With Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro console launching today, the folks over at Digital Foundry decided to test out Sony’s latest hardware against one of the first 4K games available on the platform, Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Pro version.
Although Sony originally advertised the console as a 4K capable machine, some fans might have been disappointed to learn that for most games the console will be doing a checkerboard based upscale instead of rendering at native 4K. It turns out that Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Pro version actually does render at native 4K, 3840×2160 resolution.
The result of this high-resolution rendering is that the game’s image appears more crisp and clear than the one seen on the original PS4 which renders at 1080p and utilizes heavy Temporal AA to remove jagged edges, which in turn results in a somewhat soft image.
While Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Pro version does utilize the same AA technique, the increased resolution ends up producing a sharper image, although not without some issues which can be mostly negligible.
The PS4 Pro version of the game, however, does have one drawback to it. In its attempt to render at native 4K, the game ends up losing frame consistency and in some cases is unable to maintain the mostly solid 30FPS which the game targets on both PS4 and Xbox One.
Even if played on a 1080p Full HD screen, the benefits of playing the game on PS4 Pro are clearly visible as the image is originally rendered at a high resolution and then downsampled to 1080p.
Despite all its improvements and an image quality which can rival the PC version of the game, there are some caveats in the visual quality of Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Pro version as it sacrifices on detail when looking at distant objects such as rocks or signposts.
While Bethesda’s efforts of creating a native 4K game on PS4 Pro need to be appreciated the thought of the game not having a 1080p mode with visual quality matching PC’s ultra-preset ends up putting Skyrim Special Edition PS4 Pro version just a little shy of being a perfect entry point to high-end console gaming.