Cyberpunk 2077, the analysis on Xbox One S and Xbox Series S.

Cyberpunk 2077, the analysis on Xbox One S and Xbox Series S.
Cyberpunk 2077 does not run well on PS4 and Xbox One, this is now well established. CD Projekt RED's title manages to be as impactful and extraordinary on PC as it is shaky and problematic on previous generation platforms. A difference that many expected, after all we are still talking about a very ambitious project on a technical level, but which few imagined would be so marked.

Thus, while the actions of the Polish studio feel the blow, reflecting in eloquently the current disappointment of console users, who may have lost all the esteem they had towards the team author of The Witcher, let's try to understand how things actually are. After the technical analysis of the PlayStation versions, here's how Cyberpunk 2077 behaves on Xbox One S and Xbox Series S.

Xbox One S

If there's one thing you notice since immediately is that Cyberpunk 2077 makes a great effort to run on Xbox One S. The base model of the former Microsoft flagship stands as the least performing platform among those on which the game is available, so some big compromises were to be expected , but something obviously went wrong in the optimization phase.

Let's try to explain: when you adapt a game to a specific hardware, you set yourself a target in terms of performance and therefore proceed to lighten the load computational so that this target is respected as frequently as possible. This naturally means lowering the resolution, the quality of textures and effects, the overall level of detail and so on, until the desired result is achieved.

When you see a title with a perfectly consistent frame rate, in reality the hardware resources available to the developers would have allowed it to run even faster in most situations, i.e. there is a performance surplus that it is hidden, often using vertical synchrony as a stabilizer. But when you see a game where dips occur, a different choice has been made: accepting the occasional uncertainty in order to maintain greater visual quality.

As we said, something went wrong on Xbox One S because, despite a resolution that drops below 720p bringing with it an evident load of reconstruction artifacts, a large amount of poorly defined textures and a substantially lower overall visual quality than seen on PC, the frame rate is expected to be around 20-23 frames during the quietest and most trivial situations, for example during the very first sequences in the bar or when we are in our apartment.

As you can imagine, if in the static and quiet phases the game performances are these, when the situation begins to move the frame rate drops dangerously towards 15-17 fps and consequently also the gameplay goes to be blessed, since it becomes almost impossible m irradiate and shoot where automatic target locking is renounced; or even simply driving without the scenario shooting conspicuously, loading the textures in timely delay.

The feeling is that of being in front of a latest generation PC game that we are trying to run on a laptop with integrated video card. All presets are set to the minimum, as is the resolution, but despite this the resulting experience is unequivocally compromised. That said, we didn't experience any crashes (which seem frequent on PlayStation instead) and we thought loads would be slower, while it takes around 55 seconds to get into the game after selecting a save. It could have been much worse.

Xbox Series S

While remaining within the scope of backwards compatibility and thus referring to the version designed for the previous generation consoles (whatever that means at this point) , Xbox Series S represents in many ways an excellent compromise for those who want to play with Cyberpunk 2077. Starting with the uploads, which thanks to the NVMe M.2 SSD of Microsoft's next-gen inexpensive console require only 15 seconds to take us in-game after selecting a save, compared to about 20 for PS5.

The comparison with the new Sony platform was not done by chance. As you certainly know, if you've read our analysis of the PlayStation versions of Cyberpunk 2077, the CD Projekt RED title runs on PS5 at 60fps but with a resolution that apparently doesn't go beyond 1080p. Well, on the Xbox Series S the frame rate is locked at 30 frames, very stable, but the dynamic resolution reaches a peak of 1296p.

Considering the price of the small Microsoft console, it is clear that such results are surprising and we're really curious to see how Series S will perform when the next-gen upgrade finally arrives, which on paper should bring next-generation platforms closer to what is possible today on high-end PCs.

However, it should be noted that, at present, Cyberpunk 2077 runs on Xbox Series S exactly as it should, in an ideal world, on Xbox One S: with sharp graphics at 1080p or so, with a fairly dense open world with a stable frame rate. There is (yet) nothing next-gen in this conversion and it is good to keep this in mind wherever you want to experience the best of its possibilities.

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