Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Shines on PS4 but Struggles on PS3, Says Technical Analysis
Prior to launch, Konami detailed the technical specs of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, saying it would run at 1080p/60fps on PlayStation 4, 900p/60fps on Xbox One, and 720p/30fps on PlayStation 3/Xbox 360. With The Phantom Pain now released, Digital Foundry did their usual technical analysis, revealing that the new-gen versions shine, while the last-gen versions struggle.
As for PS4/Xbox One, Digital Foundry says, “Performance on current-gen consoles is superb – PS4 and Xbox One nail the 60fps target around the Afghanistan, with only the occasional blip. Cut-scenes only occasionally stress the engine, typically more so on PS4, causing a lock to lower frame-rates such as 30fps. However these cases are very rare.”
While PS4 has a bit of an advantage in terms of resolution, the biggest visual differences come from the use of a skin-shading technique known as subsurface scattering only on PS4, as well as an improved normal map on PS4. They add, “A slight discrepancy in texture filtering is also noted, again putting PS4 ahead in clarity by a half-step across ground,” but Digital Foundry says neither have much to boast about in that area.
All in all, The Phantom Pain is called a “success” on PS4 and Xbox One, delivering a near-similar experience on both systems that stays near 60fps at all times, with the PS4 version winning in several points.
When compared to PS3 and Xbox 360 though, the new-gen versions are in a “different league entirely.” This is because the last-gen versions have reduced draw distances, plenty of pop-in on rocks and trees, blurrier textures, and a rough frame-rate that dips to 20fps:
On the last-gen front, frame-rate is where things take a nasty turn for overall playability. PS3 and Xbox 360 really struggle to match up to even a half-refresh 30fps target here, with its alpha effects and huge draw distances causing frequent drops below. In fact, PS3 suffers the most, with several cut-scenes unfolding at a locked 20fps, while 360 fluctuates between 20-30fps a little more freely. However, the differences blend somewhat during open world gameplay. Both have v-sync engaged, and the end result in gameplay feels heavily compromised by the magnitude of the game’s level design – and again the frame-rate number fluctuates wildly between 20-30fps during any serious gunplay.
To see a PS4 vs Xbox One frame-rate video, head over here.