Developer blames "potato" Xbox Series S for locking Gotham Knights at 30fps on consoles

midian182

Posts: 8,484   +104
Staff member
A hot potato: We're used to seeing games on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer performance modes that up the framerates, but not Gotham Knights. The hotly anticipated Rocksteady title will have one of the restrictions we often saw on the previous-generation consoles: a 30 frames-per-second limit. According to a dev, the fault lies with the "potato" Xbox Series S.

Gotham Knights executive producer Fleur Marty recently confirmed via Discord that the game would be locked at 30fps@4K on the Xbox Series X/S and PS5. The title lacks the familiar performance mode that sacrifices some graphical fidelity/resolution for a higher framerate.

The company says the reason for this decision is the "type of features" found in Gotham Knights, such as the fully untethered co-op option in the highly detailed world, which means it's not as straightforward as lowering the resolution to increase the fps, apparently.

This came as something of a surprise given that Warner Bros. previously canceled plans for PS4/Xbox One versions of Gotham Knights to provide players with "the best possible gameplay experience."

Lee Devonald, a Senior Character Technical Artist from Rocksteady, tweeted that the real culprit isn't the game features; it's the Xbox Series S. He says the cheaper Xbox Series isn't much better than its last-gen predecessor. And as multi-platform games have to be optimized for the lowest performer, the XBS, which Devonald calls a "potato," is hamstringing "an entire generation of games."

Unsurprisingly, Devonald's tweets generated a strong response. He eventually deleted them and has now removed his entire Twitter account—even though he isn't the first dev to complain about making compromises for the console.

It might be lacking in power, but the Xbox Series S was Microsoft's best-selling console in some key markets last November. The company has pushed out updates recently to improve boot times and give developers access to additional memory, which can improve graphic performance in memory-constrained conditions. But it doesn't seem to have been enough to run Gotham Knights at 60fps.

PC owners, of course, won't be locked to 30fps. Gotham Knights' Steam page notes that it can hit 60fps at low settings in 1080p using a GTX 1660 Ti/Radeon RX 590 and a Core i5-9600K/Ryzen 5 3600.

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Nobina

Posts: 4,046   +4,710
Why can't they make an X|SX version and dial down details like they would on a PC and put it like that on X|SS? I get the resolution doesn't help but details should, like draw distance for example.

Not saying it is, but it could just be an excuse for poor optimization. Hardware is so powerful these days developers can mostly forget about optimizing games.
 

neeyik

Posts: 2,424   +2,984
Staff member
That makes no sense. The S has the same cpu as X. It wouldn't hold the other consoles back at all, just run games at lower res.
It's more than just the CPU part of the APU that's different. The Series S has a GPU with just 20 CUs (to the Series X's 52) that are also clocked 14% slower (as is the CPU, but only by 5%). There's a little less RAM (8+2 GB vs 10+6 GB) but it's also clocked slower, so the overall bandwidth is much less (224+56 GB/s vs 560+336 GB/s).
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,257   +4,397
I don't think that forcing 30 FPS mode if and only if an Series S console initiates or joins co-op would be that difficult to implement. At best it's probably annoying/somewhat costly to code for but is this game also announcing cross platform seamless co-op? Because otherwise it seems like it would be pretty damn easy to literally change one setting on an ini file on the PS5 and PC versions at least to get 60 FPS

The more likely option is that the publisher are cheapskates that don't want to pay to optimize the game and possibly delaying it to get it to perform decently. It's so painfully common as to be almost a guarantee of what's actually happening, other than them having a PR person that thinks it's too clever to pull a fast one past the kind of insufferable nerds that obsess over performance and FPS that would even care about it being locked to 30 before it's even out.
 
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EdmondRC

Posts: 448   +655
I think the developer's claims are a little dubious, but, the reality is that the XSS is a tad faster than the RX 6400 and the XSX is a tad slower than the RX 6700 XT, that is a huge performance gap. Most people would not even recommend the RX 6400 for gaming. There are probably some other differences that would make the XSS chip superior to the RX 6400, but in terms of raw performance its only about 12% faster.
 
I'm fairly certain that Rocksteady is NOT the developer of this game. I think you're confusing this with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
 

neeyik

Posts: 2,424   +2,984
Staff member
The more likely option is that the publisher are cheapskates that don't want to pay to optimize the game and possibly delaying it to get it to perform decently.
This is almost certainly the reason why, but given that it was supposed to have been released in 2021, then pushed to this year, and then had the Xbox One and PS4 versions dropped, any further delays were clearly never going to be an option.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,699   +3,066
When the S released I said this would happen, many Devs will work to the lowest denominator, which is the Series S, now watch more Devs follow suit.

No wonder Microsoft won't let Devs release games for X without an S version, there wouldn't be many games on it otherwise.
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +458
Makes me think this guy is an *****. Clearly it is laziness to lock it to just one. even small teams have made the series S work well.

Also the specs of the Series S are still mid level PC easily given what it can run at 60fps
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +458
I think the developer's claims are a little dubious, but, the reality is that the XSS is a tad faster than the RX 6400 and the XSX is a tad slower than the RX 6700 XT, that is a huge performance gap. Most people would not even recommend the RX 6400 for gaming. There are probably some other differences that would make the XSS chip superior to the RX 6400, but in terms of raw performance its only about 12% faster.
a big thing to remember is the RX 6400 and 6500 are restricted more by Ram amount/ speed and bus Speed. yes its shared RAM so that needs to be taken into account but Series S has 10GB (8 of which is 224gb/s so only slightly slower than the 6500xt) it also has 20CU's rather than 16 of the 6500xt but it running slightly less. it is also an apples and oranges situation as consoles can be optimised better. But if you look online loads of games can run on XsS at 1080p low above 60fps. and as noted the CPU is basically identical
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,502   +3,248
On all seriousness, didnt MS stated that the resolution targeted by the Series S is 1080P?

So the questions are:

1- Can the Series S do 60FPS@1080P?
2- Assuming no, how can this developer justify that all other ports are also locked at 30 FPS?
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 448   +655
...it also has 20CU's rather than 16 of the 6500xt but it running slightly less...
It's actually running 1 Ghz less about 1600mhz to 2600mhz. If the XSS was running at the same frequency as the 6500XT, it would have nearly 6.7 TFlops instead of just 4. The 6500 XT is at nearly 6 TFlops raw performance, it beats the XSS pretty handily actually, even with only 16 CUs.
 

PsyDuck87

Posts: 16   +41
It's a miracle these consoles can do 60hz 4k in the first place. The hardware in them is so goddamn weak if you think about it.
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +458
It's actually running 1 Ghz less about 1600mhz to 2600mhz. If the XSS was running at the same frequency as the 6500XT, it would have nearly 6.7 TFlops instead of just 4. The 6500 XT is at nearly 6 TFlops raw performance, it beats the XSS pretty handily actually, even with only 16 CUs.
I double checked as I'm sure there where benchmarks at the time. But the XsS does tend to slightly outperform the 6500xt (as much as you can compare anyway in real terms)
 

human7

Posts: 152   +131
There isn't an FPS lock on the PC, so there's no reason for there to be an FPS lock on the Xbox Series X or other platforms more powerful than the Series S, regardless of their co-op or whatever features they are claiming are holding up the problem.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 448   +655
I double checked as I'm sure there where benchmarks at the time. But the XsS does tend to slightly outperform the 6500xt (as much as you can compare anyway in real terms)
Sure, not denying optimizations are at play with the XSS, as with any console you are going to get more out of less. That doesn't mean the XSS GPU is stronger than the RX 6500 XT. The equivalent chip with equivalent power and clocks in the XSS would outperform the XSS chip in its own configuration. What really hurts though is that MS probably could have gotten nearly 6.7 TFlops out of the XSS had they designed it to thermally handle the additional power. After all, it is still an RDNA2 chip so it is reasonable to assume it could have been clocked at or near 2600mhz. I'm sure they had a manufacturing cost target in mind that made them decide on the less power/lower clock speeds to keep the console's cost in check. I mean $299 is dirt cheap for a console these days.
 
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ZackL04

Posts: 884   +686
Garbage response, and ill informed

The CPU in the next generation consoles is SO much better than the mobile jaguar cores in ps4/xbox one consoles

JAGUAR CORES
 

takaozo

Posts: 516   +814
I remember Sinclair Spectrum with Z80 and 16/48k, that was a "potato" not the current gen consoles.
But we still had some real fun with the games back then, even after the minutes waiting for the game to load from tape. But devs were not lazy back then.