Death Stranding performance analysis: PS4, PS4 Pro and the day one patch tested

November 8, 2019
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Last week, we published our detailed tech review of Death Stranding, focusing on the PlayStation 4 Pro version of the game. It’s fair to say that in terms of its technological achievements, this is indeed a defining benchmark for the current wave of console hardware – but at the tail-end of the generation, the base PS4 hardware has been pushed hard by many developers. Perhaps too hard. The question is, how does Death Stranding on the standard PlayStation 4 hold up?

We can put yours mind at rest. Based on the code we’ve had in our hands for a few weeks now, the answer is remarkably straightforward. Similar to its Decima Engine stablemate, Horizon Zero Dawn, the Kojima Productions debut offers a remarkable level of parity between base and enhanced consoles. The main factor of differentiation is indeed the native rendering resolution. There are few surprises here: Death Stranding operates at 1080p on the vanilla PS4, rising to a checkerboarded 2160p on the Pro.

Everything else about the game’s visual make-up is a lock between both systems, meaning that the entire Death Stranding experience is effectively feature-complete on vanilla hardware. Or to put it another way: everything we enjoyed about the game in our initial coverage applies equally across the PlayStation 4 family of consoles – and that extends to performance as well, where the latest patch 1.04 actually serves to improve the minor frame-rate dips we saw on the Pro during initial testing. By and large, both versions of the game run at 30 frames per second and where there are some dips, they seem to play out in much the same way. In fact, in very, very limited scenes, you may even see the standard PS4 marginally outperform the Pro.

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