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Almost one year after its launch, we've at long last gotten the first native 8K resolution game on the PlayStation 5. Players, hold onto your hats, because I will bet good money it's not the game you think it is.
In 2019, Shin'en Multimedia released The Touryst for the Nintendo Switch, an action-adventure featuring puzzles and minigames on a set of voxel style islands. In 2021, it's now the very first 8K resolution game on the PlayStation 5 thanks to its third release on the last-gen and new-gen consoles.
As per Digital Foundry's appraisal, the game renders at 4320p on the PlayStation 5 without any elastic trickery like temporal super-sampling or AI upscaling. However, there is a hitch in the formula in that the PlayStation 5 doesn't support 8K output via HDMI 2.1, so what's really happening is that every pixel in the 4K resolution is downsampled from four pixels to ensure that the 8K resolution is possible.
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The Touryst's art style lends itself rather conveniently to showing off the real effect of 8K resolution on the souped up console. Voxels are the three-dimensional cubes that make up a three-dimensional asset in the game, and so these clean edges allow our eyes to tell the difference between 4K and 8K easier than a more realistic art style. Digital Foundry also adds that shadows are crisper on the PlayStation 5 compared to the Xbox Series X and the depth of field is softer for a gentler contrast between areas of the level.
While the PlayStation 5 is certainly capable of 8K resolution in the future, the question remains on whether or not developers will take the time to accommodate this in their games. Consider the fact that the PlayStation 4 Pro was released four years ago and the number of games that are able to achieve 4K resolution is still low.
Televisions and screens that support 8K resolutions are extremely expensive and developers that aim to deliver an 8K game would need to cut corners somewhere else. It's one of the reasons why there are performance and resolution modes on the new-gen console. This is essentially a long way of saying enjoy the crispy crispness of The Touryst, because it'll likely be a long while til we get the second native 8K resolution game on the PlayStation 5.
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