Elden Ring: the last-gen analysis – can the older consoles still cut it?

The dust has settled after Elden Ring’s release and now there’s a moment to check out the last-gen versions – the state of PS4, Xbox One, Pro and One X, and fundamentally, to see if any of these consoles can deliver a decent experience. With current-gen console stocks thin on the ground, do you really need to upgrade? Bearing in mind the discourse surrounding Elden Ring performance, the prospects may not seem great but as it happens, of the four last-gen renditions available, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X aren’t bad, the base PS4 is acceptable – and it’s only Xbox One S that must be avoided.

That isn’t hyperbole: Elden Ring on the base Microsoft machine is a profoundly unsatisfying experience – the version with the heaviest compromises in both playability and visuals. We saw it during the network beta of course, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. Again, developer From Software uses several tricks to try squeeze base Xbox into a playable state, at a reduced 900p resolution and 30fps frame-rate. Just emerging to Limgrave, a low setting is used for environmental shadows. Grass density also uses the engine’s very lowest setting (seemingly lower than low on PC) and ultimately it makes Limgrave look barren, lacking any depth. Worse still, visual features such as ambient occlusion and shadows are significantly dialled back on the base console – leaving scenes with a low-cast sun with an unusually sparse appearance.

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