For all of the boasting that the PS4 Pro does about how it’s able to upscale games to 4K, it would appear that it’s not doing it anywhere near as efficiently as it’s been touted to do. Despite the hype, the console doesn’t have the hardware or horsepower to run games natively in 4K, and PS4 Pro checkerboard rendering is the shortcut Sony uses to fix that problem.
Apparently, the way to get around this is Playstation 4 Pro checkerboard rendering. A more efficient way for it to upscale things to 4K than traditional upscaling, checkerboard rendering is nothing more than a “cute trick”, according to Don Williamson, a former developer at the now-defunct Lionhead Studios and currently the owner and consultant engine programmer at Celtoys.
The fact that PS4 Pro checkerboard rendering is how the console is going to be getting games up to 4K may be bad news for it, especially if that checkerboard rendering doesn’t work out in its favor. If anything it puts another point in the corner of the Xbox One Scorpio, which has 6 teraflops of processing power to the Playstation 4 Pro’s 4.8 teraflops, which may give it the edge it needs to make games and video 4K without having to do things like checkerboard rendering.
However, Williamson does say that there are a number of different advantages to the PS4 Pro checkerboard rendering approach. According to him, checkerboard rendering gives stunning performance improvements with visual idiosyncrasies that players might be happy with, which can help developers while Sony tries to figure out how to target higher resolutions more efficiently.
The Playstation 4 Pro will be coming out later this month, in November, whereas the Xbox One Scorpio will be coming out sometime early next year, so we’ll just have to wait until both are out to see which console actually does better at 4K on which games that are ported over to them.