Different Developers Involved
Right. Well then.
Just when the bickering surrounding the disparity between PS4 and Xbox One performance (called Resolutiongate by idiots with no imagination) was starting to subside, another major third party release has revealed markedly superior numbers on Sony's machine. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition's PS4 version has been confirmed to run at double the frame rate of the Xbox One port, and more interestingly, both versions appear to have been developed by different studios.
The original aim of the pretty port was to bring Lara's excellent 2013 adventure onto the next-gen consoles with a new lick of paint, running at 1080p and 30 frames per second. The Xbox One version reportedly hits that target perfectly, but as Rocket Chainsaw explains, Square Enix unlocked the frame rate, allowing it to climb to 45FPS during simple cutscenes.
By the same token, the PS4 version has now been confirmed as running at an average 60FPS, double the original target, thus providing a smoother and more natural gameplay experience. I'm not trolling here - check this out. The difference is profound.
"Both platforms offer the same outstanding Tomb Raider experience," a Squeenix spokesperson told EG. "Delivering the core Tomb Raider gameplay at native 1080p and running at 30fps was always our primary goal given the type of experience Tomb Raider is and the exploration we want players to do. Anything beyond 30fps for this version is gravy."
So why the disparity? It's tempting to say that the PS4's simply a more powerful machine -- because it is -- but to cover all our basis, it now appears that two separate companies were involved with the ports. The PS4 version was handled by Nixxes -- who previously worked on Killzone: Shadow Fall's UI and optimisation -- while United Front Games (Sleeping Dogs) dealt with the Xbox One port. Just so you know. I doubt this has much to do with anything, mind, seeing as UFG delivered a competent version of Sleeping Dogs on all platforms.
A more interesting question might be: so does this actually matter in the grand scheme of things? Personally, I'm not particularly bothered [EDIT: since I own the game on PC], but it's easy to understand why many gamers are irked at shelling out hundreds of Pounds for a console that doesn't offer sweeping performance improvements. I'll extol the virtues of gameplay over graphics until the 4K cows come home, but it's still annoying and a worrying first salvo from the big black box. I suspect that we'll see Xbox One frame rates increasing as developers become more familiar with the console's extra embedded memory (ESRAM).
Also, do we actually even need this revamp of a year-old game? Brendan reckons that developers have to work hard to earn our money... twice. This isn't a rhetorical question, so be sure to get involved in the comments - will you be picking up the Definitive Edition?