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Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 is a mess, here are some comparisons with PlayStation 5

Worlds Apart.
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Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated titles this year, as evidenced by its staggering 8 million preorder numbers. The hype is definitely real and everyone wants a piece of the pie. One thing that’s for sure is that the next-gen “upgrade” will not be available until 2021, so PS5 owners have the PS4 port to play and enjoy before the wait.

We’ve tried both versions out, and while it is safe to say that the PlayStation 5 version will be superior for obvious reasons, the PlayStation 4 version is not quite the experience we had planned for. For context, see a couple of passable, but blurry and grainy screenshots.

Saw it? Looks pretty ok? Alright, now let’s take a look at some footage from other people playing the game on a base PS4 and it turns out, Cyberpunk 2077 is a MESS. Janky gameplay, low res textures, and even choppy frame rates.

Obviously, the PS5 will be leagues apart in performance when compared to the PS4 counterpart. However, if we’re running a PS4 port on a Playstation 5 on a 1080p screen, how would it compare? For the sake of science, we will be comparing several differences on what it is like to play the game on the last-gen console (PS4) to the current new-gen console (PS5) of this most anticipated game of 2020, while it’s still 2020.

Locked and Loading

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Of course the PS5 will be faster in terms of loading times. How fast? We’ve compared three loading screens from both consoles. One was from the start of the game until the select screen and from continuing the game to when it’s ready to load. The second scene is straight from character selection to the first image of the prologue. Finally, we fast forward to the end of the prologue to the start of the first mission. Mild spoiler warning for the Corpo Prologue.

For the Playstation 4, Cyberpunk 2077 takes 26 seconds from booting the game to the select screen and from there, another 47 seconds to continue. I’m glad for the added entertainment of the podcast about the Kujira submarine to keep us company in that almost minute wait. Apologies for the smash cut on the character selection screen, there were boobies and some might be sensitive to that. From there, it took 49 seconds from the character creator screen to first scene in the Prologue. Finally, a total of 35 seconds from the End of the Prologue to the start of the first mission.

So where to even begin? Both systems do take 26 seconds to get to the select screen, but that’s where the race ends. It takes 10 seconds for the select screen to go from when you hit start to the circle button to continue. Sure it takes another 10 seconds to go from there to the actual game, but that shaves off a complete 27 seconds from the PS4 load!

I didn’t cut the man-boobs from the next take, but the moment you try to erase the image from your head, you’re already on the prologue screen 7 seconds later. You could’ve been thinking about the actual boobies in that other 42 seconds the PS4 made you wait. Finally, the end of prologue to the actual first mission? 15 seconds. By this time, you’re probably still thinking about those man-boobs you could not unsee a few scenes ago.

Loading times are crazy fast on the PS5 for Cyberpunk 2077, as expected.

You Got The Look

As seen from the PS4 shots earlier, one thing I noticed was the completely grainy texture. While yes, it could add for grindhouse effect, but what was being sold was a fully immersive game with fantastic visuals. This just wasn’t it. Compared to the PS5 texture, it’s really no contest even if I’m comparing a completely different character with a different Lifepath. Even Jackie looks so much smoother.

It’s definitely comparing apples to oranges. If this is how it looks like now on a PS4 port on a PS5 on the same 1080p TV, I’m definitely looking forward to what it looks like on a PS5 upgrade. Maybe I’ll take a screenshot soon on a 4K/60p TV for comparison.

Car Chases and Gunfights

Finally, to finish this comparison off, I’ll show two different footage of car combat seen in PS4 and in PS5. The first one is back with our Corpo Rat in PS4 fending off pursuers versus that of our Nomad border showdown on the PS5.

The Corpo Car chase in Night City on the PS4 is pretty choppy. Notice how the camera movement clips at times, but my aim was pretty good. It doesn’t help that the visuals are grainy. The PS5 footage weirdly enough clocked in at the exact same running time of two minutes and seven seconds.

Besides the footage of me not being able to hit shit with a pea shooter, the PS5 combat is pretty seamless. With the combination of the Dualsense vibrations, it was quite an adrenaline pumping scene. Yet the camera movements were a lot smoother and it’s a definite advantage over the previous gen system.

The Verdict

It’s not even close, and I kinda want to rename the article as “No Shit, Captain Obvious”. The next-gen consoles would be the appropriate place to play Cyberpunk 2077, of course with the PC version being superior considering your rig can handle max specs. It’s quite a win for the next-gen hardware and it goes to show that our friends from CD Projekt Red really customized it for the new generation of consoles. For the base PS4 and Xbox One, not so much.

Author

Vincent Ternida moved Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and called it home ever since. He spends the lockdown catching up with his Japanese RPGs, writing his new manuscripts, and figuring out why he suddenly became the main character of the latest Haruki Murakami novel.

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