For most people, Resident Evil 7 has been a positive experience regardless of platform. On the PS4, it’s even better thanks to built-in PSVR support. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people running the game on the PS4 Pro are experiencing major graphical glitches. Even worse, neither Capcom nor Sony have been willing to step up to properly deal with this issue.
By most estimates, Resident Evil 7 is a well-liked game. It earned a “Good” score of 7.7 on our sister site IGN. And based on 86 reviews aggregated on Metacritic, the PS4 version is sitting nicely at an 86/100. It seems that the new direction worked out well for the long-running series, and that’s why this technical blemish is so infuriating. I’d really like to sit down and play RE7, but I keep running into a showstopping bug.
I’ve spent the better part of two weeks troubleshooting the game, and then dealing with tech support that is entirely unwilling to take ownership of the problem. Sony says it’s a software problem that Capcom should fix, and Capcom says it’s a hardware problem that Sony should handle. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with a game that’s unplayable on my console.
In the video above, you’ll see exactly how severe the graphical artifacts can be on the PS4 Pro. This kind of garbled mess is something you’d expect to see on a graphics card that’s seconds away from completely failing. However, the stability of the console is entirely unaffected. The game will continue to run in this state indefinitely, the core OS continues to function smoothly, the fans never even bother cranking up hard, and all other games and apps continue to operate just fine. Weird, right?
Having tested the on-disc version, the 1.01 patch, and the brand new 1.02 patch, there doesn’t seem to be any meaningful difference. Even while swapping between PS4 Pro-optimized releases, Resident Evil 7 (and the demo) remains the only software that I’ve found that suffers from this problem.
During the troubleshooting process, I’ve tried my damnedest to isolate the issue. I’ve verified that the disc works properly, and reinstalled the game multiple times. I’ve swapped out cables, changed televisions, tried the game in VR, and played it over Remote Play. Nothin’ doin’!
This PS4 Pro has had its configurations reset multiple times, and I even went through the process of completely reinstalling the operating system from scratch (with system software 4.07 — not the beta 4.50 OS). The resolution, HDR, color depth, and HDCP settings have been flipped more times than I can count, but nothing has changed. Even after testing more than 20 Pro-optimized releases, Resident Evil 7 stands alone.
As of yet, I’ve not found a satisfactory explanation, but that’s not from lack of trying. I went back and forth with Capcom support for more than a week, and after handing out basic troubleshooting tips, the blame was directed toward the hardware. In turn, I spoke to Sony support twice, and both times they placed the blame solely on Capcom’s shoulders. Neither company is willing to take ownership of the problem, and that leaves me out in the cold.
Dejected, I looked around online to see if anyone else ran into the problem, and I found this thread on the official PlayStation forums. At least three other people have run into these same artifacts on their PS4 Pros, and cannot find a fix. While a handful of forum-goers posited solutions, nothing has worked.
In an attempt to nail down the specific issue, I reached out to ExtremeTech’s hardware expert Joel Hruska. While it’s impossible for him to rule out some oddball isolated hardware issue entirely, he feels that the artifacts aren’t consistent with a hardware issue. Sure, an overheating GPU could produce something that looks like this if it’s on the brink of failure, but the overall stability and one-off nature of this issue points toward some bizarre issue with the software instead.
After banging my head against this problem for many days, I finally decided to escalate things by reaching out to both Sony and Capcom PR. Sony has yet to respond at all, and Capcom PR has said that they’ll look into the issue. Unfortunately, they haven’t provided me with a public statement. If Sony or Capcom choose to provide comment at a later date, we’ll be sure to update the article with their replies.
As it stands, there aren’t many options left for those of us impacted by this issue. Sure, it plays on most hardware, but settling for that is tantamount to letting Capcom and/or Sony off the hook. The entire selling point of a console is that you can buy any game for that platform, and expect that it will work with your machine. This isn’t the wild west of PC gaming with innumerable configuration issues. Weird fringe bugs are bound to happen on occasion, but dodging blame is a bad look.
Based on my experience in recent weeks, it seems like Capcom is shirking responsibility. Even straightforward requests for escalation seem to get shrugged off because the easy troubleshooting fixes like reinstallation and cable swaps didn’t solve the problem. And now that I’m speaking to PR, the support team isn’t even handling my ticket anymore. Frankly, it’s galling to be met with evasion and buck-passing after having spent money on a busted product.
While calling on these companies to fix what’s broken is an important step, I’d like anyone with more information or suggestions to chime in as well. If you’ve run into the same problem, feel free to share your experience in the comment section below. Have an inkling of why this might be happening? Sound off. Most importantly, please be sure to share your information with Capcom and Sony.
Update 02/15/17 at 2:40pm: A Sony rep has been in contact, and would like to swap out my hardware. We’ll see if that fixes the problem, and report back.
Update 02/22/17 at 4:09pm: I have received a new PS4 Pro, and as expected, RE7 runs fine on it. Since we always knew that a minority of Pro users were impacted, this doesn’t tell us much. Sony will undoubtedly investigate the hardware, and we’ll report back with any new information.