NieR: Automata‘s demo is finally running on our PS4 consoles, giving everyone a taste of PlatinumGames’ signature action in a JRPG flavor. Not only it looks lovely and plays even better, it also comes with at least part of its promised PS4 Pro support.
In order to see the difference, we captured a few screenshots of the same situations within the demo both on a PS4 Pro and on a standard PS4 console, matching camera angles as well as possible and saving the shots in lossless PNG to achieve the best possible comparison.
As usual we encourage you to allow the pictures below load properly, since they’re rather big files, and to avoid downloading them on mobile platforms if you’re on limited data, since they’ll eat it up rather fast.
Within each pair, you’ll find the PS4 Pro version first, followed by the picture captured on standard PS4. All captures were dine with the same ElGato Game Capture HD6o to ensure parity of conditions.
According to the latest information broadcasted by Square Enix, PS4 Pro and PS4 render the game respectively at native 1080p resolution (1920×1080) and 1600 x 900. Considering that the difference between the two pixel counts isn’t enormous, I did not expect it to be too prominent. Boy was I wrong.
The images captured on PS4 show some very visible jaggies basically across the whole picture, while the PS4 Pro version is much smoother. This appears to indicate a superior anti-aliasing solution on top of the difference in resolution. To help you see the difference (even if I doubt that this is really needed) you can check out a zoomed area on both platforms below, with massive jaggies on standard PS4 and much smoother edges on PS4 Pro.
The difference appears to be less visible during cutscenes, where developers probably managed to squeeze a little more juice out of the standard PS4 due to the controlled rendering environment, bur it’s still quite noticeable in elements like YoRHa 2B’s hair.
Another visible difference, even if a bit more subtle, is the higher degree of fidelity of surfaces, that show quite a bit more details on PS4 Pro.
On the other hand, Square Enix mentioned better lighting and shadows definition for PS4 Pro, but from what we can see in the comparison screenshots above, and playing the demo, those improvements might not yet be implemented in the demo. That’s quite understandable, considering that we’re still about two months from release.
That said, the difference in anti-aliasing is definitely comparable, if not superior, to what we have seen in Watch_Dogs 2, and improves the looks of the game on PS4 Pro rather radically.
This is not to say that the game doesn’t look good on standard PS4, but it does suffer from very visible aliasing, even if the high frame rate makes it more bearable.
Considering that we can most probably expect the further improvements announced by Square Enix when the game will release, we might really be in for a treat with NieR: Automata.
The game will release in Japan for PS4 on February 23rd, in North America on March 7th, and in Europe on March 10th, 2017. A PC version is also scheduled to come next year, but no release window has been announced for that one.