Dogs 2, Mantis Burn Racing and Deus Ex Mankind Divided had performance issues not found in the PlayStation 4 originals and we are happy to confirm the release of patches that will address all issues that we have highlighted. In the case of Mantis Burn Racing, a guaranteed native 4K at 60Hz has been confirmed, and developer VooFoo Studios has also added support for HDR.

We will present these updates in the order we view them, with the most recent coverage at the top of the page and the rest to follow.


Page 1:

  • Diablo 3
  • Mafia 3
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Farming Simulator 17
  • Paragon
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Final Fantasy 15
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Dishonored 2
  • Hitman
  • Uncharted 4


Page 2:

  • Battlefield 1
  • FIFA 17
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Overwatch
  • InFamous First Light/Second Sun
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Skyrim
  • Titanfall 2
  • Batman: Return to Arkham
  • Mantis Burn Racing

Diablo 3

  • Resolution: 1080p to 2160p dynamics
  • Feature Aggiuntive: super-sampling 1080p, ambient occlusion e bloom tweaks
  • HDR: No

A note in the Diablo 3 support patch for PlayStation 4 Pro makes it clear that update 1.15 adds “support 4K” to the famous title. On the one hand, this may be good, but in a world where Overwatch’s upgrade to 4K has resulted in little more than improved texture filtering and a 4K HUD there is little to rest assured, however Diablo 3 is one. completely different beast. On the PS4 Pro the title uses dynamic resolution, adapting the clarity of the image depending on how expensive a scene is in terms of resources. So, for example, you’ll find yourself with true native 4K in enclosed areas like the New Tristram tavern and even in the Cathedral dungeons with no enemies in sight. Really basic panoramas deliver at full native resolution at 3840×2160.

On PS4 Pro, with all the swirling effects and the screen full of enemies, Diablo 3’s renderer scales to 1080p. For the test we used a level 70 character and ran him around in a hectic Nephalem Rift (which in terms of video aspect is really the least of what you can expect) and recorded that the dynamic resolution remains between 1080p and 4K for most of the gameplay with 1872p in the center of New Tristram and 1728p in the early dungeons. In essence, the title scales seamlessly and uses a number of different resolutions that are typically and still higher than the PS4’s 1080 standard. For Pro users connected to a full HD display this output scaled to 1080p for a cleaner view.

Performance also holds up well with the dynamic scaler nailing gameplay to around 60fps with few significant annoyances. However, a three-player session with lots of on-screen action resulted in a drop in the dynamic scaler to 1080p, accompanied by a drop in fps to 30, the classic double-buffer v-sync. A quartet of high-level characters flooding the screen with magic can have a detrimental effect on performance, but by and large we found it difficult to break down 60fps.

Other upgrades look subtle, but we’ve noticed improvements in ambient occlusion and a more impactful bloom effect, even if it’s the resolution boost that on Pro really does justice to the intricate artwork made by Blizzard. It is a great game and if you haven’t played it yet, it’s worth checking out. It is currently on sale on PSN for £ 15.99 – cheaper than many titles you find online or in stores, as well as a really flirty proposition for Pro owners.

Mafia 3

  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Additional Features: 1080p super-sampling, shadow quality, motion blur and draw distance enhancements
  • HDR: No

The Mafia 3 Pro patch is another example of flawed descriptions (take a look at the patch notes to find that there is no mention of support for Sony’s new console) but you just need to know that, after loading it, the game reveals an instant improvement with increased resolution to adjustments of some renderer settings.

The title’s native 1080p on the base PlayStation 4 is pushed to 1440p, a noticeable upgrade on ultra HD screens that use 4K output connected to the console. The image still remains soft due to a combination of heavy post-processing pipeline and temporal anti-aliasing. Image quality isn’t groundbreaking and doesn’t come close to native 4K, but it still represents a satisfying leap forward over standard PS4 hardware. Owners of Pro with 1080p displays will enjoy the benefits of super-sampling down from the higher internal resolution, although there is an irritating reduction in quality when the game switches to one of its many pre-rendered cutscenes that remain as they were on base hardware.

The visual enhancements consist of two minor upgrades, with motion blur taking advantage of more samples and returning a cleaner, smoother image. A small upgrade is also reserved for the quality of the shadows, but it seems limited to the shadows cast in spotlight sites. However, the graphic make-up does not seem to have a significant impact on the game, even taking into account that even the strips on the asphalt have been subject to some work since they are readable from a greater distance. on the Pro.

In terms of performance, the frame-pacing issues encountered at launch on PS4 have disappeared, replaced by a standard 30fps cap using adaptive v-sync, so you’ll see some tearing when performance drops below its target. The Pro holds frame-pacing steady and shows absolutely no tearing by running everything in full v-sync, although in the most congested areas the performance drops when compared to that of the base PlayStation 4 game, something we shouldn’t have seen.

Overall, the upgrade from Mafia 3 to PS4 Pro feels decent but not earth-shattering, although it is clear that a certain amount of work has been put into it and this makes the lack of Pro support description in the patch notes quite mysterious.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

  • Resolution: 1728p to 2160p dynamic
  • Additional Features: Quality mode for 1080p users
  • HDR: No

Most console titles operate with a limit of 30fps, often leaving us to imagine how much potential remains untapped in any given place. Shadow of Mordor is similar to Skyrim with its native 1080p presentation on the base PlayStation 4 evolving to full native 4K on PS4 Pro. In fact, a 2.3x increase in GPU power produces a 4x increase in resolution and unlike Skyrim, there are no perceptible peaks in performance. Just a note: there is a dynamic resolution scaler in operation that seamlessly varies the resolution from 80% native to full 2160p.

However, according to our pixel count, this title spends most of its time at full 4K, even in the midst of the most intense action and so it’s a notable upgrade to an already impressive game that, beyond all, doesn’t dictate. no restrictions for any owner of a specific type of display. The patch offers two modes, one for those who prefer quality and one for those who prefer the resolution boost. The good news is that both modes are available to all Pro owners regardless of the screen they use, exactly as it should be. 

What does quality mode give us? To be honest, the improvement is minimal and mainly manifests itself in an improved draw distance by reducing the amount of pop-in while traversing environments. Standard mode handles this pretty well and so 4K resolution is our go-to choice for this title, whether you own an ultra HD display or a full HD TV (where super-sampling solves most of the title aliasing). Two years after its release, Shadow of Mordor still holds up well and, on Pro, the title deserves a re-run.

Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection

  • Resolution: 2160p
  • Additional Features: None
  • HDR: No

First the bad news because it is quite incredible: The Ezio Collection settles on a believable 30fps at full and native 2160p in all three chapters of the title, provided that your PlayStation 4 Pro is connected to a 4K screen. What stunned us is the fact that if you don’t own an ultra HD display, the game returns you to its native 1080p, leaving Pro owners completely without any advantage over a PlayStation 4 owner. Situations like these clearly point out. how much all implementations for Pro should be available to all users regardless of the screen they own.

So what about this Collection and the quality of each game’s remastering? In essence, it is the fascinating chronicle of a fundamental three-year period for the last generation of consoles that saw radical technological advances. Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood show their age and the Pro’s immaculate 4K presentation highlights some low-quality textures and environments built with low polygons. The two older titles, AC2 in particular, are poor in terms of animation and character fidelity, especially in the cutscenes. However, it remains fascinating to note how much Revelations holds up the field quite well: in this title you can clearly perceive the technological leap that has invested each area of ​​the title and that led to AC3 and Black Flag.

The actual remastering work on the collection is minimal. Improving geometry and textures would have forced this remaster to turn into a total remake but we still wanted to see the heavy shadow cascade and pop-in problems solved. The technological limitations of the era are in full view and The Ezio Collection is a bit disappointing, but what is really intriguing is the lack of respect for Pro users who use 1080p screens. Why hasn’t downsampling been integrated as standard?

Rise of the Tomb Raider

  • Resolution: 2160p checkerboard
  • Additional Features: Super-sampling down to 1080p, enhanced visuals or unlocked frame-rate to native 1080p
  • HDR: No

The latest patch of Rise of the Tomb Raider relaunches this title as one of the best games ever for PlayStation 4 Pro, with great focus on owners of 1080p and 4K displays. Patch 1.05 introduced a visible change in signal due to frame-pacing but everything was happily fixed with update 1.06.

The PS4 title is absolutely gorgeous, and developer Nixxes has an excellent 4K checkerboard mode that demonstrates just how effective this technique can be. Unfortunately, large ‘hub’ areas such as Geothermal Valley and the Soviet Installation can produce frame drops below the expected 30, but that’s not a huge problem apart from a few stress points, and all in all it’s still our favorite mode. to play with the title, either on a 1080p or 4K screen. On full HD the super-sampling implementation sees a huge visual upgrade (the ineffective anti-aliasing remains the main problem in the game’s native 1080p modes, whether you’re playing on a PS4 or a Pro.

If you’d like to accept the imperfect AA, the unlocked frame-rate Pro mode sees performance hit 60fps in the more linear levels, dropping to around 40fps in the hub areas. This difference does not drive us crazy but we are sure there will be those who will appreciate it. Enhanced view mode maintains 1080p image quality but adds improved PureHair technology, better texture filtering, more realistic reflections, higher LODs, softer sun shadows and more dynamic folly.

Farming Simulator 17

  • Resolution: 1080p / 1440p / 2160p
  • Additional Features: Improved mode for 1080p users with increased depth of field of view
  • HDR: No

Having recently been blown away by some of the worst PlayStation 4 Pro upgrades, it’s remarkable how much Focus Interactive’s Farming Simulator 17 (developed by Giants) offers one of the most comprehensive Pro updates yet. Heralded by great fanfare that boasted its completeness, we decided to buy the game to check it out for ourselves. Users with full HD displays have the choice between high frame-rate mode and better visual quality, while owners of 4K displays can choose between native 1440p and 2160p. We certainly cannot say that the developers have not worked hard and the results are visible.

Let’s start by looking at the full HD options available. In standard rendering mode, Farming Simulator 17 presents a perfect 1080p60, while choosing the improved view mode you can see drops around 55fps, including jolts. However, both options easily surpass the standard version for PlayStation 4. Of the two available options we prefer the standard one, the depth of field of view is typical of the enhanced mode, but it is really difficult to catch any significant improvement.

By switching to higher resolution modes, the choice between resolution and frame-rate narrows. The 1440p option offers the best overall balance and while it suffers from occasional frame drops, it guarantees a very good presentation. However, 4K isn’t bad at all, it runs at over 50fps for the most part, dropping to around 40 in heavy harvest scenes. But the point is that the developers have organized all possible choices for Pro users, at least up to a point.

The only obvious omission is the lack of support for down-sampling. The 1440p and 4K rendering options are in fact only available to owners of ultra HD displays and it’s a real shame as offering this option, in our opinion, adds value to the full HD gamer compared to the less impressive 1080p mode. Hopefully the developer solves the problem, but in the meantime, there are a couple of things to remember.

Firstly, Farming Simulator 17 offers one of the most comprehensive Pro upgrades seen so far and if that wasn’t enough, while the game itself isn’t a triple-A tour de force, we were quite impressed with the complexity and accuracy of the simulation. which even supports mods, customizable shots, and HUD scaling. As if that weren’t enough, it is also fast and not only in terms of frame-rate but more specifically regarding the user interface and the ability to skip the initial logos directly. Overall, of course, Farming Simulator 17 isn’t Digital Foundry material but having approached it with an open mind, we had a lot of fun.

Paragon

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Additional Features : Additional geometry, LODs, procedurally generated foliage, contact shadows, improved reflections, volumetric light rays, bloom, improved volumetric fog, camera / object motion blur
  • HDR: No

At the start of the recent controversy over Pro features locked to specific screen resolutions, Epic’s Paragon was exactly the title we wanted to try as there is no 4K screen support of any kind. Instead, the developer has opened the Unreal Engine 4 toolbox to fine-tune a wide range of graphical upgrades. This does not mean that the resolution is not subject to any improvement (remember that Paragon on the base PS4 runs at 900p). The Pro version jumps to 1080p, delivering a cleaner presentation before even shelling out its download of graphical enhancements.

These upgrades seem endless. Among the most notable is the inclusion of procedurally generated weed that makes the base PS4 version look rather spartan. Reflections are able to take shiny surfaces to a whole new level, while some light sources have been enhanced with additional bloom. Rounding out the resolution improvements are also increased depth of field, contact shadows and higher levels of volumetric fog which, however subtle, are still welcome. No support for HDR but hopefully Epic will consider adding it in the future.

Making the series of improvements even richer is the inclusion of per-object and camera motion blur, probably not totally essential for a game aiming for 60fps but, again, this is another level of refinement. Performance is essentially on par with that on the standard PS4, always running between 50-60fps and we wonder if sacrificing a couple of improvements wouldn’t have been possible to hit a steady 60Hz.

Overall though, Paragon is a fascinating example of ‘what if’, specifically if the PS4 Pro was a 1080p60 / ultra machine as opposed to a unit designed primarily for 4K support. Following this strategy was perhaps easier for Epic than it would be for other titles to run halfway through the refresh (the title on the base PS4 hits 60fps, so it would not reach the CPU limits) however it is still pleasant to see a different use of the power of the Pro. Try switching from the basic hardware to the Pro and the upgrade will be clear, but it is by taking the reverse path that you realize how much is missing.

The Last Guardian

  • Resolution: 1890p
  • Additional Features: Native 1080p mode with more consistent performance and higher quality performance and textures, 4K mode that delivers an 1890p presentation
  • HDR: Si

After years of work, The Last Guardian offers two PlayStation 4 Pro modes and which one you end up getting depends entirely on which video mode your hardware is set to. If your console is configured for 1080p output the game runs in full HD resolution with smoother performance than the Pro’s 4K mode. If your console is set to 2160p, you will get 1890p viewing, upscaled to 4K.

Our preference is really for native 1080p mode and we have prepared instructions for accessing this higher level of performance if you own a 4K screen, although Sony should offer all users all modes regardless of the screen they have. The 4K mode is beautiful, but the 1080p aliasing issues are more than offset by a higher level of performance.

The HDR on this title is quite remarkable and works in both Pro modes, as is support for the base PlayStation 4.

The Last of Us Remastered

  • Resolution: 1800p (60fps mode), 2160p (30fps mode)
  • Additional Features : Fully locked 1080p60 mode with superior quality level for shadows when the console is set to 1080p
  • HDR: Si

For The Last of Us Remastered on PS4 Pro there are lights and shadows. First we have to say that the HDR implementation is really nice and manages to make the most of the intricate artwork. Of course this is a feature present on both versions of the game, base and Pro. The Pro version takes advantage of a 3200×1800 resolution at 60fps, showing an impressive improvement and patch 1.08 fixes previous performance issues that saw the game running at lower frame-rate than basic hardware in some stress-points. The 30fps mode, which adds quality to shadow projection and runs at native 4K, is equally beautiful too.

However, patch 1.08 is perhaps not perfect for users with 1080p displays. The super-sampling option featured in version 1.07 has mysteriously vanished, and it hits users using the 30fps mode particularly hard. On the plus side is the addition of a new mode that runs at native 1080p and never drops below 60fps as well as higher quality shadows. But the fact that developers lock the Pro’s features depending on the screen it’s connected to is a disturbing trend that can’t be tolerated for long.

Final Fantasy 15

  • Resolution: Checkerboard 1800p
  • Additional Features : Improved graphics in 1800p mode, 1080p30 lightweight mode (1080p60 mode in development)
  • HDR: Si

Before we begin we must say that Final Fantasy 15’s Pro support is work-in-progress, yet what we’ve seen so far is impressive. Square-Enix deserves the first round of applause for the most vivid, impressive and stunning implementation of high dynamic range we’ve ever seen. Combined with a properly configured 4K screen, this is a real treat plus the increased resolution in the form of a 1800p checkerboard and improved image quality thanks to slightly modified LODs, improved shadows and texture filtering. It should be noted that the combination of checkerboarding and temporal anti-aliasing produces a substantially soft image despite the higher resolution.

There is also a ‘lite’ mode that matches the visual appearance of the Pro to that of the standard PS4 albeit with some minor dynamic resolution scaling issues. Think of a cleaner version of the base game. At the moment the frame-rate is at 30fps, but it seems that the developer is working hard on a 1080p60 mode; while the real problem remains performance. The base PS4 version and the high-resolution mode on the Pro suffer from serious frame-pacing issues that make the 30fps upgrade annoyingly jittery, to the point of giving the illusion of a lower frame-rate.

The Pro can can basically avoid the problem by accessing the lite mode (locked at 1080p30, with a more consistent frame-rate and only a few small indecision) and even there it is mainly about the cut-scenes. In our opinion it’s the best option to still enjoy a consistent experience and incredible game, but we can’t help hoping that Square-Enix will solve the problem on the base PS4 and in the Pro’s high-resolution mode.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

  • Risoluzione: Unclear – checkerboard 1620p is our best guess
  • Additional Features : Downsampling to sub-optimal images for 1080p screens
  • HDR: No

Unexpected but welcome. Ubisoft may not have a new Assassin’s Creed for this year, but the opportunity to revisit the excellent AC Syndicate on PlayStation 4 Pro proved irresistible. The only problem is that the true benefits of the upgrade remain uncertain. Clearly something has been done to change the resolution of the game, but the question is: what? Because the overall quality is poor with bad scaling to make things worse.

The true native resolution of the title in Pro mode is questionable. By shooting on a 4K screen, pixel-counting becomes a tense and difficult process with an algorithm that upscales image quality, even the straightest geometric edges. We took a series of screenshots at different times and can only speculate on Ubisoft’s real intentions. A vertical resolution of 1620p appears frequently, while 1440 pixels across seems to be the most common pixel count. From what we have been able to see, our theory is that we are seeing an attempted presentation at 2880×1620.

But this is a theory given that the conspicuously variable image quality is really a problem with the title which also translates into the quality of the experience and which does not turn out to be an appreciable upgrade from the standard title. For sure, against the PC version that runs at 4K or even at 1440p there is no comparison.

Dishonored 2

  • Resolution: 1080p / 1440p
  • Additional Features: None
  • HDR: No

This is a strange case. Dishonored 2 actually offers a good resolution boost that raises it to 1440p, but based on our testing the improvement only becomes visible when the PS4 Pro is connected to a 4K screen. In Full HD the native resolution settles at 1080p, significantly reducing the benefit of those who do not own an Ultra HD television. As written at the beginning, it is very strange, especially since the performance seems identical where the engine is put under stress (thus suggesting that the bottleneck may be in the CPU).

As with its standard PS4 Pro version, Dishonored 2 runs with a limit of 30 fps, but with adaptive sync completely disabled, which gives a perfectly synchronized presentation. The frame rate can drop below 30 fps during the cut-scenes and in these cases the hardware of the Pro outclasses that of the base PS4, but the greater power of the machine is found in the course of the most crowded fights, when the standard PlayStation is clearly fatigued.

Hitman

  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Additional Features: 1080p Supersampling, Improved Performance
  • HDR: No

Io Interactive’s Glacier Engine is a real beauty and the improvements on Hitman are palpable. To benefit most of all the elements is the resolution which, with a 78% increase in the mere pixel count, brings the game to 1440p. On a 4K screen everything is fine, perhaps the image is a bit “soft”, but the anti-aliasing solution combined with upscaling does a great job in terms of pixel count in Ultra HD.

The improvements don’t stop there as Hitman runs at both free frame rate and 30fps cap and the Pro benefits from both scenarios: firstly the 30fps mode is absolutely guaranteed without the crashes seen on PS4 or even Xbox One. In free mode, however, a minimum improvement of 10 fps is gained, such as to push the staggering 30 seen so far to the best 50 fps.

Other tangible interventions are found in the loading times and in the streaming of the textures, the latter so evident as to suggest that the Pro version has been equipped with higher quality assets, while it is simply a greater slowness of the hardware of the base PS4 in processing data. Overall a lovely title with a conspicuous Pro improvement.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Additional Features: Supersampling at 1080p
  • HDR:

The epic title signed by Naughty Dog represented the best possible technical testing ground for the hardware of the PlayStation 4 and it is therefore legitimate to think that it is ready to put pressure on the Pro too. In reality it is more of a refinement than of a real upgrade to the overall visual quality, also because the performance remains absolutely in line with that recorded on PS4, with rare drops below 30 fps and the main improvement that goes through the resolution.

When we saw the title run at PlayStation Meeting we noticed some minor performance failures, but this final patch seems to have opted for 1440p, producing a result that appears soft on 4K screens, albeit the excellent temporal anti-aliasing of the title does everything but eliminate the sharp edge of images, which is typically seen in standard upscaling. HDR is supported on both base and Pro hardware offering greater detail and improved contrast, although a good deal of perception depends on the type of screen you are using.

In summary, the PlayStation 4 Pro is a strange piece of hardware. At its best, with titles such as Ratchet and Clank, FIFA 17, Infinite Warfare and Rise of the Tomb Raider, it is a machine capable of delivering a satisfying 4K gaming experience. At the same time it is interesting to note the number of titles that are arriving with 1440p frame buffers. When we assembled a PC with a GPU running at the graphics spec of a PS4 Pro, this seemed like the natural resolution for the hardware, but we didn’t expect to see so many titles with that exact pixel count.

That said, we are in the early life of the new console and the developers are starting to share their techniques and technologies to achieve higher resolution, so we expect to see more extensive and general improvements over the next few months as we roll out. they will feel more comfortable with the new hardware. In the short term, it was heartening to find that many developers have accepted our criticisms of poor performance, processed them, and fixed issues with timely patches. We will keep this guide updated frequently, come back soon to read the news.