by Dave Thier

Last-gen megahit GTA 5 came out on PS4 and Xbox One yesterday, promising entirely revamped graphics worth of the new machines. And with that, we play the familiar game of looking at just how well the two different versions run. The results are interesting: at first, they don’t appear to point to a gigantic disparity resulting from PS4′s power advantage, but a more thorough investigation reveals that the PS4 version has more detail, particularly in the foliage department.

According to Digital Foundry, GTA 5 performs about equally on both the PS4 and Xbox One, sticking to a native 1080p resolution and 30FPS quite well. But screenshots circulating the forums suggest that the two versions achieve that performance in a different way, particularly when the player gets out of the city and out into the wilds of Blaine County. PS4 has a whole lot more foliage, leading to more realistic-looking and fully realized world.


It’s an interesting take on the power disparity between the two consoles, and one that I can thoroughly get behind. Usually, we just see developers cranking either the resolution or the framerate on PS4, which renders a smoother, but in my opinion, only slightly better looking game. I’d much rather a developer looked at that extra processing and figure out how to cram a little more detail into the world. The outdoors, in general is one of the places that the improved GTA can really show off those fancy new graphics, and the results on PS4 are hard to argue with. It’s not the biggest difference in the world, and it doesn’t make it a different game, but if you’ve got a PS4 it can’t help to look at all that pretty grass and feel good about that GPU humming beneath your television.

The re-release is every bit the game it was on Xbox 360 and PS3, except better looking and with one major difference: the first person mode. Not only does first person give developers a chance to show off an incredibly detailed world from an entirely new perspective, it also makes a lot of that violence and sex that the franchise is known for visceral and immediate in a way the series hasn’t managed in years. It’s the most GTA that GTA has ever been — if that’s what you want, it’s quite something. If not, it can certainly be jarring. Which is sort of GTA’s thing.

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