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Digital Foundry : Nioh 2 on PS4/PS4 Pro - Three Performance Modes, Two Consoles Tested!

Evilms

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Dec 16, 2018
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Summary

The game offers three modes on both PS4 and PS4 Pro :

  • Action or High Framerate mode to target the 60fps.
  • The Movie mode in 30fps only.
  • Movie Unlocked mode with unlocked framerate 30~60fps.

All 3 modes use triple buffered v-sync.

PS4 Pro
  • In "Movie mode", the game is in 4K checkerboard rendering (1920x2160c), the CB solution used here is however of questionable quality with visible artifacts. But the biggest concern of this mode is the shadows in the interior surfaces, as soon as the specular lighting is intense the shadows appear in low resolution contrary to the rest of the image.
  • Another disadvantage with foliage that tends to flicker, DF thinks that a lower resolution in 1440p would have been a better choice than checkerboard rendering for better IQ.
  • The "movie unlocked mode" seems identical to the movie mode but with a dynamic resolution of 1512p (1920x1512?) and the same technical concerns.
  • The "action mode" is also in checkerboard rendering with a dynamic resolution of 1600x900~1920x1080 then upscaled to 4K, however many visual effects are downgraded (reduced realtime shadow quality, more pronounced aliasing, animations of some shadows disabled, geometric details decreased, remote textures appear blurred).
  • Whatever mode is chosen, cutscenes are locked at 30fps, as well as the game menus.

PS4 Fat/S
  • In "movie mode" the game runs in 1920x1080 at 30fps with the same anti-aliasing as on PS4 Pro.
  • In "movie unlocked mode" it's in dynamic resolution 900~1080 with the same graphic settings as the Pro version.
  • In "high framerate mode", even more aggressive dynamic resolution often running in 720p with the same visual effects mentioned above and which have been reduced.

Framerate

-PS4 Pro in "movie mode": rare drops with 30fps most of the time.
-PS4 Pro in "movie unlocked mode": targets 60fps but actually ranges between 37~52fps.
-PS4 Pro in "high framerate mode": it's not perfect but the game manages to maintain 60fps most of the time (some rare drops below 40fps can occur).

-PS4 Fat/S in "movie mode": 30fps most of the time and fewer drops than the Pro version.
-PS4 Fat/S in ''movie unlocked mode'': 30~50fps depending on the zones.
-PS4 Fat/S in "high framerate mode": this is the mode recommended by DF, often 60fps like the Pro but the drops are a bit more frequent especially during fights.
 
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Skyr

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Multiple performance modes is what every single game on console needs. Hope this will be more common on next gen.
 
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Armorian

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So IQ wise anything aside action mode on Pro* and native (30 fps) mode on PS4 looks like garbage?

* - Aside lower AF and shadow settings.

Edit: I'll wait for PC version, first Nioh is still wainting to be completed.
 
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chimpsteaks

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What about Movie Unlocked mode, but you go into the system settings and force 1080p on the Pro? Sounds like the way to go if you want higher framerates but don't want downgraded visuals
 

Hotspurr

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They should do a PC release.
Also letting Sony moneyhat this I think is a mistake for Team Ninja. It's a good return to form since the travesty that was Ninja gaiden 3 and that other cell shaded garbage, would have been nice to let more people enjoy it without console paywalls.
 

Aion002

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They should do a PC release.
Also letting Sony moneyhat this I think is a mistake for Team Ninja. It's a good return to form since the travesty that was Ninja gaiden 3 and that other cell shaded garbage, would have been nice to let more people enjoy it without console paywalls.
Without Sony this game wouldn't exist... Probably... Definitely not the way it is. Didn't you see how Koei is handling Dynasty Warriors and Dead or Alive?

Also, the game will be released on Pc eventually.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Hopefully by the time I buy it next year, a patch or two will clean up performance. The game doesn't look demanding at all.

60fps mode will be my preferred way to play. I'm already seeing build videos hitting YouTube. Definitely seems to be a worthy sequel that went beyond expectations, but the performance stuff is a bit disappointing.
 

Endless Fluff

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I geniunely believe that this game looks great, I thought the same about Nioh 1... the shadows and image quality are what drags it down a lot, though.
The "action mode" is also in checkerboard rendering with a dynamic resolution of 1600x900~1920x1080 then upscaled to 4K, however many visual effects are downgraded (reduced realtime shadow quality, more pronounced aliasing, animations of some shadows disabled, geometric details decreased, remote textures appear blurred).
Alex says: "Frame rate mode looks to run a normal uncheckerboarded 1920x1080p", I don't understand why he doesn't say native 1080p with dynamic res instead...., but the game does in no way use CBR in Action mode.

John also said that it's running at 1080p with a dynamic res and only mentions reconstruction similar to RDR2 (double width pixels) when he talks about Movie Mode in his analysis from the Beta.

To be honest I would've liked to see John do the final analysis for this.
They should do a PC release.
Also letting Sony moneyhat this I think is a mistake for Team Ninja. It's a good return to form since the travesty that was Ninja gaiden 3 and that other cell shaded garbage, would have been nice to let more people enjoy it without console paywalls.
According to Gamespot this will come out on PC in November.
 
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Omeggos

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Multiple performance modes is what every single game on console needs. Hope this will be more common on next gen.
Or advanced graphical customizations in the same way as pc would be nice. As DF says, why use the checkerboard settings with questionable AA when i could just set it to 1080-1440 for More consistent quality?
 

thelastword

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So many great games on PS4 recently and so many more to come...….In this case with Niah 2 just like the first, you choose how you should play, pick your poison...…..I'm happy there is another CB game tbh....
 

Blood Borne

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Summary

The game offers three modes on both PS4 and PS4 Pro :

  • Action or High Framerate mode to target the 60fps.
  • The Movie mode in 30fps only.
  • Movie Unlocked mode with unlocked framerate 30~60fps.
Thanks for the post.
PS4 Pro high frame rate for me.
 
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Hotspurr

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Without Sony this game wouldn't exist... Probably... Definitely not the way it is. Didn't you see how Koei is handling Dynasty Warriors and Dead or Alive?

Also, the game will be released on Pc eventually.

I agree about the first game, and thought it was successful enough that they could do a multi-platform simultaneous release. My guess is they had a deal with Sony that spanned several sequels or some other rights.
Yeah there will hopefully be a PC release as with the first game, I'm just impatient.

EDIT: technically I have an OG PS4 but want to play it with decent fidelity/framerate
 
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Armorian

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So many great games on PS4 recently and so many more to come...….In this case with Niah 2 just like the first, you choose how you should play, pick your poison...…..I'm happy there is another CB game tbh....

CB implementation looks like shit in this title so it's not doing any good marketing for this technique. I hope it dies next gen and something similar to DLSS 2.0 will become common.
 

Neofire

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They should do a PC release.
Also letting Sony moneyhat this I think is a mistake for Team Ninja. It's a good return to form since the travesty that was Ninja gaiden 3 and that other cell shaded garbage, would have been nice to let more people enjoy it without console paywalls.
What? Lol Sony help create the game, I swear pc fans are the worse for no reason. The game will release for pc in November, Sony already stated that. Good lord, I am thankful for console gaming because the pc base are so entitled, everything has to be 60+ FPS or its "bad" or "looks terrible". Cut it out people.
 

Hotspurr

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What? Lol Sony help create the game, I swear pc fans are the worse for no reason. The game will release for pc in November, Sony already stated that. Good lord, I am thankful for console gaming because the pc base are so entitled, everything has to be 60+ FPS or its "bad" or "looks terrible". Cut it out people.

I guess you may not play fast paced action games often, but 60 fps makes a dramatic difference. Also, Ni Oh 1 wasn't a looker on PS4 already, so I would say PS4 Pro would be the way to go for this one. There is no need to be a console vs. PC fanboy. PC players just have more money to upgrade while console players just like the simplicity of the setups and cheaper cost. If anything the resentment behind console vs PC is more of a class divide than a "gamer" divide (they both play the same damn games and you can get a controller and a connection to a TV for either). I would also recommend you familiarize yourself with the role of a publisher vs. developer when it comes to "creating" a game. At the end of the day it's just a shame more Xbox fans won't get to experience this and promote the genre (I don't have a horse in the game, I just don't like throwing money around on different machines that all essentially do the same thing).
 
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Lame. Ill hold off then and wait to see how the possible pc port fairs.

When the PS3 was capable of running GTAV the way it did and yet Nioh 1 struggled on ps4 and now Nioh 2 looks barely better if at all, yet still suffers from next to no optimizations. Why go to so much effort to create these awesome games and not focus on performance.

If games like this next gen are not locked at a min of 60 fps at 1440p, then itll be an auto pass from me regardless of how good they play or look. Enoughs enough.


Whats the bet this is BC with the PS5 and suddenly performs stupid amounts better.
 
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Zefah

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Seems pretty similar to the first game, which played and look quite good on a PS4 Pro and 4K TV.

I'm still going to wait for the PC version this time around, but the positive buzz around the game is making it tough!
 
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So with the PS4 Base and the PS4 Pro having the exact same settings turned down for Action mode, other than a very slight resolution bump, the Pro gets no benefit from being the more powerful of the two?

Oh well, heres hoping GoT doesnt suffer from the same performance issues. Ill wait for that to get my console samurai fix and in the mean time redownload Nioh 1 for PC.


One other thing, is this the first console gen where games have not got significantly better looking towards the end of life of a console gen?
 
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Neofire

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I guess you may not play fast paced action games often, but 60 fps makes a dramatic difference. Also, Ni Oh 1 wasn't a looker on PS4 already, so I would say PS4 Pro would be the way to go for this one. There is no need to be a console vs. PC fanboy. PC players just have more money to upgrade while console players just like the simplicity of the setups and cheaper cost. If anything the resentment behind console vs PC is more of a class divide than a "gamer" divide (they both play the same damn games and you can get a controller and a connection to a TV for either). I would also recommend you familiarize yourself with the role of a publisher vs. developer when it comes to "creating" a game. At the end of the day it's just a shame more Xbox fans won't get to experience this and promote the genre (I don't have a horse in the game, I just don't like throwing money around on different machines that all essentially do the same thing).
I didn't bring up pc vs console, I commented on your insinuation that this game "needs" a PC release because the ps4 version has something wrong with it. Which is far from the fact.

Also I do not need to familiarize my self with the definition of "create" which is the word I used, not publisher. To bring something into existence directly, indirectly or both is what Sony did, from a monetary standpoint and with SIE Japan Studios helping with the music in the game.

If all Sony did was "publish" Microsoft could easily get another publisher to bring it to Xbox but here we are and it has yet to happen but I digress.

Just admire the game, when it comes to the pc it will. No need to take away from the experience that people enjoy and the form it's in on the ps4.
 

Clear

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Really have zero issues with the way the game looks and plays.

Frame-rate's good, and holds up well in multi-player, which is surprising given the amount of stuff that can be going on.
Its a good-looking game, not the best looking thing out there, but then again not everyone is trying to be the absolute pinnacle of visual splendor, same way that most console devs don't target 60fps.
 
Feb 17, 2020
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I didn't bring up pc vs console, I commented on your insinuation that this game "needs" a PC release because the ps4 version has something wrong with it. Which is far from the fact.

Also I do not need to familiarize my self with the definition of "create" which is the word I used, not publisher. To bring something into existence directly, indirectly or both is what Sony did, from a monetary standpoint and with SIE Japan Studios helping with the music in the game.

If all Sony did was "publish" Microsoft could easily get another publisher to bring it to Xbox but here we are and it has yet to happen but I digress.

Just admire the game, when it comes to the pc it will. No need to take away from the experience that people enjoy and the form it's in on the ps4.

Woah there charlie horse. No one is taking away your enjoyment of the game except yourself simply because you cant accept that it has flaws. Pointing out these flaws is not hate. If you like these games so such, then doesnt it makes sense in wanting them to be improved?

That is plain wrong. We have video evidence and first person accounts that prove that there is a very inconstant framerate which doesnt make sense looking at the visuals. Given that its a game that requires precise timing and skill, as DF pointed out, there are issues with input delay and framepacing, this is just ridiculous at this point. This entire genre suffers from this issue yet are some of the most technically underwhelming looking games outside of art design.

This entire generation has been just like the last that has featured some of the best and most challenging games which have also been some of the worst performing titles released. No one is being PC Master race when they're preferring to wait for a better performing version or calling out the devs for lack of optimization, its just out sheer frustration that something that clearly has had so much time and effort put into it (and free from all the politics and sjw wankery) just happens to be time and time again, such poorly optimized games. It may not seem like it to a console only gamer, but with multiplatform gamers, specifically PC, they inherently have more of a pool of knowledge and experience to draw from in terms of what a game and its visuals are doing vs the performance expected from those visuals, It simply comes with the territory of understanding how to setup a pc, buying the right gear and what to expect from it. Its not snobbery or Master race, its basic math.



Besides, all we ever hear from these console manufactures and devs is power this and power that. They need to either shut up or put up.
 

DoctaThompson

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Woah there charlie horse. No one is taking away your enjoyment of the game except yourself simply because you cant accept that it has flaws. Pointing out these flaws is not hate. If you like these games so such, then doesnt it makes sense in wanting them to be improved?

That is plain wrong. We have video evidence and first person accounts that prove that there is a very inconstant framerate which doesnt make sense looking at the visuals. Given that its a game that requires precise timing and skill, as DF pointed out, there are issues with input delay and framepacing, this is just ridiculous at this point. This entire genre suffers from this issue yet are some of the most technically underwhelming looking games outside of art design.

This entire generation has been just like the last that has featured some of the best and most challenging games which have also been some of the worst performing titles released. No one is being PC Master race when they're preferring to wait for a better performing version or calling out the devs for lack of optimization, its just out sheer frustration that something that clearly has had so much time and effort put into it (and free from all the politics and sjw wankery) just happens to be time and time again, such poorly optimized games. It may not seem like it to a console only gamer, but with multiplatform gamers, specifically PC, they inherently have more of a pool of knowledge and experience to draw from in terms of what a game and its visuals are doing vs the performance expected from those visuals, It simply comes with the territory of understanding how to setup a pc, buying the right gear and what to expect from it. Its not snobbery or Master race, its basic math.



Besides, all we ever hear from these console manufactures and devs is power this and power that. They need to either shut up or put up.
I mean, who hates on ps3 or Xbox 360 ports to next gen consoles? Nioh 2 plays like an old gen game on current hardware. Why hate on the fact that this game can be played on next gen hardware, with better framerate, resolution, and quality on pc? People are getting too possessive over their purchases of current gen consoles when they can't reach or exceed expectations. This is why MS and Sony are porting games to better hardware, as a showcase of how the game SHOULD BE PLAYED.
 
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Seriously, we are at a point now that people are not buying day 1 despite that well known rush of buy something brand new and are instead opting to wait for almost a year of their life span for a better version of a toy. Thats were we're at. You cannot call those people haters when theyre so dedicated to the point that theyll wait for months to play a new game a year later on better hardware.

Those people are your most loyal fans and I think it says a lot when even they dont buy into your bullshit day one anymore or put up with these laggy low res releases.

Granted, I dont think its as bad as the DF video makes it out to be. Im sure DF videos just highlight the worst case scenarios and not what is the 99% of the time experience. If it were such a massive issue, I dont think TheDuskwalker TheDuskwalker would be able to do this - Look at that dodge roll through the legs.:
 
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Dante83

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Having put a lot of time into both Nioh games, I don't see any big graphical hurdles that force the game to run at 720p on base ps4 for action mode. I think its more of an engine limitation than a system limitation. I have seen more graphically demanding games on base ps4 at 1080p/60 fps than this.
 
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DoctaThompson

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Having put a lot of time into both Nioh games, I don't see any big graphical hurdles that force the game to run at 720p on base ps4 for action mode. I think its more of an engine limitation than a system limitation. I have seen more graphically demanding games on base ps4 at 1080p/60 fps than this.
Although the optimization could be better on base consoles, it is a hardware limitation. Jaguar cpu is a bad cpu from the time it was introduced in consoles.
 

Neofire

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Really have zero issues with the way the game looks and plays.

Frame-rate's good, and holds up well in multi-player, which is surprising given the amount of stuff that can be going on.
Its a good-looking game, not the best looking thing out there, but then again not everyone is trying to be the absolute pinnacle of visual splendor, same way that most console devs don't target 60fps.
Exactly, most are enjoying the game no problem but some want to make it seem like a vs thread because of no 60fps and its not native 4k.


If those individuals do not like the ps4 version then wait on PC version and a OT for that and spare us the rhetoric.
 
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Exactly, most are enjoying the game no problem but some want to make it seem like a vs thread because of no 60fps and its not native 4k.


If those individuals do not like the ps4 version then wait on PC version and a OT for that and spare us the rhetoric.

This is the DF topic, not the PS4 OT. Naturally people are going to talk about performance as that is the point of this thread.

Heres the PS4 OT: https://www.neogaf.com/threads/nioh-2-ot-yippee-ki-yokai-or-die-hard.1530852/page-2

Though do bare in mind, some people may still criticize the gameplay, so prepare to die.
 
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Neofire

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Aidah

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It's cool it has multiple modes, but I think I'll just wait for the PC mode this time around.

However, If you're playing it now in action mode then I'm sure you're having fun.
 

Neofire

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I wonder if Sony is going to enable cross-play since the player base will be bifurcated 🤔 I noticed they didn't do it for the first iteration.