Gaming fans have long debated which console reigns supreme: Sony’s PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One. While that battle may still be burning, when it comes to Epic Games’ recently released title Fortnite, it appears that the Xbox One is the winner. New reports from those who’ve gotten their hands on the build-your-own-fortress game are claiming that Fortnite runs far better on the Xbox One than on the PS4 and PS4 Pro.
One report in particular comes from David Bierton at Digital Foundry. Bierton states that frame rate, frame pacing, resolution specs, and the title’s Unreal Engine all play a part in the surprisingly smooth performance Fortnite displays on the Xbox One system.
On the technological side of things, the PlayStation 4 seems set up to triumph, as its base release targets 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second gameplay, while the Xbox One aims a bit lower at 900p resolution. However, this undercut results in a softness on the Microsoft console, but the visuals in Fortnite aren’t hindered by the lowered resolution. Bierton indicates that they “look much the same” overall when compared with those on the PS4, with the true difference lying in how the game runs.
Both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro hit the 1080p target resolution, but without the enhanced visual upgrades seen in the Pro version bolstering it up, the standard PS4 suffers from multiple performance-related problems when running Fortnite. The first is occasional stutters with frame-time spikes; the second is performance drops that hit below the standard frame-rate when gameplay areas fill with enemies; and the third is improper frame-pacing, arguably the most frustrating issue when running Fortnite on the PS4.
Bierton explained, “The latter ensures that even when Fortnite is operating at its target 30fps, it still feels somewhat jerky; an even, consistent refresh is absent, resulting in jumps above and below the 33ms frame-time ideal.”
The way in which a game performs on a given system speaks volumes about title-console compatibility, and often serves to indicate to potential players which version of a game they should buy. Regarding Fortnite in particular, Bierton argues that performance is the “key differentiator between the console versions,” and that the gameplay experience on the Xbox One is “a clear improvement over PS4 and more refined than PS4 Pro.” However, Bierton stated that quality PC systems are the place to be in order to play Fortnite at its very best. But if consoles are all a player has, “it’s Xbox One that offers the smoothest ride.”
Whether the PS4 version of Fortnite will catch up to the Xbox One remains to be seen. Seeing as though the title is still a Steam Early Access release, there’s plenty of time for optimization, patch updates, and settings tweaks to bring the two console versions of Fortnite to the same level and allow for smooth gameplay across the board.
Fortnite is now available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One through Steam Early Acess.