The big promise of next-generation consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X) has always been beautiful graphics and performance. The latter being “the power that you can feel” in the words of Xbox’s director of program management.
But high-end PC owners who have to choose between triple-digit frame rates and fancy effects like ray tracing always knew this was a bit of a tall order, and it looks like it will come to pass if information about a prominent PS5 launch title is anything to go by.
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In a tweet promoting its upcoming Spider-Man: Miles Morales title, developer Insomniac Games seemed to let the cat out of the bag with the following tweet:
Swing through the city like never before on PS5 with an optional 4K / 60fps Performance Mode. #MilesMoralesPS5 #SpiderManPS5 pic.twitter.com/FhPEPLjnKLJuly 20, 2020
The words “optional 4K / 60fps Performance Mode” pretty clearly reveal that you’re going to have to make a choice: graphical fidelity or high frame rate. We can only speculate what the default state will be – 2K at 30fps with fancy graphical effects, maybe? – but it’s pretty clear that if you want every one of your 4K TV’s 8,294,400 pixels to be earning their keep, then you’ll need to make some sacrifices.
Most likely of these is the much vaunted ray tracing ability that’s coming to both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The big selling point of the $300+ GeForce RTX 20 series, the feature allows for each ray of light to be individually rendered, leading to realistic lighting, shadows and reflections. But, as PC gamers well know, it does so at a big cost to frame rate as our sister site TechRadar found when it put Control through its paces.
Still, the important thing is that this generation of consoles represents a big step up from both the Xbox One and PS4 – even the enhanced X and Pro variants. That might well be enough for early adopters to put their money down for PS5 pre-orders the second they open.