Correction: This article originally incorrectly stated that Xbox Series X|S do not have 3D audio. They do, in the form of Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos.
Yes, Resident Evil Village isn't just on the PS5. It's also on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. That said, having navigated the winding castle corridors, poorly lit structures and fought off hordes of lycans, vampires and various other monstrosities, I can say that I'm more than happy I played Resident Evil Village on the PS5.
Of course, this creates kind of a big problem for many out there who want the best version of Resident Evil Village possible. As you likely know, the battle of supply and demand is currently lopsided, with the latter crushing the former due to chip shortages. When I won the PS5 restock fight, it was through a lot of time and hard work — and good fortune.
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Oh, and while I wrote our Resident Evil Village review, this isn't just my opinion. My colleague Denise Primbet played Resident Evil Village on both the PS4 and PS5, and she said "I 100% agree that Village runs a lot better on PS5." So, let's break down why the best new game deserves one of the hardest-to-find consoles.
You should hear Resident Evil Village on the PS5
At first, I only thought Resident Evil Village would look better on the PS5 than the PS4. The newer console's power, we all know, is just miles ahead of what the previous-gen PS4 offers. But after I played a little bit of RE8, I realized that Ethan Winters' terrible European vacation was superior on the PS5 because it sounds fantastic there.
That's because of the PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech, which enables dimensional and spatial sound — that said the Xbox Series X|S both have spatial audio, via Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic. I didn't foresee the PS5's 3D audio to be a huge difference-maker because my previous experiences with 3D audio — with AirPods Pro and Apple TV Plus — were a bit gimmicky.
But once I attached my headset to my PS5 controller's headphone jack (you don't need Sony's specific 3D Pulse headset), I realized that Resident Evil Village truly comes to life with this more intimate audio. I had a lot of trouble at the end of my time in Castle Dimitrescu, when both Lady Dimitrescu and her daughter Daniela were chasing me. It took me forever to figure out where to go, and only with my headphones on could I get a better sense where one of these tormentors was going to be sneaking up from me from out of my vantage point.
This value amped up later on in the game, when Ethan was getting attacked from all angles. Flaming arrows rained down from above, lycans looking to bite a chunk or five out of Ethan's neck pounced on him from behind and I was just having trouble keeping track. And that's when I remembered to plug in my headphones. Using the audio cues, I was better able to know when a threat was growling close enough to be a problem, so I could turn around just in time.
Also, you'll be able to hear Resident Evil Village more easily when playing it on the PS5 than on the PS4. As anyone who's played demanding titles such as The Last of Us Part II on the PS4 knows, that console can get awfully loud. My coworker Denise Primbet confirmed that Resident Evil Village has the same effect, saying that her PS4 got "super loud," when playing.
Does Resident Evil Village always look better on the PS5?
Two of my colleagues have told me that the PS4 versions of the game just don't look as good either. Denise, who played it on both PS5 and PS4, said "I noticed that the wolf’s fur was almost transparent. Maybe the PS4 couldn’t handle the graphics?”
There is one exception to the PS5's dominance. The folks at Digital Foundry (opens in new tab) dug into the differences between the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and found that ray tracing (which is enabled by default) and I had kept on, had slight dips in performance — when compared to the Xbox Series X — in the third lord's area.
This is a water-heavy space, so there's a lot of reflection happening, which leads to ever-so-slight dips. The PS5's framerate goes as low as 46 frames per second, while the Xbox Series X (at 53 fps) was closer to the 60 fps standard at that same moment.
That said, having played that level multiple times (for the fun of it all), I don't think it's a huge deal.
Resident Evil Village also feels better on PS5
I first felt the inventiveness of the PS5 DualSense controller's adaptive triggers when I toyed around with Astro's Playroom. The freebie PS5 game is mostly great for previewing what's possible with the L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons on the PS5, where the game can change the amount of pressure it takes to click.
So, when you're going from weapon to weapon, and firing the F2 sniper rifle for the first time, you will actually feel the difference. I'm no firearm aficionado, but even I know that every gun you fire should feel different, and it's great that the PS5 gives you that sensation. The PC and Xbox Series X and S don't have anything like this.
Resident Evil Village is just more immersive on PS5
Overall, I loved Resident Evil Village on the PS5 because it felt all-consuming. And this was also seen in the lack of any loading screens. This is due to the PS5's lightning-fast SSD, one of its biggest advantages over the PS4.
Denise told me that RE8's PS4 load times were shorter than those of Resident Evil 7 on the same console, but that the load screens are still there. Resident Evil Village on the PS5 has zero loading windows overall, though the lengthy elevator rights may have been a way to load the next maps.
So, sure, you can play Resident Evil Village on a PS4, PC or Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S, but if you have the choice? I'd play it on the PS5 — but the Xbox Series X|S' 3D audio makes it a contender as well. This is one of the easy contenders for game of the year, and these immersive differences help you get the full experience of its wonderful tributes to horror movies.