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PS4 Pro Will Use Supersampling to Improve 1080p TV Experience

| November 1, 2016

PS4 Pro Will Use Supersampling to Improve 1080p TV Experience News  PS4 Pro Horizon: Zero Dawn

The announcement of the PS4 Pro was all about 4K and HDR. Unfortunately, only a minority of gamers currently own TVs that support these technologies, and even when they do, the PS4 Pro still will have trouble pushing those types of visuals for the biggest games. This left a lot of people wondering, what would the PS4 Pro do for those who still use a 1080p TV. Speculation ran wild, but now we have confirmation from the developer of Horizon: Zero Dawn that the PS4 Pro will have a number of tricks that will improve the 1080p TV experience. Of course, this is still up to the developer to implement, so it won’t happen in every game.

The biggest of these is supersampling, a technique where the image for the game is rendered at a higher resolution, usually at or near 4K, and is then shrunk down. This might seem pointless, but it is actually an extremely effective method of delivering higher quality visuals. As Michiel van der Leeuw, Technical Director for Guerrilla explained.

“This is a very high-quality anti-aliasing technique, which basically means we internally render at a higher resolution (close to 4K) before shrinking it down to the final 1080p resolution. As our internal calculations are done at a resolution much higher than 1080p, more detail survives before we shrink it down to 1080p, resulting in smoother edges — virtually no jaggies — and a more stable image.”

The PS4 Pro is brand new, launching in just over a week, and it seems that developers are still working out exactly what they can do with the increased horsepower. Michiel continued “we’re also looking at enhancing the quality of our shadow maps and increasing the quality of our anisotropic filtering. This is a technique which increases the quality of texture sampling, resulting in more detailed environment textures. We still have to tweak these elements of the 1080p output quality for the final game, but we have quite a bit of power yet to play with.”

Either way, it’s good to have some hard facts on how the PS4 Pro will improve the 1080p experience, as that is the one that most gamers are stuck with at the moment. Personally, I’ve pushed for improvements to the game’s framerate, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Horizon: Zero Dawn hits PS4 on February 28th, 2017. PS4 Pro arrives on November 10th, 2016.

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  • efnet

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out, kinda like the HDR fiasco
    After further testing the results are
    Ps4pro hdr 4.4.4 ( really good) i assume the scorpio will use the same
    Xbox one s 4.4.2
    Ps4 is actually lower than 4.4.1 which is what cell phone camrea uses …

    • Graeme Willy

      AMD calls this feature VSR, on PC, for the past two years(Virtual Super Resolution). It works great on 1080p. It will render from 1140p(2560×1440), and sample back down to 1920x1080p. It makes the game look much smoother. I used the feature back in 2007, too, for Guild Wars 2, an MMO, where in the video options, it was just called “Supersampling,” if I’m not mistaken.

  • Sexy Mcgee

    The problem is you waste a lot of the power on resolution for something that’s only really noticeably on foliage. And because you’re wasting a lot of power that starts to cut into frame rate as COD IW and Deus Ex have shown. One of them having practically no noticeable improvements to image quality. So basically they’re selling marketing jargon that’s really not worth the $400. Hopefully, they’ll realize before it’s too late that players want 1080p60, higher quality effects, better LOD, more detailed textures, etc.. And that they don’t want legacy games to be artificially spec locked.

    • Graeme Willy

      VSR doesn’t use that much performance. I’ve used it on low-ish end R7 370 card before and still ran games at 30+fps at 1080p. I did this because my card was not going to get anywhere near 60fps without turning all effects down/ off and running below(sub) 1080p. At most, VSR knocked me down maybe 3 frames(depending on game) on average… But this is the reason why Sony is leaving it to developers to choose how they use the extra power. Remember, too that the Pro is more than 2 times more powerful than the non-Pro…so, depending on the game, can have your cake and eat it, too. I agree, once you’re introduced to 60fps, it’s hard to go back, but depending on the game, an unlocked 30+ can feel smooth, too. Faster games like COD need higher frames. Games like Mass Effect and Tomb Raider can get away with an unlocked 30fps+.

      • Sexy Mcgee

        Actually, a lot has changed since I made that post. Sure resolution can eat in to performance but they’ve introduced dynamic resolution to IW which makes the performance much more solid than the preview material.

        Also, while in my above post I wrote off downsampling, after seeing it in action I don’t think I could give it up. It makes the image so much crisper, especially at farther distances. I’m spotting enemies now that I never would have spotted on the standard PS4.

  • Guest

    And the 2 trolls are here again. Efnet with his usual HDR bs even after being exposed.

    Anyway this sounds good. You don’t just need a 4K tv to enjoy the benefits of the PS4 pro.

    • Steven Hiller

      Allen is that you? Lol

      • Guest

        Nope it’s Guest. Can’t you read, Steven Liar?

        • Steven Hiller

          What rug have you been hiding under? ?

          • Guest

            I’m not sure what you’re talking about and honestly I don’t care.

    • Johnny J

      efnet also does that nonsense on dualshockers

  • crizz1066

    So many possibilities with the new power under the hood, looks likes there’s lots of possibilities. Can’t wait for my Pro Vr bundle :-)

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