Originally this post was going to be a lot more detailed, explaining all about “Sony Lag” and detailing all the evidence of input lag problems in Street Fighter V in general, and specifically the PS4 version. However since I started drafting the article, the whole thing has blown up so big in the fighting game scene, that almost anyone with an interest in SFV can’t have failed to hear about it.
Just for the sake of it, here’s a collection of links about the issue anyway:
Probably the main thing to note is that, if you are playing on the PC version, you can reduce the input lag to a relatively normal fighting game level by either playing with V-Sync off, or making adjustments to the config file to force adaptive V-Sync, which will give you a half-way state between a decent display and reduced input lag. With high refresh rate gaming monitors, you should be able to get a tearing-free and low input lag combination – just as it should be by default really! But even doing nothing on the PC version, with a decent graphics card you will still get less input lag and a better looking game than on PS4.
However the issue here is the inferior version is still being used in tournaments of course, so if you’re playing in them, you’ll probably have to put up with the PS4 version anyway. As the game was partly backed by Sony finances, most ‘official’ Capcom tournaments don’t have the option of running the PC version of course, however there are already some big events, notably Wednesday Night Fights that are already running on PC. Despite being disparaged by some local ‘FGC’ folks for my views on this, I’ve predicted that, as time goes by, more and more tournaments will be run on PC. As e-sports becomes a bigger thing and SFV becomes more involved in it, all of the biggest gaming events in the world are already run on PC, so it just makes sense to move towards that over time for Street Fighter. Running on, or broadcasting onto, 4K displays and such like for large events will only be possible on PC, and these things are going to become more popular over time. I believe this is probably one of the reasons the game was released for PC simultaneously with the PS4 despite Sony’s financial backing. Time will tell of course if I’m right, but on the other hand, who knows what deals Capcom cut with Sony that might prevent a natural evolution for SFV events otherwise.
Before any accusation of “PC fanboy” here, I would personally much rather play most games on a console than on a PC, as you’ll know if you’re a long-time reader of Agoners; if there were any good consoles out, ones that don’t rip you off to play games online, (and that don’t use toddler toy icons instead of button names) but sadly there aren’t any right now. I am including the current state of Steam Machines in this assessment too, which were really disappointing for me, as on paper they could’ve been (and could still become) exactly what I would like best as a gaming machine.
One last, but most important thing that I’ve not seen brought up anywhere, which will be really interesting for Street Fighter V is what will happen when the PS4.5 “Neo” arrives. If this system doesn’t have the same input lag as the standard PS4, all of the “deal with it, this is the game” crew will look rather foolish, and the already dubious argument for using PS4 as a “single standard” for SFV will also completely evaporate. Hopefully Capcom can patch SFV to improve the input lag issue for all systems far sooner than we get to that point, but I’ve still got this feeling that it won’t be, but the PS4.5 Neo will manage to perform more like the PC version. One way or another we’ll find out anyway, in the lag of time…