Nixxes Leading the Charge in High-Quality PC Ports

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The PC Porting Powerhouse For Sure!

Story Highlights
  • Nixxes Software has proved that high-quality PC ports are possible.
  • Games from this team are not only well-optimized but also come with several enhancements to make them better.
  • The upcoming Horizon Forbidden West is a great example of wonderful Nixxes ports.

Horizon Forbidden West is the latest PlayStation exclusive that is being ported to PC. The port has been handled by none other than Nixxes Software, and we already have details on the game’s performance.

I could already predict from the system requirements that it would be a well-optimized port. Early testing has only confirmed this suspicion, as Digital Foundry reports that the game offers a decent visual boost while maintaining great performance.

Why it matters: In a time where unoptimized PC ports have become the norm, Nixxes has been very consistent in delivering well-optimized experiences, even with lesser capable hardware.

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Evolution of Nixxes

Nixxes isn’t new to the game; they’ve been porting titles since 2000. Everything began with them porting Legacy of Kain to Dreamcast. They’ve also actively worked on the Tomb Raider franchise on PC, and those ports were excellent as well.

This studio was acquired by PlayStation in 2021 and has since worked on bringing first-party releases to PC. However, early games like Horizon Zero Dawn on PC were far from Nixxes’ best work.

Marvel’s Spider-Man also suffered from high CPU utilization, but the overall experience was solid. Therefore, this studio has come a long way since its work on PlayStation’s first PC port, which, oddly enough, is also its best-selling PC game.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Rift jumping in Ratchet and Clank Feels Surreal

The Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart port is perhaps the team’s best work yet.

It was the first game built for PS5 that launched on PC, and this version made use of Direct Storage technology, a low-level storage API that reduces bottlenecks between your storage (SSD) and GPU.

The team efficiently came up with a workaround to alleviate the lack of PS5’s IO and PCIe 4.0 SSD on this platform. Using Direct Storage, Nixxes made Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart playable on non-native hardware.

What I liked the most about this game was that it was far from a conversion. Nixxes changed key elements, enhancing the ray tracing and overall visual look for the souped-up hardware on PC. 

Enhancements For PC Ports

The best thing about Nixxes ports, apart from performance, are the enhancements they make. In addition to visual upgrades, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart integrated support for DLSS, FSR, Ultrawide displays, and more.

The same was true for Marvel’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales. Both games look much improved on PC compared to their PS5 counterparts. While the team has taken a conservative approach with Horizon Forbidden West, this port is another classic Nixxes hit.

Horizon Forbidden West Graphics Settings
Horizon Forbidden West Graphics Settings (Digital Foundry)

Yes, there are improvements in anti-aliasing and draw distance, but you won’t notice much of a difference when compared to the PS5 version.

However, the performance is the real highlight. The Ryzen 5 3600, paired with the RTX 2070 Super, will easily achieve 60FPS at 1440p with DLSS in the game, according to initial testing.

Perhaps the best indication of Nixxes’ talent is PlayStation’s PC port of The Last of Us Part 1. Without this team’s involvement, the game ended up being Naughty Dog’s worst-rated release.

Amid releases like Dragon’s Dogma 2, I am filled with joy to see Nixxes offering a consistent level of quality with each new release. The team’s name alone is enough to earn my trust, and I am confident Ghost of Tsushima will be another solid port from the studio.

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