PS4 Pro: Devs from Guerrilla, Warner Bros. and Tripwire Wax Poetic on 4K, HDR and More
During the livescast following the PlayStation Meeting held in New York, that has seen the announcement of the new PS4 Pro, Guerrilla Games Technical Director Michiel Van Deer Leeuw, Tripwire Interactive President John Gibson and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Vice President of Production Peter Wyse talked more about their studios’ views on the new console.
- Van Deer Leeuw mentioned that Guerrilla Games is almost trying to get close to a BBC documentary in terms nature with Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the PS4 Pro gets them one step closer. They are doing already well with the original PS4, but the extra fidelity and color range of the Pro means “a couple of extra steps,” especially in nature scenes where sunlight is really important.
- Wyse talked about Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, mentioning that Monolith will let players choose between quality and resolution. The quality setting pushes draw distances “farther than ever,” among other things. He also explained that Rocksteady will be able to have crisper scenes on Batman: Arkham VR.
- Gibson mentioned that Killing Floor 2 will support 4K resolution, and it will use HDR to enhance the look of a lot of “dark and creepy spaces.” In a dark game like KF2, dark areas look really like real ones would.
- According to Van Deer Leeuw, 4K and HDR are a bit of a hard sell because you really need to see them in action to understand what they bring to the table. HDR looks so natural that you might not notice it, but when you see it, “you can’t unsee it.”
- In Killing Floor 2 there are classes based on shooting enemies really far away. Gibson brought it as an example where 4K lets you see much more detail at long distances.
- In Shadow of Mordor those who don’t have a 4K TV will still be able to take advantage of the higher resolution textures, smoother edges, and everything is going to look better.
- Van Deer Leeuw talked more about supersampling on standard 1080p TVs, mentioning that it’s possible to render at 4K internally and then supersample down to 1080p. It looks “much nicer,” as supersampling is the best kind of anti-aliasing. The image retains all the texture details, shader details and more. On top of that the frame rate might be smoother, eliminating frame drops, the resolution of shadow maps can be increased, and anistropic filtering can be improved. Guerrilla intends to “twist all of those knobs” until they find a solution that is “really really good” for people that have a normal HDTV.
- He also added that HDR is the “cutting edge” for color. People are not used to grading in HDR, and developers will need to get to grips with it. Guerrilla is getting better week by week at it. He doesn’t know what the end result of the process will be, but so far everything looks nicer, with beautiful vistas, with sun and light blending together better. Studios might also learn to use 4K better with time.
- Wyse explained that studios like NetherRealm can explore how much they can push the environments in games like Injustice 2, and cranks cinematics up to the same frame rate as gameplay. The studio is starting to play with it, and they’re just getting started.
- Gibson explained that Killing Floor 2‘s engine already does everything in HDR behind the scenes, and now the developers will be able to bring it to the screen. Van Deer Leeuw added that most engines are like that, but they have to cap the colors at the end of the pipeline to deal with standard TVs.
- According to Van Deer Leeuw, since most engines already support this kind of tech, adoption is going to be quick, and he would be surprised if the vast majority of games won’t be in HDR “very soon.”
- According to Gibson, the additional workload to support PS4 Pro “really wasn’t that bad.” Once Tripwire got the devkits they immediately started to experiment and test the boundaries of what they could do.
- Van Deer Leeuw thinks that in four or five months there will be so much common knowledge in the industry that adopting the new tech will be even easier.