When Alan Wake 2 launches towards the end of the month, on PS5 and Xbox Series X, it will have a Performance Mode (which will run “mostly” at 60 FPS)- though the weaker Xbox sibling, Xbox Series S, will only have a 30 FPS option (which Remedy has stressed is going to be “rock-solid”).
The Xbox Series S has, of course, often been subject to questions about whether or not it’s holding back developers from fully utilizing current-gen hardware, and how complicated it is to ensure that games are properly optimized on it. In a recent interview with IGN, Remedy Entertainment’s communications director Thomas Puha was asked that question, and in response, he touched on some of the biggest issues the studio has had with the weaker console’s hardware.
As per Puha, though the Xbox Series S’ CPU is more or less comparable to that of the Xbox Series X, the fact that both its GPU and memory are significantly lower than the more powerful current-gen Microsoft console has been “an issue”, something that he has previously spoken about as well.
“With Series S, the CPU is pretty much the same as on Series X,” he said. “There’s not a massive difference. But the GPU is an issue, it really is. And then having less memory is a pretty big problem.”
Puha also went on to talk about why scaling across the Xbox Series X and Series S’ hardware isn’t the same as scaling a game for multiple PC specs and configurations.
“We often get, ‘hey, you make PC games, surely you know how to scale?’ Well, memory is not a problem on PC,” he said.
“It’s a lot easier to scale on the PC because of memory,” he added. “And it’s not like there’s one super PC and one weaker PC. There’s like 300 PC configurations in-between. And trust me, that’s a massive struggle, but we’ve shipped a lot on PC, so we’re a bit better about that.”
Coming back to Alan Wake 2’s Xbox Series S version, Puha reiterated that though Remedy has “really worked hard” to ensure that the game runs at a “solid” 30 FPS on the console while also maintaining “a good visual quality”, for those who want to experience the game “at its best, in full next-gen quality”, the PS5 or Xbox Series X will be your best option.
“We’ve really worked hard on getting [Xbox Series] S to run at a solid 30 [frames per second] and trying to maintain a good visual quality,” he said. “But if you want to see the game at its best, in full next-gen quality, it’s going to be on the machines that have the hardware to enable that.”
Alan Wake 2 launches on October 27 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.