A video comparing the graphics between the ultra HD version of Final Fantasy XV on the PC with the full HD version of the PS4. There are some clearly noticeable differences, especially if you watch the 4K version versus the PS4 version.
The most obvious difference between 4K and 1080p is that you’re getting extremely crisp, and sharp-edged rendering with ultra HD on PC, so there are no jaggies or pixelation on the frames being output at 4K. For reference, the PC at 4K is rendering 8.2 million pixels per frame, where-as the PS4 is only managing 2 million pixels per frame. So you’re getting four times the clarity on PC over PS4, along with the added benefit of fluid motion and playability at 60 frames per second.
The video comparison between the two versions was put together by YouTuber Nicholas GamerOtaku.
One of the most obvious differences between the two that you can spot right away is that there is, of course, a lot more ambient occlusion in the PC version. You can see how the self-shadows cast from Cindy’s arms and jacket reflect on her body, creating more multi-shadow passes and giving the game a darker look.
You can also see that the Luminous Engine can make use of material shaders, where Cindy’s belt buckle contains metal refractions from the light bouncing off the environment, something that’s completely absent in the PS4 version of the game. You can get a closer look at the details in the screenshot below.
A lot of the differences aren’t terribly noticeable, but we do see that the draw distance is no longer blurry in the PC version when close-ups take place, and you get higher resolution textures and meshes via the LODs at further distances.
Another really huge difference is the subsurface scattering.
The Luminous Engine is capable of multi-layered subsurface scattering when rendering faces and skin. This layer of skin translucency helps to give characters a more realized and natural look instead of the “plastic doll” effect that so many 3D characters have when rendered in real-time in a game. Unfortunately for Square, the Xbox One and PS4 don’t have the muscle to pull off that rendering technique in real-time. You do, however, get to see it when they zoom up on Cid’s face in the comparison below.
Some of these details will only be visible on larger screens. You’ll also need to have the resolution turned up quite high so you can spot all of these details.
If you have a potato PC with a small monitor, the differences are likely infinitesimal, but if you have a high-end rig with a large 4K screen, you’ll be able to see a huge difference in the quality of the render.
Whether or not this will make the game enjoyable for you is a complete toss-up, but if you enjoy all the snazzy rendering techniques that can’t be used on home consoles because they’re peasant boxes compared to the Glorious PC Master Race, you might enjoy the PC version of Final Fantasy XV when it releases with all these graphical bells and whistles in early 2018.
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