Skyrim doesn’t have a great history with Sony products. Fans of the game with a PS3 remember the game-breaking bug that essentially made the game impossible to play once your save file hit 6MB, something they took quite a few lumps for. But, of course, the PS4 and the PS4 Pro are highly advanced consoles, a whole new generation, and surely nothing would go wrong there, right?
Digital Foundry, in their usual teardown of how showcase games operate, generally found that the game looks better on PS4 Pro, as you might expect. Still, they stumbled over a fairly unfortunate flaw: The PS4 Pro has a lower frame rate than the less-powerful PS4. Why? Essentially so many effects are going at once that the game can’t handle it, even at a 30fps rate:
…scenes that feature use of alpha-heavy effects cause frame-rates to deviate from the desired 30fps target. In like-for-like situations, the PS4 Pro game sees a 2-3fps deficit, resulting in more noticeable stutter compared to the title running on the standard PS4 console. The base PS4 performance isn’t impacted to the same degree, with only a few 1-3fps drops cropping up on occasion across a general run of play.
Granted, two to three frames isn’t a big deal, and there should be a limit to how much of a fit players throw over this. This is a technical annoyance, not a game-breaking bug. And also we should remember the PS4 Pro is turning out an image four times as large, and doing far more graphically to boot. Still, it shows that the attempted 4K push gaming will be trying over the next few months may be more challenging than anyone cares to admit.