New Doom 4K Update Patch for PS4 and Xbox One X Fails At UHD
Stephan Jukic – April 2, 2018
One of the best-selling games of all time has now gotten hellishly more detailed than ever before thanks to a recently unveiled March 29th “4K” graphics patch for the Xbox console game version of this demon-killing legend of awesome violence.
“Doom” developer id Software pushed out a 4K ultra HD update for the game and quite frankly, the resolution bump that you can expect from the new patch is more than impressive in terms of how it sharpens up the sheer nightmare details of all this legendary game’s hellish pseudo-alien monstrosities. However, now that the patch is out and a number of pro gamers have gotten a chance to give Doom for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X a spin with the update installed, it turns out that the promise of native 4K that was made prior to its release doesn’t quite live up to full expectations.
Instead, the game only manages a variable UHD resolution that depends on which version you play for which console and which only rarely hits full 4K UHD at 3840 x 2160.
The graphics bump applied particularly to players of Doom who like to do their space demon killing on either a Playation 4 Pro or an Xbox One X console, with 4K graphics being claimed for both gaming platforms. Previous to the patch, Doom for PS4 and Xbox was capped off at 1080p resolution, even though both consoles’ hardware specs support ultra HD. Now with the patch in effect, actual tested resolution has been shown to range between 1080p and 2560 x 1440 on the PlayStation 4 Pro version of the game and hover between 2688 x 1512 and 3072 x 2160 on the Xbox One X version of Doom. Only in the One X edition does gameplay rarely reach up to a full 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
To quote more concrete details from expert YouTube game reviewer VGTech, who had a good spin with the patched Doom:
“The PS4 Pro version uses a dynamic resolution with pixel counts ranging between 2133×1440 and 2560×1440. The most common resolution on PS4 Pro seems to be 2560×1440, but the resolution is often below this figure during demanding scenes. The PS4 Pro does downsample when outputting at 1080p.
The Xbox One X version uses a dynamic resolution with pixel counts ranging between 2688×1512 and 3840×2160. The Xbox One X rarely reaches a resolution of 3840×2160. The resolution on the Xbox One X varies a lot so it is difficult to get an average figure, but a common range during demanding scenes seems to be between 2688×1512 and 3072×2160.”
As for average frame rates –about which there was a fair bit of speculation right after the patch was announced by id Software—it turns out that they can actually reach a respectable 57 to 59 FPS with the above resolutions at work. Yes, these frame rates are lower than those that were the case before the patch came out, but this shouldn’t be a surprise since both consoles are now also hauling a big new load of resolution detail for the patched UHD Doom.
For those of you who might like a glimpse of just how good the 4K version of Doom looks, here’s a trailer for the patched edition. We recommend viewing it on a 4K display for the full effect.
And if you’d like to pick up your own copy of Doom for Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro, you can do so right here. It retails for a very reasonable $14.99 for Xbox and $22.99 for PS4.
On an odd additional note, while we doubt that any 4K TV and 4K console-owning fans of Doom really mind now that it’s finally here, this version of Doom originally came out all the way back in May of 2016. So those who were hoping for something like this have been waiting nearly two years for it. In a way it does make sense though. Id Software was almost certainly waiting to see consoles powerful enough to handle their planned 4K graphics updates emerge. These consoles, and most importantly the exceptionally powerful Xbox One X, only came out in 2017 for a wider consumer market.
What we and probably many of those gamers who own Xbox One X and PS4 Pro Consoles along with 4K HDR TVs or PCs are happy to see is that more and more games like the ever-popular Doom are moving over to 4K and HDR graphics updates. This is a trend that only really started to kick off in 2017 with the wider availability of 4K HDR TVs and the emergence of these powerhouse consoles, but now it’s in full swing. Microsoft in particular, along with its partners, is releasing a whole plethora of 4K ultra HD-enabled games that go under the title of being “Xbox One X-enhanced”. All of these can be played in 4K resolution, upscaled 4K resolution or at least in high dynamic range on the One X console and its predecessors to a more limited degree.
The same is the case for many new PlayStation 4 Pro games, though the PS4 Pro console barely supports native 4K gaming due to its somewhat weaker specs. The patched 4K version of Doom may not quite live up to the promise of full, consistent 4K resolution, but it still comes close enough to be a satisfactory continuation of a trend toward games that become increasingly playable in 4K across the board.