Crystal Dynamics sets an example for all other devs to follow concerning PS4 Pro upgrades, and embraces both 4K visuals and FPS improvements in 1080p.
Thanks to the PS4 Pro's new Polaris-grade GPU, the console can upscale games to 4K resolution with HDR support, enable native 1080p 60FPS, and significantly boost performance and visuals for both 1080p HDTV and 4K UHDTV owners. Old PS4 games can be updated with Forward Compatibility patches to enable 4K HDR and 1080p 60FPS, too.
There's only one caveat: it's up to developers to make the most of the hardware, and they get to choose what upgrades to apply. So that means not every PS4 Pro upgraded game will support 60FPS for 1080p HDTV owners, as developers have been told to prioritize 4K HDR support.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, however, will get the best of both worlds: better frame rates and 4K visuals. Crystal Dynamics has confirmed that Rise of the Tomb Raider will have three different modes on PS4 Pro: High Framerate Mode that targets 1080p 60FPS (won't always hit 60FPS, but stays consistently north of 45FPS), 4K 30FPS with HDR support, and an Enhanced Visuals mode that's capped at 30FPS in 1080p but enables tons of effects like boosted lighting, high shadow details, and high-fidelity reflections. Gamers will be able to switch between these modes at any time, provided they have the required displays.
Gamers will be able to switch between these modes at any time in the game's pause menu provided they have the required displays.
Read Also: Here's every PS4 Pro upgraded game so far
"I play it on all three depending on where I am, because you can dynamically switch it in the menu," said Crystal Dynamics boss Scott Amos.
"You can pause right now and say, 'I want to do high framerate.' Go through combat smoothly and then you get to a nice valley, so you switch over to enhanced visuals for a great sense of depth. The night time scenes benefit from a little extra lighting. Then you get to the vistas, these long horizons and sunsets, and you say, 'Let's go to 4K.' You can play with these things depending on your mood."
I really hope to see more developers follow in Crystal Dynamics' footsteps and embrace both 1080p 60FPS and 4K support on PS4 Pro supported games. From what I'm seeing, most PlayStation 4 gamers would like steady 1080p 60FPS in all their games rather than upgraded 4K visuals. Sure 4K visuals with HDR add an incredible new depth to the fidelity of a game, the difference between 30FPs and 60FPS is night and day, and performance needs to be pushed harder than visuals.
The PS4 Pro is everything the PS4 should've been, and now that AMD's Polaris technology is out, Sony has the opportunity to make their vision a reality. Let's just hope that the PS4 Pro has enough power and tools to enable this vision, but I have a strong feeling that the console's overclocked Jaguar CPU will be a big problem, and that we'll have to wait for Sony's next PlayStation console before devs can fully realize their visions.
Sony's new PlayStation 4 Pro console launches on November 10, 2016 for $399.
Check below for more about the PS4 Pro, including specifications and more coverage:
PS4 Pro: What we know so far:
- Double GPU power over existing PS4 models (roughly 2x AMD Radeon HD 7850)
- AMD Polaris GPU support
- 16nm FinFET APU likely
- CPU with boosted clock rate
- Higher memory bandwidth
- No 4K UHD Blu-ray player
- Launches November 10 for $399
- 4K resolution upscaling
- HDR support
- Higher frame rates, improved in-game performance across the board
- Plays all existing PS4 games, but not every PS4 game will leverage the new hardware for improved performance
- 1TB hard drive
Read more about Sony's PS4 Pro:
- Here's why Sony nixed PS4 Pro's 4K Blu-ray player
- PS4 Pro uses AMD Polaris GPU, sits below RX 470
- PS4 Pro FAQ: Sony explains the new $399 4K PS4 console
- 14 games have PS4 Pro support built-in so far
- Here's all the PS4 Pro upgraded games so far
- PS4 Pro won't play all PS4 games at 1080p 60FPS
- Mass Effect: Andromeda runs at 4K 30FPS on PS4 Pro
- Sony's new PS4 Pro rocks double GPU power, 4K and HDR
- Sony's high-end PS4 Pro costs $399, launches November 10
- Devs have final say on PS4 Pro's Forward Compatibility
- PS4 Pro specs: 4.2 TFLOPs, Jaguar CPU, 310W power draw
- Microsoft trolls PS4 Pro's lack of a 4K Blu-ray player
- Sony's PS4 Pro doesn't hit native 4K gaming