A new analysis of Fallout 4’s latest patch compares the differences in how the update improved the post-apocalyptic RPG on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
According to the team over at Digital Foundry, despite the incredibly small size of Fallout 4‘s recent Update 1.2 patch for PS4 and Xbox One, the 512MB software improvement significantly affects console gamers’ experiences with Bethesda’s retro-futuristic title. Of course, the patch smoothed out innumerable bugs, fixed quest issues, and removed the popular infinite caps glitch, but most importantly, it greatly altered the game’s overall performance, with the outlet saying that it ultimately “adds more than it takes”.
Interestingly enough, the site is also reporting that Fallout 4‘s PlayStation 4 port fares a lot better than the Xbox One version. The technical analysis has revealed that no matter how much action is happening on-screen, Sony’s console maintains a solid 30 FPS, a feat touted by Bethesda’s VP of Marketing and PR, Pete Hines, prior to the game’s release. Regarding the matter, Digital Foundry wrote:
“The good news is PS4’s improvements aren’t limited to one targeted section, but rather, the game at large is now better optimized for Sony’s machine. In particular, any combat that puts a strain on PS4’s memory bandwidth–via the usual flurry of effects-work–now gets a marked boost on patch 1.02. The gains are remarkable in one early Deathclaw battle for example, going from lengthy lulls at 25fps and under when using the mini-gun on nearby sandbags, to a practically faultless 30fps with the update.”
Nevertheless, drops in frame rate still occur on PS4, especially in areas with more complex design elements, such as Diamond City — originally Fenway Park, one of the game’s many repurposed Boston landmarks — in which there have been no performance improvements reported. And while the patch itself has been described as a “clear benefit” for console fans, the Xbox One doesn’t exactly reap all of the updates’ advantages as far as frame rates go. Speaking on the issue, Digital Foundry said:
“Unfortunately, all signs point to Xbox One staying largely unmoved in its frame rate delivery of Fallout 4, even with patch 1.02 installed. Tests between its launch day 1.01 and this update show few differences in the open world overall, many of which are lost within the margin of error.
“That said, one clear exception is in its handling of the Corvega factory, where previous drops to 25fps in the initial sewers area now resolve at 30fps on patch 1.02, albeit with a few minor drops. At least here, this patch has beneficial effects that mirror those on seen PS4– though again Xbox One falls short in direct comparisons.”
Of course, Update 1.2 is the first of many patches to be incorporated, so Bethesda will undoubtedly rectify most, if not all of these problems in future Fallout 4 upgrades. However, the news has got to be disheartening for fans playing the game on Xbox One, as Digital Foundry has also confirmed that the latest patch doesn’t address the some of console’s stuttering issues as found in a previous graphics comparison video put out by the team about a month ago.
The PlayStation 4 version of Fallout 4 outperforming the Xbox One iteration is indeed a curious case. For starters, before the action-RPG’s release, Bethesda partnered with Microsoft in practically every promotion imaginable, with one of many examples being the collaboration to release a bundle for the Xbox One. Plus, during the title’s pre-production, director Todd Howard even proclaimed that in order to figure out how to develop for what were next-gen consoles at the time, him and his team used Skyrim in a backward compatibility test to understand the Xbox One’s hardware.
Bearing all of this in mind, it’s not too far-fetched to think that Bethesda would have catered to Microsoft and ensured the patch improved the Xbox One’s version more so than the PlayStation 4’s, or at least have made it possible for them both to be on an even keel. Having said that, perhaps the issue boils down to the PS4 having better components overall, which allows for better performance. But even if that is the case, no one truly wins when different ports of the same game fail to function competently. With any luck, the studio will soon put all of Fallout 4‘s versions in league with one another.
Fallout 4 is out now and is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.