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NBA 2K20 PS4 Pro Performance Issues Remain a Haunting Mystery

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NBA 2K20 PS4 Pro Performance Issues Remain a Haunting Mystery

It’s been a rough year for NBA 2K20 from a public-relations perspective. The game has sold incredibly well, but its nightmare launch, many sizable patches, and lack of in-depth patch notes have left many fans confused and frustrated. Perhaps no group remains more frustrated than those with PS4 Pro units who have no way to reliably play NBA 2K20 without running into debilitating performance issues. In fact, we have a forum thread on OS that is over 600 posts at this point where people have talked about these PS4 Pro issues.

The above video by AltChar shows off the performance issues that many on the PS4 Pro are still having each and every time they boot up the game. The issues consist of a clear frame-rate dip at various points in the game, but it generally becomes most crippling late in the shot clock or when various UI elements pop up on screen. The impact of this drop occurs with various camera angles, and it’s sometimes hard to explain how awful it is because it usually doesn’t look that bad in video form. However, the issue is every bit as serious as many make it out to be because the frame-rate drops also create bouts of input lag. Since you can never really plan on the performance issues, you don’t really know when your inputs will be delayed. When this issue occurs in online games, it becomes even worse because there is already some general input lag much of the time there.

As someone with a PS4 Pro, I can confirm I’ve had similar issues. I can mostly mitigate them by using a very zoomed-out camera view, but it’s odd that 2K has either vacillated between staying mum on this particular issue, or having 2K Support say there is no issue to report, as seen below from OS user ataman5:

People should obviously not have to play from a zoomed-out view to have a stable frame rate, but this theorizing on how to fix the issue comes back to 2K as well. Without any direction from 2K at large, it means people are trying to come up with their own theories on why the problem is happening and continuing to occur. Some think it has to do with what model PS4 Pro you have, some think it has to do with the HDD read speed or how capable the fans are on the PS4. Others have talked about turning off HDR or mentioning specific TV models where they have seen the issues occur.

This would not be the first time the NBA 2K series has had these problems either. I specifically remember calling it out in a review I wrote a couple years back. However, in the past this performance issue has been something 2K patched with relative ease early in the game’s cycle. In addition, one element to this is that perhaps 2K does know what’s going on but can’t publicly “blame” it on Sony. If there is actually a difference in these PS4 Pro models, and 2K’s development kits are also different from those PS4 Pro models, then it could make fixing this problem an incredibly difficult venture.

Whatever the case may be, this issue has persisted since launch, and it’s come to a point where it’s becoming less likely the issue will be fixed. This leaves PS4 Pro owners experiencing the issue with not much to do now other than deal with the problem, or move on to the Xbox One or PC if they have that option. We can continue to highlight the problem, and these PS4 Pro owners can continue to escalate their complaints, but it’s hard to believe 2K is not aware of the problem at this point. The studio may just not have a solution to it this year.

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  1. Console: PS4 Pro
    Camera: broadcast
    Problem: game always stutters like crazy when shot clock is down to 5secs or less (ie huge framerate drop - unplayable)
    Online and offline
    I have re-downloaded the game. Rebuildin database has been done on my console.
    Still having the same issue
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    PSN and 2K both have been ignoring my messages. This is simply not good enough.
    Thx for the article btw !
    People may not want to hear this, but every year 2k makes more and more money on a product that is getting worse and worse. It's not 2k's fault they are making all that money, it's the people who continue to buy it. As long as those profits keep setting records year in and year out, there is no reason for 2k to care about the problems with the game. As much as people complain, words mean nowhere near what money does.
    I have a Pro and I don't have this issue like in that vid. Wow, does it get that bad? Is it the TV? I still have a 1080i Samsung tv...I'm planning on getting a 4k in the future though...
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    Chchoi is exactly right.  Framerate drops when the shot clock hits 5.  I’m not a programmer, but this suggests a bug vs the console not being able to handle the graphics.  You’d think this could be fixed by now (though it would have been impossible not to notice this before release )
    Rmm80
    Chchoi is exactly right. *Framerate drops when the shot clock hits 5. *I’m not a programmer, but this suggests a bug vs the console not being able to handle the graphics. *You’d think this could be fixed by now (though it would have been impossible not to notice this before release )

    It could be a red herring of sorts though. Perhaps when the shot clock gets low, fans start to do something more, or audio takes up more performance, or something else along those lines more than just the shot clock itself. In addition, I know some people have no issues if they play at older arenas, which makes me think it perhaps has something to do with crowd/arena assets and what happens with them in terms of what they do late in the shot clock.
    Played just a few games on my Pro during launch weekend and the framerate was one of the worst I've experienced this generation.  It was just a rental...glad I rented it first. 
    The strange thing is that the drop in framerate also lingers for a period if time after being triggered by the low shot clock.  I’m sure this issue is more complicated than we think or it would’ve been patched by now. 
    Goffs
    I have a Pro and I don't have this issue like in that vid. Wow, does it get that bad? Is it the TV? I still have a 1080i Samsung tv...I'm planning on getting a 4k in the future though...
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

    U won’t see it with a LED tv because it’s a HDR/4K issue
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I’ve never seen the stuttering on my PS4 Pro but it might be the camera I use or maybe I just don’t play the game modes where it’s prevalent. Or maybe mine is a 2nd generation. What I have had periodically is my screen start flickering black while I’m playing 2K20. Eventually it will get really bad and become unplayable. I have to turn off 4K from either my PS4 or the TV to make it stop. Oddly enough it will work fine again the next day. It’s happened handful of times since launch and it’s only on 2K20. It’s not related to gameplay either - it will even happen when I’m in the menus.
    synistatha1
    I have a PS pro and have had 2k20 since launch and I haven't had any issues. Yes I have a 4k/HDR enabled tv, I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones

    probably not as sensitive to it...
    It's crazy but it seems 2K is starting to act a little EA-ish. As long as they cater to the cash cow (MyPlayer) and other issues are on the back burner.
    TheBadazz
    It's crazy but it seems 2K is starting to act a little EA-ish. As long as they cater to the cash cow (MyPlayer) and other issues are on the back burner.

    I mean this impacts every mode for the affected users.
    Goffs
    I have a Pro and I don't have this issue like in that vid. Wow, does it get that bad? Is it the TV? I still have a 1080i Samsung tv...I'm planning on getting a 4k in the future though...
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

    Belive me Goffs, whatever you see on that recorded video is nowhere near doing justice to what's really going on. It's 100x worse than what is recorded and seen. Something technical about recroding that it just doesn't make it all 100% seen of those bad fps drops and how it really is.
    I would like to sincerely thank you Chase, it's a very good read. Thank you very much for the article, i'm sharing everywhere as i can,too.
    AstrosAllDay85
    U won’t see it with a LED tv because it’s a HDR/4K issue
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Guess I better hold off on a 4k tv then lol it's unfortunate this happening though.
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for this Chase. Hopefully this we'll get 2ks attention and they can find a solution. It's killing me that the season has started and I can't even enjoy the game.
    I put the camera setting to skybox and it took a while to get use to but I like it. On this setting the lag is definitely there when the shot clock dips below 5 seconds but it isn’t as noticeable as in other zoomed in cameras. I just can’t believe they haven’t addressed this at all. Why wouldn’t they?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thrustie
    I’ve never seen the stuttering on my PS4 Pro but it might be the camera I use or maybe I just don’t play the game modes where it’s prevalent. Or maybe mine is a 2nd generation. What I have had periodically is my screen start flickering black while I’m playing 2K20. Eventually it will get really bad and become unplayable. I have to turn off 4K from either my PS4 or the TV to make it stop. Oddly enough it will work fine again the next day. It’s happened handful of times since launch and it’s only on 2K20. It’s not related to gameplay either - it will even happen when I’m in the menus.

    Wow I thought it was my TV.
    Thanks for posting this - it wasn’t frequent enough for me to actually worry but I was concerned when it happened the few times it has.
    thcchoi
    Console: PS4 Pro
    Camera: broadcast
    Problem: game always stutters like crazy when shot clock is down to 5secs or less (ie huge framerate drop - unplayable)
    Online and offline
    I have re-downloaded the game. Rebuildin database has been done on my console.
    Still having the same issue
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    PSN and 2K both have been ignoring my messages. This is simply not good enough.
    Thx for the article btw !

    Why is this so hard for you guys to understand? It's obvious the game was built without the specs of the system in mind. PS4 Pro cant play the game properly because it's not powerful enough. Simple as that.
    HBKSean216
    Why is this so hard for you guys to understand? It's obvious the game was built without the specs of the system in mind. PS4 Pro cant play the game properly because it's not powerful enough. Simple as that.

    This is a ludicrous statement. Game plays fine on regular ps4. 2k19 played perfectly smooth on 4k resolution on ps4 pro.
    Many games give you performance options on the Pro. Boosted frame rate vs 4K graphics. Hopefully 2K can provide options in the future to at least let people choose frame rate if this happens to them.
    HBKSean216
    Why is this so hard for you guys to understand? It's obvious the game was built without the specs of the system in mind. PS4 Pro cant play the game properly because it's not powerful enough. Simple as that.

    I don't buy this. If the game was a stuttering mess from tip off to the finally buzzer that would make sense, but there are instances where the game runs perfectly fine until something triggers the stutter, namely the shot clock going below 6. I've also had no issues when using classic teams and little to no stutter with all-time teams.
    But even so there's no reason why the game can run perfectly fine one a regular PS4 or Xbox one and not on the Pro. 2k should have to tools to get the game running properly on a Pro, even if it means toning some things down with the graphics.
    Was hoping this would get the attention of 2k or some of its developers but still no word from their side from what I can see. Guess we'll have to hope that a future patch will solve this issue but I'm not optimistic. It's a damn shame that this game is all but unplayable for a specific portion of the user base.

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