But the reality isn’t as great as it should be. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t great on Xbox One. Honestly, it’s less than great. It’s riddled with performance problems, server connection errors, and ultimately a rather overwhelming UI that does little to help enhance the experience. On PC and Android, the game is actually quite easy to navigate and the incentives for playing on both platforms are rather well rounded, offering their own unique experiences and enjoyable elements of interaction with the game’s interface itself. Granted, we need to be honest with ourselves, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds just doesn’t work on our current generation of consoles.
To reaffirm my point, we have to take several points of discussion into consideration before we truly get started. So let’s break them off into separate segments.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds can’t offer the experience players want from consoles. It’s a PC only ordeal.
Let’s face it. We all want those beautiful graphics, highly-detailed buildings, weapon attachments that reflect light, and the particle/weather effects that PC already has. We crave the very idea that we have the ability to have the same PC-like experience that PC players have experienced. Sure, the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X are powerful, they’re worthwhile consoles and both offer their own unique experiences. However, that’s crippled by the simple fact developers are constrained to developing games for both the standard versions of each console.
This means we won’t see a “PlayStation 4 Pro” or “Xbox One X” version of the games. We won’t get to see developers take full advantage of the hardware players choose to use due to the limitations of two sets of hardware within the same generation. While weather effects, higher framerates, and even more graphical prowess PUBG is capable of offering its fans with higher-end hardware. But the evidence is simple at this point, PUBG is graphically incapable of offering a 100-man contest of the fittest in its current state.
While Brenan Greene, PlayerUnknown himself did state the Xbox One X version has hit 60 frames with the current graphics in play, it may not end up there and we may be capped at 30 frames per second on Xbox One X. But take that in for a second. The Xbox One X is leaps ahead of its predecessor console and is significantly more powerful than the PlayStation 4 Pro (let’s not talk how Sony wins this battle with their exclusives). Take that into perspective and things begin to look a bit rougher for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on consoles.
So why do we want a subpar experience on consoles? This isn’t saying that Fortnite did it better, but the graphics put into place on Fortnite does play better with consoles and does so admirably. You don’t see framerate dips, ever, and it does run remarkably smooth across all platforms it has been made available for. Perhaps it’s time for PUBG Corp to consider that their push for high-end graphics (DigitalFoundry has a really good look at PUBG on PC vs Xbox) could be the problem and it may be time to scale down their graphics output on the Xbox family or reapproach their engine completely. Sadly, for standard Xbox One users, if you hook up a keyboard, hit the “O” key, you will notice something problematic – your copy is already on the LOWEST settings possible for the game.
After all, look at the games we already have that are fantastic looking and can process dozens of creatures in real time without a hitch (here’s to looking at you Horizon Zero Dawn). But for now, we should count this one out, the test run was good while it lasted, but sometimes, just sometimes, even with patches and updates, the reality needs to hit: the dual console limitation is hurting the games progress and isn’t playing out to benefit it at all, which will be the same on the PlayStation 4 family of consoles.
Hardware Limitations are absolutely real when it comes to consoles
Look, I know by now you’re shaking your head at me. Believe me, I would be too, but I play the game on consoles and PC and I can tell you now – console limitations exist. Just like previously, I stated why and I’ll reaffirm the point I made. The game is being developed for a subpar platform at this point. I love my Xbox One and I would love to have an Xbox One X, but my console of choice shouldn’t be holding back the millions of other people who did upgrade their consoles to the Xbox One X.
I know you’re going to say, “well the same can be said for PC players,” while only half true, it’s a not true to the fullest. PC users do have a lot of different PC specs to mess with as well as the ability to upgrade when they want, how they want to and what parts they want to upgrade. They can also tweak their games graphical settings, which allows them to have the upper hand and play how they prefer. Want fewer shadows on screen in order to put less strain on your GPU? Go ahead. Want less draw distance to put less strain on your CPU? Go for it. We can’t do that on consoles, it doesn’t work in our favor and it does cause problems.
Toss into the mix the fact we have both the Xbox One and the Xbox One X being the focused family of hardware and things get a bit more difficult. Gamers can’t tune the game to their preference and allow for the best performances possible. The downside here is evident, the old generation (The Xbox One and Xbox One S) are holding back the games ability to truly move forward and be the experience that gamers deserve.
The best option here? Give players a way to control the graphics on the game. Let them set the game to their preferences so that they can have the experience they are looking to have, even if it means dropping a major patch. Other than that? Sometimes we’ve got to cut our losses and this may be one of those losses that need to be cut, even if it means cutting out the older hardware and forcing users to only play on the Xbox One X and when it comes to PlayStation, the PlayStation 4 Pro.
I know at this point many of you are probably steaming from the ears, red in the face, and ready to call me a heathen, a scoundrel, and a PC fanboy. Let me make something clear: I’m not. I’m a console gamer at my core. I love console games, the communities I’ve become a part of. I spend an equal amount of time on Xbox One, PC, Switch, and even my Vita.
I enjoy the experiences that they all have to offer, but sometimes, just sometimes, things aren’t meant to be and one of those things just happens to be a great PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds experience on Xbox One and potentially, in the future, PlayStation 4. But at this time, it’s just not worth it and we aren’t going to see the performances we need with developers still focusing on two variants of the same generation.
If we want the best experience possible, Sony will need to consider dropping the PlayStation 4/Slim and focus on the Pro when the time comes, but for now, they’ll need to do the same for the Xbox family and consider having an Xbox One X only version so that fans with the One X can get the most out of their game. If it were me? I’d pull the plug, wait until next generation, wait to see what the hardware does and then go from there, but at this time? It just isn’t meant to be a console release.
All opinions are that of the writers and do not reflect upon Blast Away the Game Review as a whole. Find out more about our ethics policy here.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.