A cross-gen game has to make compromises somewhere.
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Horizon Forbidden West's game director Mathijs de Jonge recently spoke with Game Informer about all things Horizon. Part of the conversation focused on what cuts had to be made to the PlayStation 4 release of Horizon Forbidden West. As this is a cross-gen release from Sony, you knew that sacrifices had to be made somewhere for the previous gen.

He does say that "a lot of the development has taken place on the PlayStation 4" and that they are "ensuring that owners of that console have a great experience and the game will look fantastic on that console." However, he does freely admit that the power of the PlayStation 5 allows them to "go much further."

"Visually we can add a lot more detail. Graphically, the rendering technique for the underwater scenes is special for the PlayStation 5, it has extra details and extra systems, like the wave technique is better on that system.

"The lighting on Aloy on PlayStation 5 has much more definition. We use a special cinematic lighting rig, that on the PlayStation 4 is only used in cutscenes, because the game is not running and we have more processing power in those scenes. But with the PlayStation 5 we have plenty of processing power, so we can have that lighting rig always available, so she always looks great with that lighting setup travelling with her anywhere."
These graphical differences don't just stop at the eye candy either. The PlayStation 5 will also support a 60FPS Performance Mode in addition to the 30FPS Quality Mode. The PS5 release will also include 3D audio and support for Sony's DualSense controller.

You can see the interview, in full, in the video below.