Last week Bethesda and Tokyo Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo finally launched on Xbox Series X/S and many were naturally expecting this would be the best console version of the game. After all, Microsoft now owns Bethesda, so they’re going to want the XSX version of Ghostwire to stand out, right? Well, not so fast, Xbox owners. While they haven’t done a full analysis video yet, on the most recent episode of the Digital Foundry's DF Direct podcast, they touched on the Xbox version of Ghostwire: Tokyo, which seems to be worse than the PS5 version pretty much across the board.
Per Digital Foundry, performance is around 5 to 10 percent lower on Xbox Series X than it is on PS5, with the gap sometimes getting even larger (they show the game’s high-framerate VSync mode running at 90 to 100fps on PS5 and as low as 80fps on XSX). In terms of resolution, most modes are similar, but Quality mode does seem to have a lower resolution on XSX. Finally, ray tracing seems to be poorly implemented on XSX, with lower resolution reflections and RT shadow alignment issues. All these issues are further amplified on the Xbox Series S, which has no ray tracing and runs below 60fps in Performance mode.
So yeah, this is all a bit baffling, considering that a) Tango Gameworks is now a Microsoft first-party studio b) they presumably had a year to work on this port, and c) Tango recently released the technically-excellent Hi-Fi Rush on Xbox Series X/S, so it’s not like they don’t know their way around the hardware. Is this just a sloppily handled port? Or, putting on our conspiracy hats, did Microsoft intentionally half-ass the XSX version of Ghostwire as they try to get their purchase of Activision Blizzard approved and refute Sony’s argument that Xbox will get better versions of Call of Duty? The latter probably isn’t the case, but this really is an odd situation.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is available now on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5. You can get more details on the Spider’s Thread update that launched alongside the Xbox ports here. And here’s the lowdown on another extra gift Bethesda added with this update – Denuvo anti-tamper.