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[DF] Skyrim Anniversary Edition: PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S Upgrades Tested



From Digital Foundry:

Skyrim is back once again with a new 'Anniversary Edition' that not only adds new content but also gives a bit of bespoke attention to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles - replacing the need to use user mods or FPS Boost to get the game running at 60fps. Given we were already looking at 4K on PS5 and Series X, what's changed? And is Series S still running at 1080p? Actually, no!

Please Note: Despite resolution differences, performance differences and faster loading, Xbox Series isn't actually a native application - it's still built on the older XDK and is 'Gen 9 Aware'.
 
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Leyasu

Member
Sound the bugles, Fanboys charge!!!


 
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skit_data

Member
Too bad they didn’t implement the adaptive triggers and some sweet haptics on PS5. Not really surprising though, as it Xbox’s studio.
 

Pull n Pray

Banned
A bit odd that it isn't native on the Series.
It wouldn't surprise me if this happens quite a bit. Because Xbox Series backcompat generally leverages the power of the console fairly well, a lot of developers probably don't think it is worth the time to make a native upgrade. But they will still stick an "optimized for X/S" tag on it.

I'm curious how Digital Foundry even knew this to be the case. Did Bethesda/Microsoft tell them?
 

elliot5

Member
It wouldn't surprise me if this happens quite a bit. Because Xbox Series backcompat generally leverages the power of the console fairly well, a lot of developers probably don't think it is worth the time to make a native upgrade. But they will still stick an "optimized for X/S" tag on it.

I'm curious how Digital Foundry even knew this to be the case. Did Bethesda/Microsoft tell them?
it is a native app, i think they meant XSX isn't native 4K compared to PS5. Has a bit of dynamic res to it compared to before with FPS Boost.

biggest benefit goes to PS5 for getting a native app and finally having speedy load times
 

Pull n Pray

Banned
it is a native app, i think they meant XSX isn't native 4K compared to PS5. Has a bit of dynamic res to it compared to before with FPS Boost.

biggest benefit goes to PS5 for getting a native app and finally having speedy load times
I think they misstate that in the video. In the description it explicitly says, "Xbox Series isn't actually a native application - it's still built on the older XDK and is Gen 9 Aware"
 

Kilau

Member
It wouldn't surprise me if this happens quite a bit. Because Xbox Series backcompat generally leverages the power of the console fairly well, a lot of developers probably don't think it is worth the time to make a native upgrade. But they will still stick an "optimized for X/S" tag on it.

I'm curious how Digital Foundry even knew this to be the case. Did Bethesda/Microsoft tell them?
You can view the version information on any app from the menus on Xbox.
 

Arioco

Member
I think they misstate that in the video. In the description it explicitly says, "Xbox Series isn't actually a native application - it's still built on the older XDK and is Gen 9 Aware"


It's a bit weird because in the video Tom actually says it's a native app on Series consoles (and PS5, of course).
 

Darsxx82

Member
it is a native app, i think they meant XSX isn't native 4K compared to PS5. Has a bit of dynamic res to it compared to before with FPS Boost.

biggest benefit goes to PS5 for getting a native app and finally having speedy load times
No, the XSX version is not native, it is the BC version of XBO X with boost and that's what DF refers to.
This is already clear from the moment you can play from an HDD and the description tells you GDK "durango" which is the XBO X version.

I believe that even the PS5 version is the Pro BC version but it has worked something in the loading times (PS5 does not improve them just because of BC) but nothing else.

It must be remembered that Skyrim was a curious case since it happened that the Pro version went to native 4K while the XBO X version was dynamic 4K. Just like they are on PS5 and XSX if that wasn't enough.
 

Pull n Pray

Banned
You can view the version information on any app from the menus on Xbox.
Thanks man. I never noticed that.

This has let me confirm something that I have always suspected. There are many "Optimized for X/S games" that don't need to be played from the SSD. Halo MCC, Ori, Greedfall, Vermintide 2, Hades, Hellblade, and Assassin's Creed Odyssey to name a few from my library. When you look at the file info for these games, they all say "XboxGen9Aware". While the ones that need to be installed on the SSD say "XboxGen9".
 

intbal

Member
Unlike the BC on PS5, XSeries BC does improve loading times automatically for XBO, 360 and Xbox games.
Except in the cases where it doesn't.
Like in these games:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Outlast
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Mafia Definitive Edition
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Dead Space
Sunset Overdrive
Alan Wake
Far Cry 4
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Layers of Fear [22:03 vs 25:02]
State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Dead Rising 3
Medal of Honor: Airborne
Hitman: Blood Money
Red Faction Armageddon

References
 

Darsxx82

Member
BC for PS5 does improve loading just not as significantly as XSX BC.
The improvement in PS5 is only effect of the use of SSD. The same gain as if you use SSD in PS4Pro. That is, the BC on PS5 does not improve loading times.

In XSX the BC implements via software improvements in the loading times of all the Xbox BC games in addition to the improvement in AF, and HDR. All these no need for developer work.

that's why the differences are so great between the two in the loading times of BC games.
 

Darsxx82

Member
Except in the cases where it doesn't.
Like in these games:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Outlast
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Mafia Definitive Edition
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Dead Space
Sunset Overdrive
Alan Wake
Far Cry 4
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Layers of Fear [22:03 vs 25:02]
State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Dead Rising 3
Medal of Honor: Airborne
Hitman: Blood Money
Red Faction Armageddon

References
You have to install them on the SSD to benefit from the load time improvements
... I don't know if there is any list of games where it cannot be implemented. There are also BC games that do not support automatic HDR but that does not mean that it is a general sytem level improvement within BC software.
 
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But it is native? Otherwise this new version wouldn't have the loading improvements.

If it was the PS5 version it wouldn't have loading improvements. But the Series systems through BC can have them. That's why you only really get crazy fast load times on the PS5 when the game is native.
 
I'm fairly sure most people would consider 2s marginal. It's also reading less than a gigabyte from disk so it's not like it's maxing out any SSDs.

sure, loading times, across all are super fast, subjectively. But, by the stats, 45% is a pretty significant difference.

it’s like a loading time of 24 seconds versus 15 seconds. That’s a 45% difference too.
 

SlimySnake

Member
So basically the results are more of less identical to what we saw with the 60 FPS mod. PS5 performs better after the official patch too.

I am starting to become convinced that they extra CUs in the shader arrays are bandwidth starved somehow.

P.s utterly awful video from Tom. The voice over doesn’t match what’s on screen. The comparison scenes are different for both the ps5 and xsx. This is the third straight video where they have done this. Bring back Alex Baklava.
 

Hoddi

Member
sure, loading times, across all are super fast, subjectively. But, by the stats, 45% is a pretty significant difference.

it’s like a loading time of 24 seconds versus 15 seconds. That’s a 45% difference too.
I mean, sure. But I don't see how it's worth talking about 2s vs 4s.

I'm still impressed by the PS5 loading it in 2s because even my 9900k cannot manage that when loading it directly from RAM. But that's probably just Windows being Windows.
 

jeffyjaixx

Member
Damn, 30+ posts in and no TLDR?

All three consoles target 60fps. Other than loading times (which are much better than last-gen) and resolutions, all other graphical settings are the same as on last-gen.

PS5: Always full 4K, 2.65s to load a new game. Nearly always a locked 60fps except for some drops to the 50s during dragon battles.

Series X: Dynamic 4K, 4.22s to load a new game. Much like PS5 there are barely any framerate issues, barring small drops when facing dragons.

Series S: Dynamic 1440p, 4.77s to load a new game. Like on the other two consoles the bulk of play runs at a perfect 60fps, but again it can drop to the low 50s when pushed.
 
Damn, 30+ posts in and no TLDR?

All three consoles target 60fps. Other than loading times (which are much better than last-gen) and resolutions, all other graphical settings are the same as on last-gen.

PS5: Always full 4K, 2.65s to load a new game. Nearly always a locked 60fps except for some drops to the 50s during dragon battles.

Series X: Dynamic 4K, 4.22s to load a new game. Much like PS5 there are barely any framerate issues, barring small drops when facing dragons.

Series S: Dynamic 1440p, 4.77s to load a new game. Like on the other two consoles the bulk of play runs at a perfect 60fps, but again it can drop to the low 50s when pushed.

If anything I would look at this as proof on why a native app is important. There's definitely performance being left on the table with the Series consoles.
 

Hoddi

Member
If anything I would look at this as proof on why a native app is important. There's definitely performance being left on the table with the Series consoles.
Dunno, this game is clearly just GPU bound and switching APIs wouldn't do anything to change that. I think people put way too much stock into this 'native' paradigm like it's going to fix all their performance problems.
 
Dunno, this game is clearly just GPU bound and switching APIs wouldn't do anything to change that. I think people put way too much stock into this 'native' paradigm like it's going to fix all their performance problems.

I mean it already makes a difference with the PS5 and the same goes for the Series as well if it's a native App.

Now I'm not sure how big of a difference it makes though with the Series. With the PS5 I know some big differences happen with the load times for example.
 

Hoddi

Member
I mean it already makes a difference with the PS5 and the same goes for the Series as well if it's a native App.

Now I'm not sure how big of a difference it makes though with the Series. With the PS5 I know some big differences happen with the load times for example.
But in what way? People keep treating it like it's some magic bullet but I've yet to see how. It's basically become a loaded term where no one ever explains what the actual differences are.

There's otherwise nothing preventing a 'non-native' application from benefitting from faster SSD load times because that's only a matter of how the game is packaged. Squeenix brought FF7 load times down from 12s to 2s without even touching any of the accelerated hardware like the decompression blocks. There's a full article about it here.
 
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But in what way? People keep treating it like it's some magic bullet but I've yet to see how. It's basically become a loaded term where no one ever explains what the actual differences are.

There's otherwise nothing preventing a 'non-native' application from benefitting from faster SSD load times because that's only a matter of how the game is packaged. Squeenix brought FF7 load times down from 12s to 2s without even touching any of the accelerated hardware like the decompression blocks. There's a full article about it here.

I believe they did use the decompressor.

"And so, we integrated Oodle Texture [Compression], and by using it in combination with Oodle Kraken, we were able to achieve a smaller file size on the PS5 version, even taking the higher resolution textures into account. "

Can't imagine them using the CPU to do the work when they have that decompressor available to them. That definitely would help with the load times because if the data wasn't compressed it would only have a rate of 5.5 GB/s instead of over 9GB/s.
 

Mr Moose

Member
VGTech disagrees.
Stats
PS5 renders at a native resolution of 3840x2160.
Xbox Series X uses a dynamic resolution with the highest resolution found being 3840x2160 and the lowest resolution found being 2688x2160. Pixel counts at 2688x2160 seem to be rare and the resolution drops less often on Xbox Series X than on Xbox Series S.
Native 4k with 30 more frames dropped, ~42% higher res at times when those drops are happening on both.
 
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