PS4 Pro Bandwidth is Potential Bottleneck for 4K But A Thought-Through Tradeoff – Little Nightmares Dev

Tarsier’s Dave Mervik discusses the console’s highs and lows.

Posted By | On 27th, Dec. 2016 Under News

With more and more developers looking to hop aboard the 4K train, especially with the release of Sony’s PS4 Pro, there’s been plenty of talk about the limits of the console in achieving a 4K standard. GamingBolt spoke to Tarsier Studios’ Dave Mervik, who’s currently working on Little Nightmares for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Sony increased memory bandwidth on the PS4 Pro but maintained largely the same overall RAM as the base PS4 (except a certain amount being freed up for devs). Could this become a bottleneck down the line for 4K development?

Mervik noted that, “The bandwidth is a potential issue, especially when running 4k, but it’s probably a thought-through tradeoff that they found necessary to make.” That trade-off is especially apparent when the PS4 Pro has double the GPU power of the PS4. “The extra GPU power is necessary for running games at 30 fps or higher in 4k. That’s probably the goal that Sony had in mind for the games released for the Pro,” Tarsier told us.

Given that most games don’t run at native 4K on the PS4 Pro and developers using custom techniques such as checkerboard 4K rendering, it’s safe to assume that the Pro was Sony’s first big push towards 4K gaming. Next year, the Xbox Scorpio will (most likely) be the only console that will push the medium towards native 4K in AAA modern games, Microsoft claims.

But what are your thoughts on the PS4 Pro and its success in improving visuals for games? Let us know below.

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  • Tactical Lag-fighting tips

    crackdown 3 is a salty 720p sub 30fps.
    And people say its been canned for that reason

  • Tactical Lag-fighting tips


    • Luke Skywalker

      posting the same comment in the same thread multiple times is spamming. stop spamming the thread.

    • Tactical Lag-fighting tips

      Thank you

  • Tactical Lag-fighting tips

    It can do 4k native!
    But the checkerboard system is a Sony exclusive method for including HDR as well, if you have been correctly schooled
    by GAF you’d learn it can produce images that are on par and even exceed 4 native with HDR.

    But xbox uses are praising 720p as good enough.
    MORE SUB HD now with 2x salty 612p games

  • Mr Xrat

    Tell me about that DX12 again, Kronk Ulcer.

  • XbotMK1

    The PS4 Pro memory bandwidth is sufficient in achieving native 4K resolution in base PS4 games proven by current games. The memory bandwidth is not a bottleneck in achieving native 4K resolution. The bottleneck is the GPU.

    There is little point in adding more RAM or bandwidth for a few reasons.

    -Extra RAM isn’t needed for 4K resolution but it would be useful for improved textures at 4K. However, the PS4 Pro GPU is barely able to achieve native 4K, much less native 4K with improved textures.

    -The game needs to run on the base PS4 as well which limits the usefulness of extra RAM. Even with a stronger GPU, improve things other than resolution and framerates that aren’t easily scalable puts more work on developers and thus the extra RAM goes to waste.

    -The goal of the PS4 Pro is to run the same PS4 games at a native 4K resolution, close to 4K resolutions with checkerboard rendering and/or higher framerates at a budget price of $399. Adding more RAM doesn’t really do anything to help meet this goal.

    It is also very odd why Microsoft chose to go with 12 Gb of RAM. Seems like that extra RAM will go to waste. The stronger GPU in the Scorpibone will help it achieve native 4K resolutions easier than the PS4 Pro but that extra RAM is not going to make it any easier or efficient for Scorpibone to run the same games at 4K. The bottleneck is still the GPU. The GPU will be too busy struggling to achieve native 4K that it won’t be able to utilize the extra RAM.

  • Graeme Willy

    WE DONT EVEN NEED 4K! Just because there are a few enthusiasts out there with 4K televisions doesn’t speak for the majority of the population. There are other ways to use that power to make 1080p gaming even better, including 1440p-1800p supersampling. The PS4 will do 1440p, with ultra high texture settings, and a high level of filtering/ anti-aliasing. No reason to waste it on 4K. upscaling from 1440p, or 1800p is also better than upscaling to from 1080p, that I doubt anyone would even notice! I say position the PS4 as a 1440p supersample device, and aim for higher quality textures and graphics than the Scorpio will even be able to manage while running at 4K. The majority of the gaming population and living rooms around the world still have under 1080p displays. Unless you’re gaming on a 9 teraflop Nvidia graphics card, 4K isn’t feasible, yet . Maybe all of these vendors should have just stuck it out another year or two when 9TF gaming is much more affordable.

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