New Horizon Forbidden West Details Reveals Differences Between PS4 and PS5 Versions

More questions about Horizon Forbidden West emerged following the game's State of Play event, and thanks to some post-event interviews and insights with Guerrilla Games, we now know more about the new Horizon game. One of the areas people especially wanted to know more about was how the game would differ between the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 versions given that the game is still planned for both consoles. We don't yet have an exhaustive list of every difference between the two versions of the game, but we have a start.

Mathijs de Jonge, the game director working on Horizon Forbidden West, spoke with Game Informer about the game recently to talk about everything from abilities to the release window and more. Part of that discussion turned to the differences between the PlayStation consoles. The game director said playtesting was being done on the PlayStation 4 to ensure people had a "great experience" there in case they hadn't upgraded yet, but the PlayStation 5 will of course have an advantage over the older console.

"A lot of the development has taken place on the PlayStation 4, and a lot of playtesting is also done on PlayStation 4, so we are ensuring that owners of that console have a great experience and that the game will look fantastic on that console," de Jonge said about the PlayStation 4 version. "For the PlayStation 5, we can go much further of course visually. We can add a lot more detail graphically."

Speaking more specifically about some of the changes between the consoles, de Jonge said those on the PlayStation 5 will notice improved lighting during not only the cutscenes but during normal gameplay, too. He said the team used a special lighting rig on Aloy that's present to an extend on the PlayStation 4, but only during cutscenes due to limitations of processing power. For the PlayStation 5 version, that lighting rig can be active all the time to improve the game's lighting and Aloy's appearance. He also highlighted the underwater scenes as ones that'll be more appealing on the PlayStation 5.

There's also the DualSense controller, a more obvious advantage the newer console has. Guerrilla Games has talked about its DualSense implementations previously and said again that we'd see things like haptic feedback used along with adaptive trigger resistance when using things like Aloy's bow.


For those wondering about framerates, a separate interview with HardwareZone cleared up some of those questions. Gameplay from the State of Play was shown at a 4K resolution and 30FPS, but that only represented the Quality Mode settings. There will also be a Performance Mode option that hits 60FPS, but it wasn't said what resolution the game would run at with that enabled.

Horizon Forbidden West does not yet have a release date but is still supposed to launch sometime in 2021.