For those who just have to have buttery smooth 60 frames per second gameplay, PS5 exclusive Spider-Man: Miles Morales will support an optional 4K/60fps performance mode, letting players swing through New York City like never before. Insomniac announced the performance mode via a tweet, presumably to put to bed rampant (and incorrect) assumptions that the PS5 devs are targeting 3o fps next-gen.
Insomniac hasn’t fully detailed the modes—most likely performance and graphics—so we don’t know for certain what the drawbacks are of selecting the performance mode over the other graphics-based mode. It’s likely that rendering the extra frames will come at the cost of other graphical features like increased draw distances, ray-tracing, and visual effects. Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter recently wrote about why developers may choose to limit frame rates to 30fps next-gen as they use that power for other compute intensive features. Of course, if realistic ray-traced reflections in puddles aren’t your thing, you can still opt for the faster frame rate instead.
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) July 20, 2020
Frame rate and performance has become a huge battleground for next-gen consoles as both Microsoft and Sony work to solidify their messaging. Microsoft has been highlighting the performance capabilities of the Xbox Series X, advertising that some games will even go up to 120 fps. However, Microsoft’s stance on generations is that a new console shouldn’t leave anyone behind, so exclusives will all be cross-gen, at least for a few years. Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t done a lot of talking about overall performance and graphics on the PS5 just yet, but they’ve made it very clear they believe in the generational leap and want players who purchase a PS5 to feel that it was worthwhile to upgrade to the new console. Games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are only possible at a fundamental level because of the innovations the PS5 offers—more so than just resolution and frame rate improvements—and core gameplay would need to be changed to make it work on a PS4.
Insomniac’s announcement should at least reassure fans that Sony devs are offering player choice in getting the experience they want, continuing a trend that started with the PS4 Pro offering performance and graphics modes to let players choose what was most important to them while continuing to innovate and create experiences only possible with the PS5.