Call of Duty: Warzone devs are the first to figure out how to make a PS4 game run at 120fps...

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,038   +817
Staff member
Why it matters: The PlayStation 5's next-gen hardware is arguably the beefiest we've seen in any home gaming console. However, even with all this extra juice, performance improvements while playing PS4 games in compatibility mode have been limited.

Load times do seem improved, but PS4 games seem to be unable to draw on the PS5's extra cycles to boost frame rates. Granted, nobody is expecting the PlayStation 5 to perform miracles on PS4 games running in compatibility mode, but it does seem that developers should have some access to the extra horsepower.

Rocket League and Overwatch developers tinkered with making a 120Hz mode for their respective titles but gave up, deeming it impossible. Improving performance would require a full-on PS5 port, as far as they could tell.

"Enabling 120hz on Xbox Series X|S is a minor patch, but enabling it on PS5 requires a full native port due to how backwards compatibility [sic] is implemented on the console, and unfortunately [that] wasn't possible due to our focus elsewhere," Psyonix Senior Communications Manager Stephanie Thoensen told PushSquare last November.

More recently, Raven Software and Infinity Ward developers took a look at the situation and said, "Wait a minute. Hold our beers."

According to a tweet from Charlie Intel, CoD: Warzone got 120Hz support in its most recent update. However, it's not as simple as toggling a performance mode in the game's settings.

To activate Warzone's 120Hz mode, users must change a couple of PS5 system settings. First, go to Settings->Screen & Video->Video Output and set Enable 120Hz Output to Automatic. Second, go to Settings->Saved Data and Game/App Settings->Game Presets, then change Performance or Resolution Mode to Performance.

Of course, you need a television with 120Hz and HDMI 2.1 support to take advantage of the settings in 4K. If your set is HDMI 2.0, you can only get 120Hz to work with resolution set to 1080p, and you may have to disable HDR.

While achieving 120fps in a PS4 game running in compatibility mode is not entirely straightforward, it is clearly possible without "a full native port" to the PlayStation 5 as Psyonix said. Now that Raven and Infinity devs have sorted it out, we should see other studios take note and follow their lead.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 713   +1,268
This article seems to be making a good case for just getting a Series X instead. Granted you'll miss the big exclusives from Sony but if you've been reading the news, Microsoft is picking a few of those too.

My normal caveat of "Get a gaming PC and a Playstation" doesn't seems to apply either: we're going to probably push a full year with next to no GPUs available at reasonable prices anyway and I think the Series X will normalize back down to MSRP far before the GPUs do.
 

NumberSix

Posts: 29   +39
This article seems to be making a good case for just getting a Series X instead. Granted you'll miss the big exclusives from Sony but if you've been reading the news, Microsoft is picking a few of those too.

My normal caveat of "Get a gaming PC and a Playstation" doesn't seems to apply either: we're going to probably push a full year with next to no GPUs available at reasonable prices anyway and I think the Series X will normalize back down to MSRP far before the GPUs do.

Depends which system you have bought in to I guess (unless you've both). I've got a PS5 but and I have a 2TB external drive attached that is nearly full of all my PS4 games and I live in hope one day Sony will allow me to play by digital PS1 purchases that I bought in the days of the PS3. If I had not got a back catalogue to play with I would have just bought which ever was the cheapest to be honest.
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 267   +502
This article seems to be making a good case for just getting a Series X instead.
It's a trade off.

Microsoft uses more abstraction in the Xbox architecture, and each game runs in its own virtual environment (like a virtual machine basically spun up to run the game). This means little tweaks like maybe changing the resolution to 4K or boosting the FPS are a lot easier on Xbox because they're not done in the game, but done at the DirectX/backend level and the game doesn't know any better. It's "easier" but it does cost some raw performance.

In contrast, Sony's PlayStation doesn't have any of this. It runs much "closer to the metal" (its API makes Vulkan look easy and abstracted), so devs can often get great performance out of it, but the trade off is every single change or update has to be done on a title by title base and in the game's code instead of the system.
 

Xex360

Posts: 88   +108
It's a trade off.

Microsoft uses more abstraction in the Xbox architecture, and each game runs in its own virtual environment (like a virtual machine basically spun up to run the game). This means little tweaks like maybe changing the resolution to 4K or boosting the FPS are a lot easier on Xbox because they're not done in the game, but done at the DirectX/backend level and the game doesn't know any better. It's "easier" but it does cost some raw performance.

In contrast, Sony's PlayStation doesn't have any of this. It runs much "closer to the metal" (its API makes Vulkan look easy and abstracted), so devs can often get great performance out of it, but the trade off is every single change or update has to be done on a title by title base and in the game's code instead of the system.
I think that's the case when you emulate old xbox games, and in that special dev mode. Else you have access to both consoles' hardware, but I don't believe any one is writing code in assembly.
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 267   +502
I think that's the case when you emulate old xbox games, and in that special dev mode. Else you have access to both consoles' hardware, but I don't believe any one is writing code in assembly.
I didn't say anyone was writing code in Assembly?

I'm just saying on PlayStation, the API doesn't as much for you. In DirectX, there are certain tasks that as a developer I can just hand off the API and it will run a default solution for me, so I never have to worry about programming that setting or command. In Vulkan, there's significantly less of that, and in the PS API, even less than that.

On Xbox, when you launch a game, the OS checks the game's feature set, and then launches a virtualized environment for that game that matches what the game is looking for. That's how Microsoft is able to the relatively seamless integration of 3+ generations of Xbox compatibility. It's also how MS can apply a 4K patch to KOTOR without needing the source code for the original game, because as far as the game is concerned, it thinks it's running on an OG Xbox and all of the handling of resolution and framerate is being handled outside of the game environment.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,038   +817
Staff member
But we know for a fact that the Series X has better hardware, it's not open to interpretation. Anyways, it does not matter so much, I am just being pedantic :p
On paper it is. But it comes down to the implementation of the hardware within individual games. Digital Foundry would argue with you which console has the juice in practice. It concluded that Valhalla ran better on PS5 than XBSX... at least until Ubisoft pushed out an Xbox patch after all the frame dropping and screen tearing was pointed out.

But yeah, the differences in processing power are insignificant enough to call it a wash and anytime you have a wash, you're going to get an argument.

EDIT: It's funny because we were just having an interoffice argument about something else that was slightly related. Specifically the graphics in certain games. For the person I was arguing with graphics seem to be the be-all-end-all when it comes to a game. For me, I don't really give a :poop: about graphics unless they are so poorly done that it actually detracts from the fun of the game. For me, a game has to be fun for it to be worth paying for. If it has great graphics, well, bonus, but if I find it fun I really don't care if it look like it could have been a PS1 launch title. Different strokes.
 
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Xex360

Posts: 88   +108
I didn't say anyone was writing code in Assembly?

I'm just saying on PlayStation, the API doesn't as much for you. In DirectX, there are certain tasks that as a developer I can just hand off the API and it will run a default solution for me, so I never have to worry about programming that setting or command. In Vulkan, there's significantly less of that, and in the PS API, even less than that.

On Xbox, when you launch a game, the OS checks the game's feature set, and then launches a virtualized environment for that game that matches what the game is looking for. That's how Microsoft is able to the relatively seamless integration of 3+ generations of Xbox compatibility. It's also how MS can apply a 4K patch to KOTOR without needing the source code for the original game, because as far as the game is concerned, it thinks it's running on an OG Xbox and all of the handling of resolution and framerate is being handled outside of the game environment.
I think you're wrong, both offer similar levels of interaction with the hardware, both Vulakn and DX12 were made to do exactly this after Mantle.
Microsoft unlike Sony worked on retro compatibility, I believe even Sony were surprised by how Microsoft managed to emulate the 360.
On paper it is. But it comes down to the implementation of the hardware within individual games. Digital Foundry would argue with you which console has the juice in practice. It concluded that Valhalla ran better on PS5 than XBSX... at least until Ubisoft pushed out an Xbox patch after all the frame dropping and screen tearing was pointed out.

But yeah, the differences in processing power are insignificant enough to call it a wash and anytime you have a wash, you're going to get an argument.

EDIT: It's funny because we were just having an interoffice argument about something else that was slightly related. Specifically the graphics in certain games. For the person I was arguing with graphics seem to be the be-all-end-all when it comes to a game. For me, I don't really give a :poop: about graphics unless they are so poorly done that it actually detracts from the fun of the game. For me, a game has to be fun for it to be worth paying for. If it has great graphics, well, bonus, but if I find it fun I really don't care if it look like it could have been a PS1 launch title. Different strokes.
The Series X is the more powerful console, no one argues this point, both run RDNA2 and Zen2, yet the Series X has wider GPU and faster CPU plus they both run at maximum speed with no compromise in power budget.
The difference is negligible though, just lowering the resolution on the PS5 basically makes up for the difference.