Persona 5 Royal: How do the Switch, Xbox, and PC versions stack up?
It’s finally happening: Persona 5 is becoming a proper multi-platform experience with a new PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch release of Persona 5 Royal. Which means there’s only one question on everybody’s lips: is it any good on these platforms?
The core Persona 5, of course, is brilliant. We gave both the vanilla version of the game and the Persona 5 Royal updated release top marks in the RPG Site review - so the question really is one of the quality of the port. Before you buy, we’ve been testing all three new versions - and now you can check in for our verdict.
If you’re planning to play Persona 5 Royal on these new platforms, don’t forget that RPG Site has a lot more than this port report, including a slew of Persona 5 Royal guides including a complete confidant guide, school quiz & exam answers, crossword solutions, an endings guide, and a whole not more. But now - to the port impressions…
We’ve seen several high-profile, high-quality ports on the Nintendo Switch recently, but I can’t think of one more anticipated than Persona 5.
If you’re looking for a proper review of Persona 5 Royal, I wrote an in-depth one for RPG Site when it launched back in 2020 - and I adore the game as much now as I did then. The pleasant thing about a port like this is that it doesn’t take away from any of the aspects I praised before. Persona 5 Royal is one of my favorite games ever made, and those who decide to play this version of the game are in for an experience that matches up with the other releases quite closely.
Unlike my recent words on Nier Automata on Switch, I don’t quite think P5R is a “miracle port”, since I’ve always thought the game could run on the Switch. Having said that, I also acknowledge that porting isn’t as easy as many people believe. Persona 5 Royal is precisely what every Switch port strives for (and often fails) to be: The game, on Switch, uncompromised. Achieving that had to be no easy matter, especially with Persona 5’s heavy usage of visual effects. In every area that matters for a portable system, the Switch release holds up surprisingly well to the original PS4 version.
On Switch, performance is the most stand-out element of the port. On PS4 and PS4 Pro, P5R ran at a capped 30 FPS. While the fancy new-gen console versions do bump up this frame rate, the Switch version maintains the 30 FPS of the original releases, giving it parity. In all of my time with the Switch port, in both docked and undocked play, I’ve yet to see it fail to hit that target. Persona 5 is just as responsive to play as it was on PS4, from dungeon exploring to simply navigating the menus. Loading times are also barely noticeable, with maybe a longer one on boot and then very few when playing.
I don’t have tools to check, so I can’t offer exact numbers, but in terms of resolutions, I can make some educated guesses. Docked play seems to output at 720p, but all art assets like portraits and UI look to render 1080p. The game looked pretty crisp on my 4K TV, so it seems like some post-processing upscaling was done. Undocked gets a bit more confusing, appearing to target around 500-600p. It unfortunately isn’t the sharpest of games to play undocked, but it still looks pretty solid when comparing it to a lot of other Switch games - including its own sequel, Persona 5 Strikers. While these numbers might not be impressive to you if you primarily play PC or next-gen consoles, but for a portable version of the game running on 2017 hardware, this delivers everything I expected.
A good port should essentially be invisible to the player, and the Nintendo Switch experience offers just that. In-engine cutscenes still look gorgeous and crisp.Those moments of downtime running through the bustling streets of Tokyo? Running, dashing, and sneaking through dungeons in the metaverse? Battling shadows in the game’s flashy turn-based combat? Every aspect goes off without a hitch.
To achieve these results some visual cuts needed to be made, however. They’re minor, but they do exist. Pre-rendered backgrounds can sometimes be rather low quality, with Madarame’s shack standing out quite a lot. These are sure to look okay on the actual Switch screen, but less-so blown up on a TV. All-out attack art also seems to be at a noticeably lower resolution compared to most art and UI assets. I’ve also noticed a few animated textures in the environments seem to run at a lower framerate, like some of the shadows in Kamoshida’s castle or the paintings in Madarame’s museum. These were the only noticeable cuts in my time playing, and thanks to P5 using simple but striking coloring, the art style was able to be maintained in the transition to Switch.
A minor complaint I’ve found with the Switch release (and I’d assume each of the new console versions) is that the sound settings are somewhat lacking. When playing on my OLED, I think the voice acting tends to be a bit too quiet out of the unit’s speakers. I feel it's pretty fair to say that basic audio settings (toggles for BGM, sound effects, and voice acting) have become a standard for modern games and re-releases, so it was disappointing to see these new versions have not added these features. It also seems like the voice acting was slightly compressed, but this could be something most people won’t notice.
This version of Persona 5 Royal also includes every piece of DLC previously released - almost. I’ve noticed a few content changes to these new console versions, which seem to be made to ensure a global release. Ryuji’s shoes for example, which previously featured the Rising Sun Flag, have been scrubbed clean of such imagery. In the same vein, the costumes based on Raidou Kuzunoha (and the battle music associated with them) are gone as well. Both of these changes were also made to the game for the Korean release, and it appears that has been applied to all regions now. This doesn’t bother me terribly, but take note - these elements have been changed.
There are certainly better ways to play Persona 5 Royal if you are purely looking for visual fidelity and performance, but the Nintendo Switch conversion is worth serious praise. Due to how much easier it is to play than any of my other systems, and how small the cuts were, this could easily be my go-to system for future replays of one of my favorite games. [Tested by Cullen Black]
While Cullen spent his time with the Nintendo Switch version of Persona 5 Royal, I was at the same time playing the game on Xbox and PC, with testing of the latter taking place on the Windows Store PC version, thanks to the fact that the Xbox and Windows Store versions are cross-buy - own one, and you have access to both versions. That includes its addition into Xbox and PC Game Pass - though the PC version will also be available for standard purchase on Steam.
Obviously the primary thing that sets PC apart from console are the setting options - and while not exactly extensive, they’re decent enough to give you a bit more control than on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
The Persona 5 Royal PC settings menu offers up options for graphical quality, shadow quality, rendering scale, anti-aliasing, depth of field, and a choice between frame rate caps of 30, 60, and 120fps. In terms of general game options beyond that, the options menu is pretty much the same as the other versions of the game. Like Persona 4 Golden, this offers the relative bare minimum in terms of PC options, but given how the game run, it doesn't feel like a tremendous problem. One oddity is that the PC version of Persona 5 Royal has a wider array of sound options; allowing you to change the volume of sound effects, voices, background music and even cutscenes separately.
Higher resolution and frame rate is likely the largest draw of this version, of course. In my testing on a RX 6900 XT/Ryzen 9 5900X desktop machine, the PC release was able to hit 120 FPS at 4K resolution with plenty of headroom to spare - capping out at just under 70% GPU utilization. Considering that Atlus themselves demoed Persona 5 Royal on Steam Deck at TGS this year, it goes without saying that most players should have little to no issues getting the game working on their PC setups - and it should run great on Deck, too.
Over on Microsoft’s console, the Xbox version running on Xbox Series X has no issues hitting 60fps at a full 4K resolution, and appears to be using the max PC settings preset to do so. We haven't had the opportunity to test the PS5 version, but it seems a fair assumption that it'll be largely the same, if not identical, to Series X.
Ultimately and perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the best Persona 5 has looked. It's super crisp, which works with the game's striking art style, and a higher frame rate always helps, even if this isn't a game that requires twitch reactions.
I’ve attached some screenshots of the PC version’s graphics settings menu for players to take a look at, and above you can see an example of the game’s user interface while playing the game with a keyboard and mouse.
Persona 5 Royal can run at up to 120FPS, with an internal resolution slider allowing players to upscale the game from lower resolutions if needed, or to supersample the game at a higher internal resolution if they have the available power. Graphical options themselves are rather limited otherwise, but considering the game’s performance, it’s hard to say that matters much in the end. It’s a solid port, and a great way to play this great game. [Tested by James Galizio]
So, there you have it. While the PC options might be a little slim, and the Switch version has to make a couple of compromises, it's clear that Sega really pulled out all the stops to ensure this classic game would shine on modern platforms.
Knowing that people can play such an excellent RPG on any platform they wish now, and are guaranteed to have a smooth experience is pretty cool - and Persona 5 Royal remains a must-play for any turn-based RPG fan. Now, more of those fans can get to it.