The new Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles are the most cutting edge pieces of tech we’ve seen in a while. People are clamoring everywhere about the new features each has to boast, which makes sense. Both consoles have hardware that you can’t find anywhere for the same price. In fact, the strategy this time around is to sell the consoles at a loss, making up the money through game sales and online subscriptions.
While the consoles compete neck and neck in many places, overall, there is a clear winner. The Xbox Series X is markedly more powerful, with more memory and faster clock speeds. Sony’s response to that threat is to boast faster transfer speeds from its storage. That difference isn’t significant though, and the lower specs present an obstacle that just can’t be overcome, in some cases.
For example, in the case of Ubisoft’s newest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. As we’ve discussed before, it’s a big year for Assassin’s Creed, with an anime and live-action show on the way. Also important is the launch of their first game in the newest generation of consoles.
AC Valhalla disappointed fans in May
The disparity in hardware specs is visible in the latest announcement from Ubisoft. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla got a bit of backlash in May after a spokesperson claimed it would run at least 4K resolutions, but at thirty frames-per-second. The newest generation was supposed to put an end to all thirty frames per second gaming, and fans were quite disappointed by the lower refresh rate.
Recently though, Ubisoft has walked back on that statement. Seeing how unpopular the lower refresh rates would make the game, the developers announced they were working to fix the issue. And the results are in, but with a twist. Whereas previously it was assumed that the Xbox Series X and PS5 were identical in performance, we’re starting to see some crucial differences.
The PS5 struggles to push the same gameplay as the Xbox Series X
In a recent press release, Ubisoft told reporters what next-gen gameplay would look like. The Xbox Series X would run the new Assassin’s Creed at 4K resolution alongside a buttery smooth sixty Hertz refresh rate. The same statement seemed to imply something eerie about the PS5, though.
According to the statement, the PS5 could run Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 4K resolutions and also at a sixty Hertz refresh rate. The word choice seemed to deliberately set some sort of margin between the two specs. So fans asked, and it turns out, there was a catch. The PS5 can only manage 4K alongside 60 Hertz if the resolution is upscaled. This means the game is loaded at say, 1440p resolutions, but is then digitally enhanced to look better. No matter how good the upscaling, though, the resolution can never be as good as native 4K.
This is a little disappointing coming from the console that boasted gaming at 8K resolutions. If the console struggles at native 4K, it’s doesn’t bode well for the future. Gaming at 8K isn’t even possible if the frame rate drops below thirty.
This might be the PS5’s undoing
A lot of fans were getting cold feet on Twitter about pre-orders they’d made for the new PS5. Several were a little disappointed since the Xbox Series X costs the same amount and isn’t over promising anything to players. We’ll have to wait to see how this unfolds, but we can’t set our expectations too high.
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