Cyberpunk 2077: the state of the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X / S

Cyberpunk 2077: the state of the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X / S

Cyberpunk 2077

The recent release of Cyberpunk 2077 update 1.23 has ensured significant improvements on PlayStation 4 consoles, enough to convince Sony to re-enter the game on the PlayStation Store. We have covered these versions in depth, but in the meantime we have also studied all the other console versions with this update. The conclusions? Patch 1.23 doesn't improve the frame-rate situation on base Xbox One and Xbox One X much. The story is different on next-gen consoles, however. According to the new roadmap written by CD Projekt Red, this patch should represent the last major revision before the arrival of the true "next-gen version" of the game. But a simple question remains: what is the current state of the title on PS5 and Xbox Series?

Before we focus on the state of the game on the Xbox Series X and PS5, which are essentially versions based on last-gen code that have some upgrades applied, it's worth focusing on the Xbox Series S: This console continues to provide a good experience for a car sold at its price. Of course, it doesn't offer a 60fps mode, and while its resolution target is 1440p, the game actually runs at 1080p most of the time. But of all the console versions, this is the one that holds 30fps best and suffers the least in our stability tests (a problem that typically plagues last-gen consoles). It may not be a perfect version, but at 30fps it proved to be the smoothest and most stable, keeping the highest NPC count in common with its big sister Series X. With patch 1.23, the Series S is in great shape.

The state of the game of Cyberpunk 2077 in version 1.23 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.

Watch on YouTube. Moving on to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, where the frame-rate is 60fps by default, it's time to ask the key questions again after all these updates. What's the best way to play Cyberpunk on consoles? Does the PS5 still offer the smoothest frame-rate? Are there any real graphics perks on Xbox Series? And what are the loading times like?

The Xbox Series X has an extra graphics mode, not even on PS5. This console offers a quality mode (30fps which prefers a higher resolution that travels between 1512p and 1728p) and a performance mode that runs at 60fps while sacrificing resolution (which travels between 1080p and 1296p). Again no change. The same goes for PS5, which has a single mode with variable resolution between 972p and 1200p. If, on the other hand, we focus on the 60fps performance mode compared to PS5, the Series X offers a small advantage in terms of the amount of pixels on the screen, even if this is not visible to the naked eye due to the massive use of post-processing and temporal anti-aliasing. The biggest advantage, however, is elsewhere, and lies in the number of NPCs.

Night City has always been advertised as a dense and full of life metropolis, from the Chinatown area, to the markets, to the lighting districts red. Even if we limit ourselves to naked eye comparisons, Series X's 60fps performance mode offers a Night City with more vibrant streets. The number of NPCs rises above instead only in quality mode at 30fps. But there's more to Xbox quality mode, such as ambient occlusion, but the number of NPCs remains the most noticeable differential factor. Unfortunately, being anchored to presets made for the PS4 Pro at the moment, the PS5 version is lagging behind the Series X version.

Our latest look at the PS4 version of Cyberpunk 2077 found tangible improvements to the last-gen version for PlayStation consoles, and the PS4 Pro version remains the best.

Watch on YouTube. All of this inevitably has an impact on performance. The PS5 remains first in the rankings by providing the most solid 60fps experience of all console versions. This doesn't mean that the Sony flagship has no uncertainty, but overall it's the platform to choose if you're aiming for a 60fps experience. Battles can drop the frame-rate into the 50fps sphere and even after so many patches there are dips during the driving sections as well. Where the PS5 is nailed to 60fps, the Xbox Series X drops dramatically. An example of this scenario is the Street Kid's shootout tutorial. From the next-gen version we'd like this upgrade first: a performance mode needs to be optimized to run fixed at 60fps, and that's without relying on VRR.

So if the Series X's 60fps mode is a bit disappointing, how does that quality perform at 30fps? You have a higher resolution, better graphics settings, and even more NPCs on the screen; in addition, the 30fps target is maintained in most cases. It's not perfect, as our video documenting dips in the 20fps sphere proves, but this mode remains the best for console quality purists. Night City is at its peak: great atmosphere, streets teeming with people, graphic quality, respectable resolution, make the quality mode on Series X a great way to enjoy this work. Patch 1.23 does not solve the problem of drops in fps, for those we hope for the true next-gen version.

Cyberpunk 2077 on PC with all ray tracing features enabled is a real show. Here's what RT puts on the plate.

Watch on YouTube. In the end we take care of the differences in loading times. Loading a save outside of Ripperdoc on all consoles, the first surprise is the Series X in performance mode which took just 12 seconds, then follows the Series X in quality mode which took 17 seconds, on a par with the Series S. After all, the Series shares the same number of NPCs, so a tie makes sense. Finally we have the PS5 with an infinite wait of 49 seconds. Sony's next-gen console has always had this problem with Cyberpunk 2077, a situation that is the result of the fact that being the game a PS4 app does not exploit the API of the SSD.

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According to the CD Projekt Red roadmap, patch 1.23 represents the last major revision before the 'next-gen' upgrade, expected in the second half of 2021. No doubt some optimizations will be vital, especially on Xbox consoles, but performance aside, graphics quality has remained relatively static with the arrival of the new consoles.

As things stand, there are a lot of changes in the Series X and PS5 versions , for several reasons. The PS5 version is strong on its solid 60fps performance, but the biblical load times and low NPC count are eye-catching spots. The developer must instead improve the performance on Series X. We are however curious to see how CDPR intends to take advantage of the new consoles for a new quality mode. Remember that the current version of the game runs under backward compatibility, so the high-efficiency features of the RDNA 2 architecture are not exploited, as well as other next-gen hardware features such as RT acceleration in hardware. We hope that the next-gen versions will definitely fix the bugs by making the game more attractive for those who have decided to wait rather than settle for a nasty and bug-ridden game.

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