Horizon Forbidden West will have a 60 FPS performance mode on PS5, if you prefer having smoother frame rates over the highest fidelity visuals possible.
The choice between a Quality Mode and Performance Mode has become common for new-gen titles, and game director Mathijs de Jonge confirmed in an interview with HardwareZone (opens in new tab) that Horizon Forbidden West will also let players swap between the two. Quality Mode, which is what Forbidden West was running in for the recent 14-minute gameplay video, will make the game run at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second.
Performance mode will push your frame rate up to 60 frames per second, and de Jonge didn't specify what resolution Forbidden West will target for this option. Many games with Performance Mode enabled use dynamic resolution to drop your pixel count in more demanding scenes, allowing the frame rates to remain consistent, and there's a good chance Horizon Forbidden West will do the same.
In another recent interview, de Jonge revealed that Horizon Forbidden West has been mostly developed on PS4, but you'll still notice several visual improvements if you play on the PS5 version instead. That includes a special "cinematic lighting rig" for Aloy which gives her a better defined appearance - it's limited to cutscenes on the PS4 version, but the extra power of PS5 means Guerilla Games can just leave it on during normal gameplay segments as well.
It's a lot to get excited about, and ideally we'll still get to play by the end of this year. PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst (who was previously studio head at Guerilla) was optimistic about the Horizon Forbidden West holiday 2021 release window, but he did caution that it still "isn't quite certain" as complications from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact various parts of the production.
Even though it appears PlayStation is once again skipping out on E3 2021, it's already had plenty of news to share in the weeks ahead of the event, including a God of War 2 delay and confirmed PS4 version, and similar news for Gran Turismo 7.
If your mental calendar is all out of whack now, get it straight again with our handy guide to video game release dates.