Horizon: Zero Dawn Runs Native 2160p At 30fps On PS4 Pro
Horizon Zero Dawn
(Last Updated On: February 24, 2017)

Guerrilla Games’ Decima Engine was put to the test by Digital Foundry for the upcoming release of Horizon: Zero Dawn. They examined the frame-rates on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro, revealing that the standard PS4 version runs the game at native 1080p and 30fps, while the PS4 Pro runs Horizon at native 2160p at 30fps. That’s right, the PS4 Pro actually runs Horizon: Zero Dawn in full native ultra HD at a true 4K resolution.

Guerrilla Games managed to utilize checkerboard rendering for Horizon: Zero Dawn, yet still managed to stabilize a crystal clear output at 4K. Despite being critical of the PS4 Pro in the past, I will admit that the spec benchmarks are impressive… for this particular game.

The frame-rate and resolution test was carried out by Digital Foundry.

One of the things that they mention in the video test is that the dynamic weather system does not affect the frame-rate. Fog, sand storms, rain, thunderstorms and day and night shifts will not cause stuttering or drops.

They did mention that there are slight drops – by one or two frames – in crowded villages. They also noted that when AI teammates and enemy AI engage in battle, the game will see frame drops go down by one or two frames, dipping from 30fps to 28 or 29fps.

For the most part, Guerrilla managed to nail it as far as performance and optimization is concerned. A lot of people in the comment section were happy that Kojima went with the Decima Engine for Death Stranding.

Horizon Zero Dawn FPS

They did note that there was one house in particular where the frame-rate dropped down by about four frames. It appeared as if the house may not have been optimized properly and had a lot of non baked objects inside. That’s just speculation on my part. Usually a lot of actively rendered actors/entities within a scene can cause frames to dip that low at such a consistent rate.

The cluttered house was a bit of a mystery to Digital Foundry, though, and they couldn’t figure why exactly this particular house – with no battles or massively complex lighting entities being rendered – would cause the FPS to dip in the way that it did.

Overall, Horizon: Zero Dawn performs properly, unlike some other PS4 Pro titles… like Final Fantasy XV. It maintains 30fps at nearly all times on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and it runs native 1080p at 30fps on the vanilla PS4 and native 2160p at 30fps on the PS4 Pro. It’s one of the few native 4K games available for Sony’s new system that actually runs well.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is due for release on February 28th.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Laytonaster

    Holy fuck, what in God’s name is that creature in the thumbnail!? It’s like if a Cabbage Patch doll had a rape-child with Chucky… and the Cabbage Patch doll was the rapist!

    • Disqusted

      I was going to say something similar, but you said all that needs to be said.

    • FlamingoJet

      Horrific for sure.

  • FlamingoJet

    2K and they limit it to 30? Are they fucking retarded.

    Do it 1080p and run at 60 then.

    Smoother is better, always.

    • It may not be able to handle 60fps…. sort of like how FFXV at 1080p could only top out at 45fps.

      • SevTheBear

        Yeah they did say that the game was never made to run at 60 fps. But a performance mode like in Nioh would be nice.

      • mikebrand83

        Isn’t checkerboard 4K rendering a form of hybrid upscaling technique, and thus mutually exclusive from being a true native 4k resolution?

        That part of the article had me confused, but that factor does contribute to explaining why some games can display [email protected], but can’t come close to handling stable [email protected], even though 4k images should be pushing about 4 times the pixels of 1080p images.

        • Checkerboard rendering can vary per project. It can sometimes be inter-frame blending — so it’s native 4K at every other frame — certain pixels can render to a frame upscaled, like you mentioned.

          They didn’t go into depth as to which technique they used exactly, but it appears as if static scenes are rendered natively, while the checkerboarding may come into play during motion. I’m sure we’ll get a more in-depth analysis from Guerrilla and Digital Foundry in their next video.

      • Disqusted

        I think we’re at a point where if an action game goes out of their way to stay at 30fps for the sake of visuals, you can tell where their priorities are.

    • Cinj

      2160p = 4k. 1080p is akin to what could be called 2k. But yeah, I agree. A doubled FPS would be a more noticeable improvement over a doubled resolution. I doubt the PS4 Pro is pushing graphic fidelity that demands 4k to appreciate it. The picture can be upscaled to 4k and still look quite nice on a decent TV.

      • FlamingoJet

        No 1080p is not 2k, that’s less than 2k.

        1920X1080 is 1080p
        2560X1440 is 1440p or 2k
        3840X2160 is 4k

        Now, there’s variances in those, but that’s generally what they are.

        I misread it and thought it was 1440p.

        But still 4k and 30fps. No, stop that. What’s the point? You are degrading the experience.

        Smoother is better, period. Tired of all these stupid developers and publishers focusing only one particular aspect of a game, when framerate is arguably the most vital to a player’s experience.

        And if it can’t handle 60fps solid at 1080p, then they need to stop selling it as such. It being the PS4 Pro. You know, their “next gen” system piece of shit.

        • Cinj

          I assumed 4k was double 2k which would have made it 1080p. But alas, I looked it up and it’s even worse than you defined it as: 2048×1080. And either way, 4k isn’t even a double of 2k. That’s dumb.

          Not trying to call you out or anything, I just find it curious.

          • FlamingoJet

            I was going purely off 16:9 ratios. But I said there were variances.

            Yes, it’s confusing.

            I never thought you were calling me out beyond my intial mistake and that was my fault, I own that.

        • mikebrand83

          PS4 Pro(bably exist for the sake of people justifying buying 4k displays).

          • Disqusted

            I think PS4 Pro is an excuse to justify lazy optimization. Kinda like how newer Windows run like shit and use up way more resources compared to older ones. Part of the reason they do that is to drive up hardware sales.

          • FlamingoJet

            I don’t know where you are getting that information and unless you’ve a source to back that claim up, it’s spurious claims, at best.

            I can assure that from my personal experiences, Windows 10 uses right around the same resources as XP, 7, Vista, 8, and 8.1.

            My programs and my games actually run much faster on Windows 10.

          • mikebrand83

            Going to have to echo FlamingoJet on Windows 10.

            Whatever you might say about bloating in some of the previous iterations of Windows and some issues that have been raised about privacy, as far as actual performance goes, Windows 10 has been easily a clear step forward on every computer I’ve installed and seen it installed on, even compared to clean installs of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on the same machines.

      • Disqusted

        I hate how they’re calling it 4k just to sound like a bigger improvement than 2k, after a standard of using vertical height like 720p and 1080p. That’s how it sounds to me, anyway.

        Next we’ll get 200k, which will be 200000 pixels horizontal and 100 pixels vertical. Welcome to the future! Buy now!!

    • LurkerJK

      Its easier to fudge resolution than fps

      • FlamingoJet

        It seems when dealing with console exclusives, they fudge up everything.