Doing a frame-rate test on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Digital Foundry discovered that both versions struggle to reach the 60 frames-per-second franchise target.
Solely looking at the campaign on each platform, Digital Foundry says cut-scenes are capped at 30fps, with the image quality increased and rendering at 1080p. The 30fps cap also extends to every non-playable sequence, “even to the point where interacting with levers and buttons, breaching into rooms and getting in and out of vehicles sees this sudden, jarring shift in the update.”
As for the actual campaign gameplay, it ranges from 1360x1080p to full 1080p on PS4, with 60fps being “the exception, rather than the rule.”
Digital Foundry explains:
Gameplay set in narrow corridors, along with low key gameplay moments away from frenetic combat can see the engine attain the familiar 60fps expected from a Call of Duty title. However, as we move into more open areas packed with greater amounts of geometry detail and more challenging effects work, frame-rates start to suffer on both consoles and the 60fps fluidity is gone. Performance ranges from 40-55fps and seem highly variable in motion, leading to inconsistent controller response and a stutter to motion we don’t usually associate with the series.
Looking at the metrics from their captures, Digital Foundry saw an average PS4 frame-rate of 51fps, with Xbox One at 49fps. Furthermore, about 15% of the video sample on PS4 consists of dropped frames, versus around 18% on Xbox One.
Overall, they say, “PlayStation 4 offers an improved overall experience, but there’s the sense that the balancing points still aren’t quite right.”
While this initial test was just for the campaign, Digital Foundry is currently testing multiplayer and they say the “performance there is much, much closer to the locked 60fps we expect from the series.”