Everything you need to know about PS5 and Xbox Series console upgrades
Wow, it came out of nowhere! A few days ago, Respawn Entertainment surprised us by releasing a next-generation patch for its impressive Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and bringing with it specific upgrades that fit into more of the horsepower provided by the trio of new consoles. It’s not a complete next generation patch as such – similar to Cyberpunk 2077, it’s just fine-tuning the last generation code to get higher frame rates from the new machines, which in particular uses the CPU to give us a much closer lock to 60 images per second.
The patch is also interesting because Respawn Entertainment released patch notes that tell us almost everything we need to know about the technical improvements. Image speeds increase across the board, finishing quality improves, and resolutions increase. The actual range of upgrades actually varies from machine to machine for reasons that are not entirely clear, but we expect this to have something to do with the capabilities of Sony and Microsoft̵
The Xbox Series X looks to have the more fully-featured range of upgrades. Of the three consoles, it is the only one that retains both quality and performance in the latest generation versions – and both are improved. Quality mode targets 30 fps with a dynamic resolution window of 1512p to 2160p, delivering the purest image quality and the highest consistency in any console version – albeit with a lower frame rate cap. Its performance mode aims at 60 fps and achieves it mostly with a dynamic resolution of 1080p to 1440p.
Forcibly, the PlayStation 5 gets a single mode that targets 60 fps and does so at a locked 1200p with 1440p finishing buffers. It’s a more limited upgrade, taking into account that standard backwards compatibility on the existing last generation code delivered 1080p, but the extra pixel count and finishing precision are certainly welcome. Finally, there’s the Xbox Series S – a huge upgrade over the One S version, which again targets 60 fps. There are no resolution measurements in the patch notes, but we see a dynamic resolution window in the range of 720p to 900p that leans into Unreal Engine 4’s temporal upscaling to give the perception of a higher pixel count, most effectively in more static scenes.
These are the basic specifications for the patch, but how do they play? Well, Fallen Order always had some issues in terms of streaming assets, which caused hitching and strain. This is something that happened in all versions of the game, even on the PC version, and it is interesting to see that in 60fps modes there are still some issues here on all systems. To be clear, the overall performance of the game is relatively consistent at 60 fps, but hitching is most visible in traversal and occasionally in cutscenes. PlayStation 5 seems to be a touch smoother in general, but all versions show the problem. For its part, Series X is capable of delivering the highest resolution graphics, and if the strain is a problem for you, 30fps quality mode cleans most of it. As for the Xbox Series S, it’s the least stable rendition of the game – in addition to the streaming challenges, it has areas where it also appears to be GPU-limited. It’s still a marked improvement over the unlocked frame rate for the performance features found in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but it’s the least impressive upgrade of the pack.
Overall, though, this is an interesting upgrade that is worth checking out, especially since the game is packed with EA Play and therefore by extension should be available to play on the Xbox Game Pass. While we are divisive, we like the game, which combines some great production values with quality games and nuances of Metroid in how access to the different levels gradually opens up. The new patch does not completely solve all the technical issues in the way we would like to see, but it is certainly the best way to experience Fallen Order on consoles, and we recommend checking it out.