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The long-awaited graphics breakdown for Slightly Mad Studios recently racing game for the Xbox One, PS4, PC and Wii U has finally gone live. The graphical comparison focuses on the frame-rate and performance quality of the Xbox One and PS4 version of Project CARS and the results shouldn't be too surprising to anyone who has kept up with the console war hardware debates.
Digital Foundry rolled out their typical comparison – it seemed a little less enthused than some of the previous breakdowns. There was less of a focus on the actual graphical differences and more of a comparison of the game's frame-rate discrepancy between both the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game.
They have a series of videos throughout the article, detailing how well both the Xbox One and PS4 perform when it comes to frame-rate and graphical settings. Right off the bat Thomas Morgan makes it known that some of Project CARS high-end graphical effects are not quite up to par on the Xbox One as they are on the PS4. This is in addition to the game running at 900p on the Xbox One compared to the game running at native 1920 x 1080p on the PS4. No letterbox bars this time around like The Order 1886.
It's also made apparent that the shadow resolution and weather effect density on the Xbox One version of the game is slightly lower than that of the PS4, but the PS4 version of the game does suffer from some slight artifact bending on the blur effects.
Moving on to one of the more important aspects of the comparison is the frame-rate tests. Even with the graphical edge on the Xbox One and running at a higher resolution, the PS4 managed to outperform its console rival with a higher and more consistent frame-rate than Microsoft's big black box. You can check out the video comparison below running with the cap at 20 cars on the career mode.
As you can see, the PS4 leads at times with a frame-rate gap of up to 10 frames per second compared to the Xbox One.
However, things take a drastic turn (for the worse) for both consoles when Digital Foundry bumps up car count to 45 with some heavy rain effects turned on. Both consoles struggle, averaging around 40fps at times but dipping into the mid and low 30s at others. Nevertheless, the PS4 still came out on top if only by a few frames in the single digits.
Project CARS also allows gamers to alter some of the post processing effects for players to improve performance on the home consoles and Digital Foundry used this feature to really push both consoles to their limits and back again. No matter what, even under the greatest strain, the PS4 still creeped out ahead in the frame-rate tests, as evidenced in the video below.
The previous benchmarks put the PS4 at synthetically outpacing the Xbox One by 50% in the GPU arena, but both consoles struggle desperately when it comes to CPU performance. Digital Foundry seemed to agree that the PS4's CPU is a possibly a definitive bottleneck this time around, and this was also backed up by various internal benchmarks, one of which was made public involving a Ubisoft test that showed that the Xbox One does have a slight edge over the PS4 when it comes to CPU capabilities due to the slight bump up in the clock rate.
In the end, the PC still comes out as king in regards to Project CARS' graphical capabilities. The PS4 comes in second, not quite being able to hit 60fps at a locked rate but variably so, and the Xbox One comes in third place in comparison to the PC and PS4, dipping well below 60fps more often than not. For those wondering, Slightly Mad Studios has already previously stated that they were aiming for a locked 30fps for the Wii U version of Project CARS.