I’m changing the Inside Ty’s Mind segment up a bit this time around. Rather than go on about multiple subjects in a single article, I figured I’d focus this entire thing on Mass Effect. This also isn’t really an opinion piece, but the subject is still something that’s been on my mind, especially with all of the articles popping up regarding the PS5 version of this game. But anyway, here’s the article.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is coming out tomorrow, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited! I never got to finish the original trilogy, despite buying it on the OG Xbox 360 back in the day. But now that Mass Effect’s trilogy is getting remastered for modern platforms, I’ll get to experience everything with higher frame rates, higher resolutions, and an overall graphical boost!
Except, for one minor caveat; frame rate. The PlayStation 5 version runs at only 60 fps, whereas the Xbox Series X version runs at 120 fps. For all of you that aren’t familiar with how math works, that’s literally double the frame rate!
So, what gives? Is the PlayStation 5 super weak or something? Why would this game perform twice as well on the Series X? Turns out, the answer is actually pretty simple, if not a bit disappointing.
The PS5 version doesn’t exist
Yup, you’ve read that right. The PS5 version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition doesn’t actually exist. Instead, you’re running the PS4 Pro version through backwards compatibility. That is why the performance is nearly identical between the PS4 Pro and the PS5.
As shown in the image above, taken from EA’s official website detailing the performance of each version, the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 5 versions run at identical resolution settings, with the only difference being frame rate in Quality Mode. This, to my understanding, would make Framerate mode effectively useless, as not only would you be downgrading the resolution rather significantly, you would also potentially end up running the game at a lower graphical preset, which is usually how this stuff typically works. Except, in this particular case, there’s seemingly no actual benefit in doing so, as the game will run at 60 fps no matter which mode you select.
On the other hand, the Xbox Series X|S is essentially just a beefed up Xbox One, with vastly superior hardware. Microsoft opted for a more subtle approach to what defines a typical console generation, and built their newer boxes with the same core as the old. This makes it so developers can put out a single game, and simply optimize it across four separate unified environments. The result, is one single game running with four different graphic and performance configs, thoroughly tested and optimized on each box to ensure the best experience possible on the hardware provided. (Xbox One, One X, Series S, and Series X, for those curious)
The PS5, for better or for worse, is a more traditional next generation console. Games must be ported specifically to the PS5, with older titles running through backwards compatibility. Sort of like a virtual PS4 Pro running within the PS5. While some minor performance gains may occur, it is ultimately a last generation game running through a form of emulation.
But alas, that’s just the way it is. A proper PS5 version simply does not exist. And I’m okay with that.
Perhaps one day, a full and proper next generation version of Mass Effect Legendary Edition will make its way onto the PS5. But at least for today, or for the foreseeable future, we’re just going to have to be happy with a last gen game running on a next gen system.
Inside Ty’s Mind is a segment hosted by Ty Harvey, our editor-in-chief. Do you still plan on buying Mass Effect? Are you upset that the game doesn’t run as well on the PS5 as it does on the competition? Let us know what you think in the comments!