The Medium on PS5 shows big differences compared to Xbox Series X •

The Medium on PS5 shows big differences compared to Xbox Series X •

The Medium is an interesting game for sure – a game we’ve covered in the past on Xbox Series consoles and PCs, but I have to admit, before this one I didn’t expect the PlayStation port 5 sees so many changes from existing console versions. Almost every cross-platform project we’ve seen so far on the new wave of consoles has seen effective feature parity between the X-series and the PS5 because, after all, they’re very similar machines architecturally. However, with The Medium, Bloober Studio seems to have rebalanced the game to produce something very similar but also quite different from the original version of the X series.

We’ll get to the changed visuals shortly, but beyond the graphics redesign, features for the DualSense controller have also been added – rain, wind, and other atmospheric effects are mapped to haptics, while some dialog and effects are routed through the controller’s speaker. There’s also gyroscopic sighting when investigating objects. It’s nice to see these added features, but only the haptics really appealed to me.

Initially we were hoping to cover The Medium on PS5 closer to launch, but upon receiving the review code we were told ray tracing was not present and would be added in a patch – so we chose to wait and see the game perform at its best. What we found out was that Bloober chose to change the settings drastically. We can still find parallels with the PC version, but the overall result is that the studio traded fidelity in ray tracing effects to increase performance and resolution. Interestingly, the Series X still has the same features as at launch – although the game has since been patched and is generally in better shape than it was at launch.

A video analysis of how The Medium changed for its arrival on PlayStation 5.

So what’s the difference? The first thing I noticed was a darker overall picture on PS5. This isn’t due to changes in brightness, contrast, or gamma, but rather because it appears the developer has turned off ambient ray-tracing occlusion on the Xbox Series X in favor of a faster alternative. to screen space, adding halo artifacts and darkening the scene. Technically, it is a downgrade. The ray-traced reflections are present, but their quality has been reduced compared to the original version of the X series: compared to the PC set at full resolution, the reflections of the Microsoft console work at half-resolution and this is at again reduced on PS5 to quarter resolution.

There are other differences: In the original version of The Medium, manually placed lights were occasionally positioned around environments to simulate a key aspect of global illumination – light bounce. Interestingly, these are removed on PlayStation 5. Meanwhile, it also looks like the shadows resolution is reduced with a lower resolution and a more stuck look as well.

So why do these reductions? It is possible that Bloober Studio has revamped the game to better suit the capabilities of the PlayStation 5, but there is also another explanation: the developer analyzed what worked and what did not in the Series version. X in terms of the appearance of the game and its performance, rebalancing the visuals. The quality of the visual effects is obviously reduced, but the result addresses a key issue with the release of the X series: fluctuating resolution, sometimes noticeably low.

Dynamic resolution scaling is widely used in gaming and picture quality varies widely, but in all areas tested the PlayStation 5 has a clear advantage in terms of clarity. Out of 17 paired samples, the Xbox Series X ran at a resolution that ranged from an absolute minimum of 720p (thankfully an outlier) to 1440p. Outside of dual-view shots, the PlayStation 5 seems to resolve itself into a narrower, higher-resolution 1620p-1728p DRS window. Combined with the UE4 time upscaler, the presentation looks like a good 4K image much more often. On the truly demanding dual viewing angles that are the hallmark of The Medium, the Xbox Series X seemed consistent at 972p, while the PS5 was at 1188p instead.

Performance is also improved in terms of raw numbers on PlayStation 5 as well. Both console games target 30 frames per second, but the PS5 avoids the sustained drops below target that are still present on the Xbox Series X version of the game. However, the Microsoft console has benefited from title updates since we were released. saw the game for the first time. At the time, we weren’t very happy with inconsistent frame delivery – yes, “bad frame rate”. This has now been fixed, overall, but remarkably the fix didn’t make its way to the PlayStation 5 version which now has the same issue. This adds very noticeable jerks to the presentation, so even though 30 frames are indeed delivered per second, the perception is that it is less than that.

The obvious question to ask is, which version of The Medium works best? There’s no easy answer here because ultimately it depends on your personal preferences, but it looks like Bloober has basically provided the equivalent of a “loyalty” mode on the X-series and something more. close to a “balanced” mode on PlayStation 5. The Microsoft machine offers a more polished look with more emphasis on ray tracing effects. Meanwhile, the PS5 delivers a much more compelling 4K-like picture by swapping out visual quality, thus gaining performance. Both still look impressive, of course, thanks to the quality of the main artwork. Maybe there are some technical reasons we don’t know about that prevent this from happening, but I can’t help but think that both consoles should have access to both modes – and the option of one more image. claire can also pay dividends for the Xbox Series S too.

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