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The wait is in vain: Cyberpunk 2077 is unlikely to perform well on PS4 and Xbox One

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The creators of The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 do not plan to sell their company

Everyone expected that the versions of Cyberpunk 2077 for the now fading console generation would contain restrictions. The severity of bugs and crashes mixed with subterranean performance was surprising. An inventory up to update 1.21 also shows: Technically little has changed, CD Projekt RED is primarily concerned with playability. Optimization work should, however, be vigorously rolling during the bug fixing.

Previous improvements are based on compromises

Many dystopian scenarios are supposed to collide in Night City. A fragment of this is the overpopulation of metropolises. At least that’s how CD Projekt RED presented the setting before the release. If we leave out some densely populated areas – such as marketplaces – the streets and sidewalks in the “finished” game are almost yawning empty. This could be described as a hasty fire fighting response. The measure reveals where the PS4 and Xbox One S, in particular, are missing: CPU power.

NPC density: PS4

NPC density: Xbox Series X

PS4 Pro and Xbox One X as indicators: Although the 4K refreshments of the Last Gen are technically capable of significantly more, things are not going smoothly there either. Compared to their predecessors, the systems stand out primarily in terms of resolution, texture details, and frame rate. The latter are still subject to massive fluctuations. It just reached over 20 fps in densely populated areas.

The reason for this is the massive imbalance between the graphics unit and the main processor since the original PS4 and Xbox One were released. Games were largely optimized for the multi-core capabilities of the console CPUs, so the low clock rates could be circumvented appropriately. In the case of PC productions, on the other hand, the situation was mostly reversed: more performance through higher clock rates instead of more cores.

The strengthening of the pc creates difficulties for the Last Gen

However, we are now seeing that more and more PC games are efficiently using multi-core processors. In addition, the platform serves as the main focus for many developers during development, as the market has grown tremendously in recent years and the hardware of all systems has become very similar. A while ago, consoles had the upper hand.

However, parallel development devours a lot of resources that not every studio can handle, which is why the technical framework is ported during the development process. As a result, the full performance potential can often no longer be exploited. Control, for example, pushed the hardware of the Xbox One and PS4 to the limit with its physics simulations and particle effects, and it constantly jerked in battles.

Cyberpunk 2077 behaves very similarly: Calculations for the AI ​​and animations of the city dwellers push the frame rate down massively even in scenes without action, the dynamic lighting system guarantees jerks, especially when driving from the first-person perspective. Most of the deficits can be related to CPU calculations.

The amazing power of the Xbox Series S

The Xbox Series S proves how much the modern Zen 2 architecture can get out of Cyberpunk 2077 in combination with a higher clock rate. The game’s internal resolution is roughly the same as that of the One-X counterpart, but the frame rate remains almost consistently at 30 fps, even with massive numbers of NPCs. The raw graphics performance of the Xbox One X should actually place the console on a par with the Xbox Series S or above.

Compensating for possible performance brakes hardly does anything: the new generation of consoles also has faster memory. For Cyberpunk 2077, however, it doesn’t seem to matter how fast assets can be loaded from the system disk. On the PC, a traditional hard drive does no worse than an SSD. My PS4 and Xbox One X have also already been expanded to include internal SSDs. If this resulted in a difference, it would already be recorded in my test result.

I enjoy playing games, and gaming is a passion of mine. Among my favorite games are Tears of the Kingdom, GTA, and Cyberpunk.

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