Watch Dogs 2 Comparison Shows Little Graphics Difference Between PS4 Pro & PC
YouTuber DudeRandom84 posted a Watch Dogs 2 comparison video between the game's PlayStation 4 Pro and PC versions.
This Watch Dogs 2 comparison has been made at 1080P resolution. On PlayStation 4 Pro, the game runs at 1800P (3200x1800) resolution regardless of your output, which means that there's a natural downsampling in action when the output is at 1080P.
The settings used for PC were Ultra (including the High Resolution Texture Pack) with NVIDIA's HFTS shadows and 4xMSAA. However, the PC was powered by two NVIDIA GTX 1080 cards in SLI mode.
These cards are not only very expensive (they're still worth more than $1200), but they are also meant to deliver gaming at much higher resolutions. Watch Dogs 2 is an exceedingly demanding game, though, and I noticed myself that even an SLI of GTX 1080 GPUs is not enough to play at 4K resolution. Perhaps it could be with temporal filtering, but that feature is unavailable when multiGPU is enabled on your system.
In the Watch Dogs 2 comparison video below, the main difference in graphics can easily be found in the shadows. Those are much better on PC thanks to the Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows which according to NVIDIA is the most advanced shadow algorithm offered by the GameWorks library. Here's how it works:
HFTS combine variable penumbra filtering (using NVIDIA's PCSS, Percentage Closer Soft Shadows, also available in the game's options for a lighter performance impact) with frustum traced silhouettes to smoothly transition from hard to soft shadows. The result is a very crisp, accurate hard shadow, which is then softened using a variable penumbra filter as it extends away from the occluder.
There's a price for this and it's a considerable one. HFTS literally kills the frame rate in Watch Dogs 2 (as it did in Tom Clancy's The Division, the only other game to implement this technique so far) and it can only be afforded in a situation where the hardware is otherwise underutilized, such as when playing at 1080P with two GTX 1080 in SLI.
Besides shadows, it's fair to say that the PlayStation 4 Pro fares extremely well for a hardware priced at $399. For a full review of the game, head over here.