It’s a matter of choice and the options you have in your hands.
For a series that is running since 1987, Street Fighter has indeed come a long way. The latest iteration was recently released on the PlayStation 4 and PC with the developers deciding not to release an Xbox One version. Whatever the reason may be behind the lack of support for Microsoft’s console, it’s fair to conclude that Xbox One players are missing out on this generation’s finest fighter.
The latest iteration of Street Fighter runs on Unreal Engine 4 and is perhaps one of the first AAA games that utilizes Epic Games’ set of framework and toolsets. The game also supports cross platform play between the PlayStation 4 and PC versions, so in other words it’s unlike any other AAA game out there. Being a fighting game, most players won’t even see any differences between the PC and PlayStation 4 versions. But on closer inspection one can see some subtle features tat sets the two versions apart.
Let us take a look at the PC version first. The developers have implemented a fair number of settings including resolution scaling, AA solution (which in this case is TAA, which is the same solution we saw getting used in the Unreal Engine 4 version of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter), post processing effects and more, all of which can be adjusted from low to medium to high to max. But the problem with the PC version, despite the presence of four different presets, is that if your hardware isn’t up to snuff, you will most likely struggle to run the game at optimum performance. The frame rate is locked in the action on screen which results into everything getting slowed down tremendously and quite honestly, this will be game breaking issue for many if you do not meet the recommended specs.
The developers recommend a Nvidia GTX 960 to run the game at optimal performance, and by optimal performance we mean a solid 60 frames per second. Running the game at recommended requirements helped us achieve a rock solid 60 frames per second without many issues, with every setting maxed out at 1080p resolution, of course. This also goes to show that Street Fighter 5 on the PC is GPU bound and a mid-level CPU such as AMD FX 8350 will be good enough to run the game. In short, if you have a weak hardware, you will be investing your precious time changing the settings or opting for a better hardware. We know that this is not an optimal solution but it’s what it is.
So what about the PS4 version and how does it stack up against the PC build? Right off the bat, the PS4 version runs at 1080p native resolution with a solid frame rate of 60fps with minimal drops during gameplay. We did witness some minute slow downs at times, specially during the intro scenes, but nothing that will hinder the user experience. However, with more capable hardware comes better visual and post processing effects and this is where the PC on maxed settings takes the lead.
The post processing effects, in general, look and feel more polished than the PS4 version and the textures are mostly higher quality on the PC build, barring a few objects where the quality is similar on both platforms. The PC version is using a cinematic motion blur and generally has a better Temporal AA solution with more frames resulting into more crisper object edges and geometry. In short, the differences between the PC maxed out settings and PS4 are subtle and you really need to zoom in to notice the discrepancy.
I also wanted to briefly talk about how Street Fighter 5 has evolved when compared to Ultra Street Fighter 4. The former is running on a custom framework developed by the developer Dimps and right off the bat you can witness a big jump in post processing effects and character geometry. There are some major improvements in color visibility and volumetric effects along with a superior AA solution. It’s amazing to sit back and think about the transition from an in-house engine to licensed one hasn’t affected the game’s performance at all.
So where do we stand regarding Street Fighter 5? Which platform offers the best performance? Well, it’s a matter of choice and what is available with you. The developers have updated their entire engine pipeline for Street Fighter 5, moving away from proprietary in-house solution to a third party framework. Suprisingly, this makes no impact at all for a solid 60 fps experience on both consoles and PC. If you have a PC that meets the recommended requirements, then go ahead and buy the PC version due to its extra polish overall. And if you are a console gamer, the PS4 version will work just as fine with slightly lowered visual fidelity compared to a maxed out game on the PC.