When Sony first unveiled PS4 Pro, a more powerful version of its the standard PS4, the reveal was accompanied by 4K resolution gameplay footage for Horizon: Zero Dawn, showing that the new IP from Guerrilla Games would take advantage of the new hardware. A couple of months after PS4 Pro support was confirmed for Horizon: Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games technical director Michiel van der Leeuw has detailed exactly how the game is improved when played on the new system.
Anyone with a 1080p or 4K television will notice Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s improved visuals, but the best-looking experience will be from playing the game on an HDR-compatible 4K TV. While van der Leeuw insists that the game will look great regardless of which PS4 model or TV it is being played on, PS4 Pro and 4K are allowing the team to deliver a product that more closely aligns with their vision of a “lush, post-post-apocalyptic open world.”
When playing Horizon: Zero Dawn on a PS4 Pro that’s connected to a 4K TV, the game will feature 2160p checkerboard rendering, which will greatly enhance its visuals. Specific examples given by van der Leeux include seeing stitches on Aloy’s outfit and being able to see leaves and branches swaying kilometers away in the distance, meaning the game’s draw distance will also be improved with this set-up.
In a general sense, players can expect to see more details in the game world. The robotic, dinosaur-like beasts that Aloy battles in the game will look better on PS4 Pro, as will the other NPCs that are encountered throughout the adventure. This is all thanks to the extra processing power of PS4 Pro, but the question remains whether or not better graphics are enough to justify upgrading to the new system.
After all, PS4 Pro costs $400, and reportedly offers a lesser graphical upgrade than Microsoft’s Project Scorpio that is scheduled to release next year. To that end, Horizon: Zero Dawn already looks great when played on a regular PS4. In fact, the game’s impressive E3 2016 presentation, as well as its appearance at E3 2015, were both created using standard PlayStation 4 units.
Sony’s challenge will be conveying to consumers that the graphical and performance upgrades afforded by PS4 Pro’s extra processing power will be the worth the price of admission. We’re still in the experimental phases of these incremental console upgrades, but if Guerrilla Games is able to deliver a version of Horizon: Zero Dawn that looks significantly better on the new system, it may help Sony’s PS4 Pro gamble pay off.
Horizon: Zero Dawn will be available on February 28th, 2017, exclusively for PS4.
Source: PlayStation Blog