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, bringing with it specific upgrades to suit more of horsepower provided by the trio of new consoles. It’s not a complete next generation update as such – like Cyberpunk 2077, it’s just customizing the latest generation code to get higher frame rates from the new machines, and utilizing CPU specifically to give us a much closer lock to 60 frames per second .
The patch is also interesting in that Respawn Entertainment released patch notes that tell us almost everything we need to know about the technical improvements. Frame rate is increased across the board, finishing quality is improved and resolutions are increased. 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 features of Sony and Microsoft̵
The Xbox Series X looks set to get a more complete range of upgrades. Of the three consoles, it is the only one that retains both the quality and performance modes of the latest generation versions – and both are improved. Quality Mode targets 30 frames per second with a dynamic resolution window of 1512p to 2160p, providing the purest image quality and the highest consistency of all console versions – albeit at a slower frame rate. Performance mode aims at 60 frames per second, achieving it mostly with a dynamic resolution range of 1080p to 1440p.
Forced PlayStation 5 gets a single mode, targeting 60 frames per second and doing so at a locked 1200p with 1440p finishing buffers. It’s a more limited upgrade considering that standard backward compatibility on the existing latest generation code delivered 1080p, but the extra pixels and precision after processing is certainly welcome. Finally, there’s the Xbox Series S – it’s a major upgrade over the One S version, again targeting 60fps. No resolution calculations are given in the update notes, but we see a dynamic resolution window in the range 720p to 900p, which leans into Unreal Engine 4’s time upscaling to give the perception of a higher pixel count, most effectively in more static scenes.
These are the basic specifications of the patch, but how do they play? Well, the Fallen Order always had some issues regarding the streaming of assets, which caused hitching and stuttering. This is something that happened on all versions of the game, even on the PC version, and it is interesting to see that in the 60 fps modes there are still some problems here on all systems. To be clear, the overall performance of the game is relatively smooth at 60 frames per second, but hitching is most noticeable in traversal and sometimes 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, and if the strain is a problem for you, 30 fps quality mode clears 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 appears to be GPU-limited as well. There’s still a marked improvement over the unlocked frame rate of the performance modes found in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but it’s the least impressive upgrade of the gang.
Overall, though, this is an interesting upgrade that is well worth checking out, especially since the game is packaged with EA Play, and by extension, should be available to play on the Xbox Game Pass. While we are divided, we rather like the game, which combines some good production values with quality games and nuances of Metroid in how access to the different levels gradually opens up. The new update does not completely solve all the technical problems in the way we would like to see, but it is definitely the best way to experience Fallen Order on consoles, and we recommend checking it out.