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Street Fighter 5 input latency put to the test between PlayStation 5 and PS4

Spoilers: there's not a ton of difference

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • November 14, 2020 at 6:22 a.m. PST • Comments: 25

The PlayStation 5 is now one of the most powerful pieces of gaming hardware on the market, and while it can boost PS4 titles' performance in terms of frame rate and load times, what does that mean for latency?

Well, expert lag tester Nigel 'Noodalls' Woodall recently put the new console under the microscope to see how Street Fighter 5 performs compared to its predecessor with some fairly intriguing results.

After conducting over 2,500 test inputs with SF5 on PS5, Noodalls determined that Capcom's fighter appears to have an average input delay of 76.02 ms which equates to around 4.56 frames of lag.

In comparison, the game running on PS4 showed an average of 74.56 ms for delay 4.47 frames.

That difference may not look the best for Sony's new state-of-the-art next gen console at first glance, but there's a few different aspects to take into account as well.

The PS5 runs Street Fighter and other PS4 games through a legacy backwards compatibility mode that attempts to run titles pretty much the same as it would on the previous gen, just with a much more powerful GPU and faster storage. These games are not optimized to run on PS5 unless they've specifically received a patch to address that.

Street Fighter PS5 lag test image #1 Street Fighter PS5 lag test image #2
Click images for larger versions

Though it will require more testing, this very minor difference in latency may be quite common or even universal considering Woodall also performed a similar experiment with Megaman 11 which showed an increase on PS5 by around 2–3 ms.

Now, how much of a difference does that small gap make? It should be unrecognizable for players because 2 ms is imperceivably fast to the naked eye.

As shown above, that's only a difference of around .09 of an additional frame, so that should prove to be little concern especially when SF5 does see some of the other benefits of the PS5.

Street Fighter 5 does boot twice as fast on PS5 than it does on PS4 as well as offline modes plus the added horsepower means you should never have to worry about frame drops or consistency issues either.

Of course, neither of those latency numbers can fully compare to the game on PC which currently sits at around 3.19 frames of input lag.

Street Fighter 5 of course launched with the infamous 8 frames of lag that many players took issue with during Season 1 though Capcom has updated the game multiple times to lower that to where it is today with the last major one coming in late 2018.

The real test will come from how native PS5 titles perform which we should be getting our first taste of in a new days with Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate that'll allow us to compare both generations as well as PS5 vs. Xbox Series X.

For now though, PS5 is probably overall the better place to play SF5 if you don't have it on PC because the other benefits seem to greatly outweigh the additional .09 frames of delay that you'll probably have to trick yourself into feeling.

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