Today, Sony finally announced the PlayStation 4 Pro, an updated version of the PlayStation 4 with improved hardware. Developers can use that additional power to improve the resolution of their games, output an image with high dynamic range (HDR), add additional graphical effects, or even improve a game's framerate. At the PlayStation Meeting showcase today though, most of the titles defaulted to an upscaled 4K presentation and HDR.
Crystal Dynamics' Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of the few PlayStation 4 Pro titles at the showcase that will offer improved frame rates. According to studio head Scott Amos, Rise of the Tomb Raider includes three different graphic options in its menu: 4K Resolution, Enhanced Visuals at 1080p, and High Framerate at 1080p.
4K resolution was the option on display at the event, showing off a crisp, clean image quality at 30 fps. The Enhanced Visual mode turns on all the effects at 1080p resolution, including improved lighting, high shadow detail, reflections, and additional rendering passes, while still holding onto a locked 30 fps. Finally, the High Framerate mode is an unlocked frame rate for the title, which Amos noted has run at frame rates above 45 in internal tests.
The options can be switched between on the fly.
"I play it on all three depending on where I am, because you can dynamically switch it in the menu," said Amos. "You can pause right now and say, 'I want to do high framerate.' Go through combat smoothly and then you get to a nice valley, so you switch over to enhanced visuals for a great sense of depth. The night time scenes benefit from a little extra lighting. Then you get to the vistas, these long horizons and sunsets, and you say, 'Let's go to 4K.' You can play with these things depending on your mood."
The addition of graphical options makes Rise of the Tomb Raider stand out from the rest of the PlayStation 4 Pro showcase titles. It's not to the level of a PC port, but offering players graphical choices is a great move that I'm surprised I'm not seeing more of with PlayStation 4 Pro-enabled games.
The PlayStation 4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider, including the additional PlayStation 4 Pro mode and PlayStation VR content, is being handled by Nixxes Software in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics.
"Crystal's artists and team worked with the Nixxes guys to pull out all the stops," said Amos.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is coming to PlayStation 4 on October 11, 2016.