Prey’s latest patch may have finally introduced support for the PlayStation 4 Pro, but the update is a double-edged sword — especially for PS4 owners, according to a re-examination of the game by Digital Foundry.
Developer Arkane Studios released the version 1.04 patch earlier this week on Windows PC, where it is available as a beta update, and PS4. It doesn’t appear to have arrived on Xbox One yet; Arkane said it expects to set the patch live this week.
The debut of PS4 Pro support is a success, according to Digital Foundry, which writes that Prey looks “much closer to the PC version running at 1080p” when played on Sony’s upgraded PS4. But Digital Foundry says those benefits are outweighed on all PS4 models by serious issues that the patch introduces: stuttering and screen tearing, which arise from terrible frame-pacing.
“This is, without a doubt, the worst instance of irregular frame delivery we’ve encountered, giving the illusion of a much lower frame-rate,” says Digital Foundry. “In addition, as the game uses an adaptive v-sync solution, there is now a plethora of torn frames present in each and every scene along the top portion of the image. Taken as a whole, Prey no longer feels smooth to play.”
Digital Foundry hypothesizes that the issues are a result of the v1.04 patch’s attempts to improve input latency, which has been an issue on PS4 since Prey’s demo and which Arkane first tried to tackle with the v1.02 patch in mid-May. Arkane’s patch notes for the v1.04 update don’t mention input lag, per se, but they do include a note about addressing “input drift” on the PS4. At the very least, Digital Foundry reports that the PS4 version is “much more responsive now.”
Digital Foundry now recommends the Xbox One version of Prey over the PS4 version, whether on a normal console or a Pro, even though it runs at a lower resolution (900p rather than the PS4 version’s 1080p). However, both console versions are affected by a strange new issue: a bug that reduces the field of view. (Digital Foundry said it tested this with the v1.04 patch on PS4 and “the latest version of the game” on Xbox One; since the update doesn’t seem to be available on Xbox One yet, the FOV bug may exist in v1.03.)
Everything looks fine when you initially load into a level. But once you pull up your inventory for the first time and then and exit it, your FOV shrinks — it looks like the camera has zoomed in a bit. The view remains stuck in this position until you enter a new level. You can see this in the GIF below, which is taken from Digital Foundry’s video breakdown.
Arkane is “currently investigating these reports,” said a community manager for Prey in the game’s forums today. On the bright side, Digital Foundry’s analysis indicates that the FOV issue exists only on consoles, and not in the PC version of Prey. But it seems that Arkane still has some work to do on PS4 and Xbox One.