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News video games 19 March 2022, 16:55

author: Patrick Kubiak

GTA V Better on PS5 Than on PC; Digital Foundry Analyzes Next-gen Version

Grand Theft Auto V is now available on next-gen consoles, as well as a refreshed version on PC. So how does the PlayStation 5 version compare to the PS4, and why does it annoy PC gamers?

  1. Next-gen version of GTA V could improve more things;
  2. The best of what we got is available in the PS5 edition...
  3. ... and it annoys a lot of PC gamers in the process.

Original release of Grand Theft Auto V took place nearly a decade, or two console generations, ago. Even so, Rockstar Games has lined up the game for yet another debut - this time the affairs of Michael, Trevor and Franklin will be made available to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S users.

How does the new version of the fifth GTA on PS5 fare against Sony's previous platform and modern PCs? We're checking it together with Digital Foundry and Eurogamer.

PlayStation 5 better than PCs

Many of the options available on the PS5 are simply not available on PC, which causes frustration for gamers around the world. They express it, for example, on Reddit, where they list such missing (or impossible to activate) improvements on PC as:

  1. 1440p60 mode with RT shadows that look better than on PC;
  2. uneven frame rate in cinematic cutscenes fixed on PS5, but not on PC;
  3. simple, "primitive" camera motion blur (still used on PC) replaced with a modern one applied to every object;
  4. The combination of MSAA and proto-TXAA anti-aliasing replaced with modern TAA, which works better and uses less resources;
  5. Native HDR implementation.

I expand on some of the above details below.

The advantage of the new console is revealed already at the stage of installation, and further - in the main menu. After downloading the game on the PS4, it requires additional time (which can be up to an hour) to install the components, while on the PS5 the game is immediately ready for use. The menu itself runs at 60 frames per second on PS5, compared to 30 FPS on both old consoles and PCs. It seems like nothing, but this simple difference shows the advantage of Sony's device.

PlayStation 5's power is awe-inspiring. Digital Foundry also tested Sony's console itself, and you can read about the results below:

  1. New PS5 as Seen by Digital Foundry; Cooling Passes the Test

Character animations at 60 FPS have been improved on the new consoles, also in comparison to PCs, which still have problems with them. Avatar movements are smoother and more pleasing to the eye. These improvements impact motion blur in first person mode, which previously applied to (most, but not all) individual objects. In the PS5 version, this effect is applied universally, throughout the game.

The overall improvement in image quality is due to the use of edge smoothing technology known from Red Dead Redemption 2. Flicker, noise and unwanted blending of color patches have been reduced to the point that GTA V will look better in 1440p on PS5 than it does in native 4K on PC..

There's also a significant improvement in shadows, although they can still blur in a way that's unpleasant on the eye. Anisotropic filtering (which isn't really improved on the last-gen version) and object draw distances, which have been ported as they were on PS4, still leave much to be desired. In these respects, PCs are certainly superior.

The best version of GTA V

In summary, the current GTA V is the best edition of this game ever, which should come as no surprise. On PlayStation 5 the game runs smoother in most cases, and in many respects is prettier than the new version on PC. The only major downside on the Japanese device is the lack of an increase in detail range - the rest of the visual bells and whistles that are available on PC do not make the game look better.

As highlighted by Eurogamer, ultimately it seems that Rockstar could have done more to make GTA's nth release more in line with today's standards. If you're expecting improvements equal to, say, those of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition you may be disappointed. 60 FPS, ray tracing and a few minor improvements - that's how you can close the evaluation of the new-old Grand Theft Auto.