Ghostwire: Tokyo received a big PS5 update last week, coinciding with the game's Xbox Series X|S launch. Digital Foundry, doing what the technical wizards there do best, got to work beneath the hood, comparing and contrasting the various iterations of the supernatural FPS.
Digital Foundry awarded the PS5 version the dubious honour of being "better", stating that Ghostwire: Tokyo on Xbox Series S|X runs "quantifiably worse than the PlayStation 5 version, which wasn't great to begin with." Apparently, Xbox Series X performance was found to be 5-10% lower than PS5 on average, with the bizarre caveat that resolution on the X is lower, too. DF found the whole thing to be a "really weird situation" and "a bit of a mess".
Originally a PS5 exclusive, we first learned Ghostwire: Tokyo would be coming to Xbox consoles after Bethesda (which had been acquired by Microsoft in 2020) showed off a large piece wall art in it's swanky London office.
What has your experience been with Ghostwire? Are you considering checking out the ever-so-slightly enhanced PS5 version? Let us know in the comments section below.
[source youtu.be, via resetera.com]
Literally unplayable for me after the spider thread update, crashes every 30 seconds even after reinstalling, clearing cache, and rebuilding database from safe mode. Actually enjoyed what I played before that more than I thought I would, so a bit of a shame really
Haven't played post update. But I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game
I have currently Been trying to give it a try yesterday and this morning only to find it performs pretty bad, so I can't imagine how bad it is on the XBoxes. On top of that if you take a little search you'll find some corroborating experiences like mine thus far, by many people over the last year or so of it being out. The big issues aside from unstable performance is that it has serious controller latency issues.
So much so that not only do you have to try to weed through the multiple graphic settings options to get the poor performance inncheck; but you also have to take into account how the graphic settings choices you make worsen or better the latency of input from controller to what you actually see on TV. It's actually one of the worst offenders of this problem I've seen in the last few years aside from cyberpunk and most recently Resident Evil 4 which is somewhat fixable but also baked into its design. In this case the latency is so bizarre. no matter what you tweak with the settings, not only does it affect being able to achieve any type of precision but it also makes it feel like you're playing with controller stick drift issues that aren't from the controller itself but actually the input lag and latency problems the translate in this overshooting like drift regardless of the acceleration, deceleration, or dead zone swttings.
After several hours and many articles, videos, and Forum readings later I found some settings that I've slowly started to get used to but there's still a ton of latency problems where I'm basically using strafing left and right to kind of compensate for the poor Precision with the right stick aiming.
I spent hours playing and digging through info posted throughout the last year including every set of patch notes trying to figure out why a year has gone by and this hasn't been addressed regardless of the issues being verifiable and reported by many. There was/still are even mainstream outlet articles and videos put out when it first released addressing steps one can take to try and mitigate the problem with combinations of controller settings and video settings set up to where it's at least bearable over time if you push through it. IGN even put out a video on it back in 2022.
** I mainly say this as a PSA to save others time. The latency is baseline based on poor optimization. It is unfixable. The best you can do is do the primary things recommended over the past year to make it manageable after your eyes, brain and subsequently stick handling adjust over time playing.
So basically you can either accept it/deal with it, or don't waste your time and move onto the myriad of other titles that released without such blatant technical issues, or at the very least listened enough to the community to address them over time.
"quantifiably worse than the PlayStation 5 version, which wasn't great to begin with."
Really? I remember it running pretty much flawlessly on PS5.
For the most part it ran fine for me. My real issue is that all the lights and reflections turn the game into a shimmering nightmare any time you move the camera.
I think I bought bit on sale. I’d have to check. I may play it one day. Or I may die with a backlog so large (HUGE), that it is what it is.
@PegasusActual93 it is absolutely NOT flawless on PS5.
Granted I am just playing this now. So. Perhaps it somehow got worse. Yet even in the original tech analysis videos they mention performance and latency issues across the board on PS5.
I personally played and tried to troubleshoot it for hrs and hrs and I can confirm these issues still exist on PS5 and the input latency is unfixable, yet can be marginally mitigated enough to play it and just grow accustomed to it over time. Mind you I have an hdmi 2.1/VRR screen.
It ran very well on PS5 at launch. Maybe minor issues, but I don’t actually remember any of them. I hope the new update didn’t hurt performance.
Looking back at the reviews for it, I don't really know why it the reception was so lukewarm. The game nails the atmosphere, core mechanics and has a pretty unique feel despite being criticised in some reviews as a 'Ubisoft-style open world' - a label which likely put many people off (Hogwarts Legacy is also pretty derivative in gameplay yet is very impressive for the same reasons).
Amazing visuals too with RT and the performance is good in the Quality mode, although less so in the other modes. Quality mode is definitely the way to go here. Or HFR Quality (with V-Sync) if you have a VRR-capable display. SSR in performance mode tends to make all the surfaces incredibly shiny and the lack of any RT shadows leads to 'flatter' looking scenes. The amount of rain, glass and other man-made materials begs for the use of RT reflections.
The weird issue comes from the general camera movement. It feels a like input lag but I'm not sure if it was actually designed that way. You get used to it but it's an odd feeling to say the least.
I've developed a surprisingly strong love for this game since its release and there's an odd tranquillity that comes with playing it. Beautifully detailed environment and fantastic audio. The most 'chill' 'horror' game I've ever played!
@Jaz007 it didn't it's the same as before. The update has added quite a bit but performance and stability is identical on PS5.
All I know is I absolutely love this game. Ignored it at launch due to mixed reviews etc. but it turns out this is my kind of game. I haven't had any issues either. Ghostwire Tokyo, might be my Goty yo.
I do enjoy digital foundry's informative content, but gamers have to stay real here. Quantifiably worse means noticable if you have various performance overlays and keep track of that, not if you are actually just, I don't know... playing the game. This goes for most modern games! These games are all playable and fun, but some think they have to expect full accountability of studios when there are occasional frame dips and bash on the overall product for that!? Going full hyperbole saying these games are unplayable?!
We used to have fun playing games for the games sakes and not because it hit some quantifiable markers.
Ps5 is the true worlds most powerful console people didn’t want to listen to Mark Cerny.
@tameshiyaku agree 100%.
It never ran well on ps5, and that was the lead platform, so it's not really that suprising that the xbox port doesn't work great either. What's wierder is HiFi rush runs flawlessly, a game by the same studio. I think Ghostwire has far to many modes/options and it's just an impossible task to QA
Played it on both and seems fine on both to me
I’ve been playing on XSX in the HFR Performance mode and other than a couple of stutters and frame rate drops I can’t say I’ve noticed an awful lot
@Sakai As much as I love Tango Gameworks, they’ve quickly have become my favorite developer, I don’t think the developers has the skill for these high budget AAA games. Both the Evil Within games wasn’t the greatest when it came to performance, and now Ghostwire Tokyo is the same. Clearly they have the skill set to handle smaller AA like HiFi Rush. They should focus on delivering more smaller titles like that.
I’m playing it on Series X now and it runs great for me. It was a bit janky at fort but once I realized it was favoring graphics over performance and I switched that, it’s run really well.
@KundaliniRising333 @PegasusActual93 Definitely not flawless but I thought it ran well enough when I played it a few months ago... however, it was in the uncapped quality mode with VRR, for which one would need a HDMI 2.1 screen - I can imagine the experience isn't as good without it.
@PegasusActual93 I too had zero problems playing this game, with no bugs and no control issues. Bought on release and played for a few months.
I've not played it since mind, so I do acknowledge that subsequent updates may have broken it.
Shame. I enjoyed my time with the game and was hoping it would be even better by the time it was on Game Pass.
Do the people who run Xbox game studios have no standards?
I just don't get why everything that comes out on that platform seems so rushed.
The exception ironically being a game called Hi-Fi rush....
@Wheatly It has been a mess on PS5 as well since launch. Here is DF summary of the PS5 version:
"In summary, there's much to commend Ghostwire: Tokyo - but I do feel more work needs to be done. Controller response needs to be looked at, while the game's 30fps cap implementation really should be fixed: as we understand it, this problem was solved in UE4 years ago, so why it presents as it does in Ghostwire: Tokyo is a bit of a mystery. The 60Hz performance mode isn't very stable and seems to be waiting for VRR to happen when perhaps a dynamic resolution scaling system should be introduced (or ranges adjusted if it is in there already). The game isn't quite what I was expecting but it's clearly a quality release - it just needs a little more technical polish to allow the gameplay to shine."
Its a shame none of the issues were sorted for both the PS5 and Series consoles. They probably moved onto the next game and a small team ported it to xbox would be my guess. But that is not really an excuse in my opinion and I would have hoped it ran as well as HiFi Rush
I started playing yesterday (with Spiders Thread update). Zero issues thankfully and it looks and plays beautifully on Series X (only 5 hours in). I'm playing with the HFR performance mode utilizing my TVs VRR capability. I'm yet to experience screen tearing, noticeable frame drops or crashes. I tweaked the controls as recommended in multiple articles before starting. I wasn't sure it would be for me but I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far.
I never played the PS5 version, it always seemed like a horror game and I don't do horror, but it's actually a little more like SMT Nocturne in tone I'm learning. I'm toying with the XB version on GP, both cloud streamed and local. Performance mode only (I only really do performance mode.) I haven't actually noticed anything significantly problematic about how it runs yet, but, I agree with the "stick drift" feeling in that it just feels harder than it should to actually aim at anything. I left the default motion blur on which is pretty heavy, like Spiderman's 30fps default, but on 60fps mode, which is probably masking frame dips though.
All in all I think the complaints are a little overblown, but Tango is a small studio, so it's the kind of semi-indie-but-bigger-and-prettier experience I'd expect. I feel bad for studios like Tango and Arkane. They're both "weird" little studios that made AA+ type games, are kind of indie in scope, they're not used to the scrutiny that comes with, first, being a PS5 exclusive, and then with being a Microsoft 1st party. It's way beyond what their league has ever been.
I enjoyed my time in this game,if there's a sequel I'd definitely be interested.
@NEStalgia yeah, the horror honestly isn't that strong in this one. I'm quite a way in and it's leaning heavily into sci-fi territory with a horror dressing. Brilliant atmosphere!
Yet another cross-platform game that seems to have "skipped the optimisation pass" as DF themselves put it.
This seems more and more common these days - when developers run out of time and have to meet the deadline, they skimp on getting it running well for whatever reasons.
I see it as literally the worst thing to skimp on - if your game runs with stutters and crashes, no one is going to want to play it. They'd be better off doing something like making the later levels/endgame a little unpolished while concentrating on the overall game feel and making sure it plays well on everything it can run on.
Or, they could just do what previous generations did and release the game in an all-around finished condition, or delay the release until that's the case. There is no shame in releasing "when it's done" as "a late game is only late until it ships, a bad game is a bad game forever" as I think Seamus Blackley and several other devs have repeated over the years. Otherwise you're shooting yourself in both feet because even if gamers don't know why a game is running poorly, they will feel that as part of the experience and quickly move onto something else.
@Voltan I have an hdmi 2.1 screen/VRR
Even doing what the majority recommended which is turn 120 hz capability off, but leave vrr on and use high frame rate quality mode did not improve the input latency issue, in fact after testing all modes. The latency was least noticeable just on the base performance mode in my opinion. Aside from the unusable no vsynce modes.
If you are just looking for best visual/performance balance, then yes hfr w/vsync and vrr without 120 hz enabled on the system level is the best option. Yet, as I said it worsens the foundational latency.
Side PSA note here: apparently if you leave the PS5's 120 hz settings on/set to automatic, the game has an unfixed bug where no matter what mode you play in, 120hz or not, the games resolution gets capped to 1080p. Even standard quality mode.
That’s unfortunate it runs so poorly on Xbox. I like Ghostwire but hoo boy it doesn’t run well wherever you play it.
@4kgk2 Yes and no.
Kudos to the engineers at Sony for basically not reinventing the wheel and just providing more power to what was already established. Developers can continue "business as usual" and produce great results - and continue to improve.
Microsoft's system simple requires work to "get it right".
You would think that the engineers at Microsoft would have learned from the past that there is such a thing as "over-architecting".
It requires properly managing the split memory architecture. It requires more threading in the GPU-side. There are various technologies inside the Velocity Architecture that haven't even been used. It requires getting a handle on the new GDK.
From the Microsoft side, it also requires improvements with DirectX 12 - which already has performance issues on PC.
There was so much that developers need to get used to and deal with rather than simply doing what has already been done before only with more horsepower.
Basically, engineers took the reigns over on the Micrsoft side without considering the "real-world scenarios."
It will be great for the future as there isn't necessarily anything wrong with Microsoft's approach, it's just a sweeping change that developers aren't ready for right now.
I personally don't think we will see the full benefits of the Series consoles until late in the consoles lifecycle simply because of the nuances required to "get it right."
On topic: I found playing Ghostwire in Quality HFR (VSync) to be a good balance of visuals and performance (especially if you find the reflection transitions distracting in Performance Mode).
Thankfully this is a game that doesn't require the system to be in 120Hz mode to enable this feature as it really does help (except when the framerate drops below 40Hz and it gets choppy for a brief moment).
My TV isn't 120Hz, but it does support VRR down to 40Hz, so all these "HFR Quality Modes" can technically work but are locked behind the 120Hz requirement.
The ps5 Dual sense controller make the xbox version inferior.the adaptive trigger and haptic feedback is the icing on the cake for ghostwire tokyo.word up son
Hey guess what people multiplatform does make a difference.
Playing The Spiders Thread and enjoying it. Exploration, puzzles, bonus levels, and arenas. Deepest I’ve gone is 11, get a bit further each time depending on levels and abilities. Great stuff. Haven’t had a single issue on PS5.
Played it on PS5 (performance was far from great) and playing now on XSX and to be honest unless you're putting them side by side and using some FPS counter tool you'll not notice the differences that DF showed in their comparison video... It pretty much the same experience as on PS5 minus the adaptive triggers!
I'm not surprised at all, my PS5 is a beast and love gaming on it.
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