PS5 3rd Party Devs Reportedly Finding Hardware Troublesome, “Fake 4K” May be Common

Nathan Birch
PlayStation 5 game presets feature

Developing multiplatform games hasn’t been a big issue this generation, as the Xbox One and PS4 are really very similar machines under the hood, but that’s about the change. While Microsoft is taking a more traditional approach with the Xbox Series X with plenty of CPU and GPU grunt, Sony's instead focusing on a cutting-edge solid-state drive and a variable frequency CPU/GPU to deliver a next-gen experience. As a result, developing multiplatform games may not be as simple as it once was, and according to a new round of rumors, third-party devs may be having some troubles with the PS5 hardware.

On the most recent episode of the Basement Radio Arcade Podcast, noted insider Jeff Grubb hinted that devs are having trouble with the PS5’s variable frequency approach, and warned that gamers may be “disappointed” by some major third-party titles.

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The technology that Sony's using for the PS5 is AMD SmartShift and...a lot of people are just assuming the PS5 is going to be right there with the Xbox Series X, and it may be, I don't know for sure, I'm not a developer, but this SmartShift tech is worrisome I think. What it does is it moves power between the CPU and the GPU and developers really haven't had to worry about that, especially on consoles, in the past.

This could, at launch at least, prove troublesome, to the point where you could start getting stories from Digital Foundry or whatever saying "Y'know, the PS5 version is actually kind of wack." That will get cleared up over time, developers will figure it out, Sony will figure it out and explain to developers "here's what to do," but my understanding is they're not doing that yet and that's the issue. So, you go into launch, and people [could be] disappointed, with, like, Madden, NBA 2K, Call of Duty. That could leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

Meanwhile, insider Dusk Golem, who usually leaks Capcom-related stuff, also waded in, saying early PS5 games may struggle to achieve true 4K, with a lot of “fake 4K” solutions being used (checkerboarding, temporal injection, ect.)…

Despite what they’ve heard about PS5’s third-party struggles, both our insiders seem to agree the PS5 will be more expensive than the Xbox Series X due to it’s more novel tech. According to Grubb, a $500 PS5 price tag is likely. Take these rumors with a grain of salt for now, but this all sounds plausible to me  -- we saw a similar story unfold with the PS3, which had some great exclusives, but a high price tag and a lot of iffy ports.

What do you think about all this? Do you care if multiplatform games don’t look quite as good on the PS5, at least at first? Or do the PS5’s exclusives matter more to you?

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