Ghost of Tsushima PC vs PS5 Graphics Comparison: Performance, Visual Parameters and More

Ghost of Tsushima is finally out on PC, but how has the transition to a new platform been for Sucker Punch?

Posted By | On 21st, May. 2024

Ghost of Tsushima PC vs PS5 Graphics Comparison: Performance, Visual Parameters and More

Sucker Punch delivered one of the best open-worlds of the last generation with Ghost of Tsushima, and Jin Sakai’s tale of revenge and redemption is one that fans are unlikely to forget months and years after rolling the credits. The game has finally made its way to the PC platform, courtesy of PlayStation’s in-house porter Nixxes Software.

But Ghost of Tsushima was always built as a console-first product with its proprietary game engine and related tools, so how has the transition to a foreign platform been for the developer? How does it perform on our test hardware and how consistent does the performance remain across different test conditions? To that end, we present a comprehensive graphics analysis of Ghost of Tsushima on PC.

Test PC Specifications and Graphics Options

Ghost of Tsushima’s PC version requires at least a Core i3 7100 (or equivalent) CPU along with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 960 4GB and 8 GB of RAM, and it recommends a Core i5 8600, RTX 2060, and 16 GB if you wish to run it at a mix of medium and high settings at a respectable resolution. These requirements might seem to be a bit on the higher end considering the game came out in 2020 for PS4, but they aren’t too computationally expensive either for the port to be called unoptimized. And you also have to consider the fact that this is a port of the Director’s Cut which was released for the PS5, so there’s that too.

As for our test bench, we tested the game on a system comprising an AMD Ryzen 5950X, an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, and 32 GB RAM which is well over what the game recommends. We also took note to install the game on an NVME PCI e 4.0 SSD to ensure a more balanced comparison for loading times between PC and PS5.

Starting things off with the graphics menu, Ghost of Tsushima on PC provides a slew of different sliders to tinker around with and find the perfect balance between performance and stability for your hardware. Everything from the level of detail to the texture quality and SSR can be adjusted according to your requirements, and you can check out the subtle differences on the fly in the background rendering of the sword and the flower field.

Nixxes Software has done a fine job adding quality-of-life features like a FoV slider, DLSS upscaling options, and frame generation options to make enjoying the game more feasible across a wide variety of hardware. Given our test bench specifications, we were able to crank our settings on ultra at a resolution of 4K. We switched on VSync to minimize screen tearing, and we also set Dynamic Resolution Scaling to 60.

PC Version And PS5: What’s New?

ghost of tsushima pc

In addition to our PC maxed-out version, we also tested the game on PS5 running in Resolution mode to spot the differences. Unsurprisingly, the game largely remains the same across both platforms – but you will be able to notice a few differences here and there if you take the time and effort to peep in closely.

Take a look at the starting cutscene where the Mongol ships are marching into the homeland of Tsushima. The level of detail across both platforms is the same, but the PC version inches ahead in terms of the dynamic range with moonlit areas being darker while the Mongol ships adorned with torches are brighter than on the PS5. This could be a direct result of higher quality bloom on PS5 or better ambient occlusion (we are using the XeGTAO implementation).

Character models also look marginally crisper on the PC than on the PS5, and that difference seems to be stemming from a higher polycount budget on the PC than on the former. Post-processing effects like alpha particles coming from sparks or fire ashes are also better looking on the PC than the PS5’s Resolution mode, and you can find similar iterative differences across both versions. World streaming works pretty well with an appropriately high draw distance that’s comparable to the PS5 version, and the level of detail swapping happens smoothly without much visible artifacts.

Ghost of Tsushima doesn’t feature any radical changes in terms of the rendering pipeline on the PC version. Ray tracing is noticeably absent here (as was the case with the PS5’s Director Cut), and we get to see the same screen space reflections and GI implementation as the base release. Not to suggest that it looks bad by any stretch, far from it. You see, the beauty of Ghost of Tsushima’s world is largely derived from its striking art direction and not just from the raw technical grunt of the underlying hardware, and it looks just as stunning right now as it did a couple of years ago.

We also noticed a weird bug on the PC version where cutscenes can have an element of blur, but hopefully, that should be fixed with a post-launch patch. Taking a brief comparison in terms of fast travel load times, the PS5 version of the game takes about 1 to 2 seconds to fast travel from one point on the map to the other thanks to Sucker Punch’s masterful use of the PS5’s SSD. On the other hand, the PC version takes just about 2-3 seconds in between fast travel which ensures a similarly snappy user experience. Nixxes Software seems to be making great use of Windows DirectStorage API to save up on load times, so your experience might vary depending on the storage device you use for the game.

How is the performance on PC?

undying flame quest ghost of tsushima

Coming over to the performance side of things, Ghost of Tsushima on PC provides a pretty stable experience overall. Given our test bench and maxed-out settings, Ghost of Tsushima performed extremely well across a bunch of different scenarios ranging from free roam across picturesque landscapes to intense combat encounters and everything in between.

During our tests, the frame rate stuck pretty closely to the 60fps target, and drops below that threshold were pretty rare. Our RTX 3080Ti was able to hold its ground pretty well in terms of rendering, and we didn’t notice any aggressive resolution setbacks during our tests.

Conclusion

ghost of tsushima 4

In conclusion, Ghost of Tsushima on PC is yet another excellent port from the team over at Nixxes Software. Despite being optimized on proprietary tech originally built for consoles, the team was able to create a solid PC version complete with the options and flexibility that one would want out of such an experience. Ghost of Tsushima on PC flaunts some impressive scalability, and it performed really well in our tests.

While the improvements are of an iterative nature as opposed to radical, Ghost of Tsushima on PC does come with new options like DLSS support and frame generation to help with performance. It’s also a testament to Nixxes’ acumen in building PC ports that it was able to avoid common pitfalls such as long shader compilation and inefficient load times which is something that has plagued some previous PlayStation ports like Horizon Zero Dawn and The Last of Us Part 1.


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