Quantum Break’s PC Version Sure Sounds Broken

Quantum Break’s PC Version Sure Sounds Broken

I started playing Quantum Break on Xbox One last night and was surprised by how much I liked it. If I’d been playing on PC, sounds like it would have been a different story.

I raised an eyebrow last week when I heard the PC version’s main menu didn’t have a quit button — never the sign of a high-quality PC port. But I wasn’t aware of just how bad it really is.

A doozy of a new report from Eurogamer‘s Digital Foundry goes into great technical detail about what else is wrong with Remedy’s PC port. You can watch a performance breakdown here:

In that test, their AMD R9 390 is destroying their Nvidia GTX 970, which is interesting. They’re also reporting that their Nvidia driver frequently crashes, which is a complaint I’ve seen in Nvidia’s forums as well. I haven’t had my driver crash since the last time I did a serious overclock, and I can’t even remember the last time a game made my driver crash on its own.

Among the other things they have found: The game appears incapable of running at 100 per cent of a screen’s refresh rate, so no matter what hardware they use, it can only hit around 5/6th of the refresh rate. (What?) The in-game 30fps frame-cap option doesn’t work properly, so it’s not possible to get the same kind of performance you get on Xbox One. Because of the full-screen limitations of the Universal Windows Platform, it’s impossible to use an outside program like Rivia Tuner Statistics Server to get a smoother 30fps. Yeesh.

They also report significant problems with visuals and data streaming, but the killer is here:

Universal Windows Platform: This is a drum we cannot beat loud enough – the Universal Windows Platform architecture is a huge issue for the PC right now. There are problems with this game, such as frame-pacing, which could be fixed by users right now but that becomes impossible due to UWP’s limitations. In the case of Quantum Break, this means that we’re basically held hostage waiting for improvements from the developer or from Microsoft itself, as if this were a console game. In a perfect world, games would ship without any issues, but that just doesn’t always happen, which is why it’s so important for PC gamers to have the option to work around these problems with established tools and GPU control panel options. Also: bonus points to UWP for overwriting our Xbox One completed game save with fresh PC data instead, eliminating our existing progress completely.

After Microsoft mercy-killed their disastrous Games for Windows Live platform, I had this hope that they’d learned… well, something. It would appear they haven’t, and so far UWP seems worse than GFWL.

PC gamers have to deal with messed up PC ports more often than we should, but at least we’ve traditionally been able to take matters into our own hands and fix things on our end. UWP makes it much harder to do that, which just adds a new layer of frustration. It’s easy to expect the worst from big corporate publishers like Microsoft, but I’m still amazed that they’re blowing this so badly.

I’ve asked Microsoft for more information about what went wrong, and when PC players can expect a patch or other type of fix. For more a more detailed breakdown, be sure to check out Eurogamer‘s full report.


  • It’s pretty asinine of MS to do this. Why would they have let this out of QA? If you’re pushing a new product (UWP and windows store) wouldn’t you want it to be bullet proof to generate positive noise?

    I just can’t believe how moronic they were with this, I mean you would have thought they learnt their lesson from the xbone unveil. Between this and the tomb raider release it has essentially written people off UWP as gamers (imo). It’s going to take so much work to garner trust.

      • I completely agree with you – Which makes me so sad. I loved the concept (cf. the execution) of GFWL and had high hopes that UWP would finally bring all the good things about Xbox gaming (particularly cheevos and the ‘social’ stuff) to PC. Phil’s talk at Build last week seemed to indicate only good things for UWP being an ‘open’ platform, but the more practical application we see of it (admittedly, mostly first-party) just shows rhetoric vs. reality.

        I’ve reached a point in my gaming life where I think I’m never going to get the console+PC ecosystem I truly want and I might as well just play the games where they run the best – something, in hindsight, I should have just been doing all the way along.

        • Reading this brought back memories of how excited I was when GFWL was announced way back when I was in high school.

          How could we have known?!

  • Oh…….wow. So out of the gate this UWP horse is lame and needs a bullet. Damn. Gee…. I wonder if there was any way this could have, I dunno, been quality controlled to ensure it didn’t happen possibly… *rolls eyes*

  • Yup, looks like the problem here is UWP. This was the flagship title for that platform, meant to improve cross platform development, and what we’re seeing is gimped to high hell.

    Because AMD powers all consoles, it’s no surprise that UWP is favouring that architecture. It’s definitely a first for nvidia to be having more stability and compatibility issues. Nvidia must be pretty sour at MS right now, too.

    And everyone, everyone, saw this clusterfuck coming.

  • This is becoming rediculous, especially since they develop the game on a PC platform then pack it for consoles, and then have to port the console version (current gen consoles may as well be PC’s given the specs), back to PC, and then everything breaks because proper QA is not done on the port. (Never mind that fact that keyboard/mouse controls are often terrible)

    Add in UWP, which sounds alot like microsoft wanting to control the world and your going backwards in terms of quality and freedom. Unfortunately this trend is unlikely to abate anytime soon as most of their sales probably come from console.

  • Another half assed misinformed article. Quantum break looks and runs perfect on Pc. No performance issues what so ever at 1080p60 running gtx 980. You base your articles on other articles now???

    • I’m curious as to how you’re getting 60fps on a 980? All credible sites including Digital Foundry (the embedded video above) say the game appears to top out at roughly 5/6 of a 60Hz refresh rate, no matter which GPU (up to Titan X level), detail levels or settings you use.

      • No matter what settings they used? Are you telling me they tried any form of set up possible to run it? I always run fraps on all my games and for the most part its perfectly smooth with minor hiccups. I had the same luck with many other games where people just couldnt play the game i ran it fine. Its all about your set up


    • Oh so because it runs fine for you everyone else’s experiences are invalid? Are you a moron?

      • Maybe its time to read with your eyes instead of your arse. This article is based on other articles meaning he hasnt even tried it himself. Some games might have problems on a specific pc set up. Stfu if you dont know what you are talking about.

        • Lol, Having read several Articles and lots of comments on gaming forums. It is a widespread issue. So i know perfectly what im talking about dipstick.

    • Why would you bother lying to us? What purpose could it possibly serve? There’s no way to get it running @60 fps. How do i know? Because i’ve been trying to play it on my beast, which includes a 980Ti. QB tops out at ~50fps, and is buggy as hell to boot.

    • Wow! 60fps at 1080p on a 700 dollar video card!

      Meanwhile games like Battlefront hit 1080p/60fps on 200 dollar cards while looking stunning.

      Quantum break isn’t even a particularly good looking game.

    • Many others have already pointed out that your remark is idiocy. Now lets hammer it home.

      You may not be perceiving the performance issues, perhaps because you are not paying attention to the game when it is in motion. However, Digital Foundry have used a number of tools to not just determine the framerate, but also the timing of each full frame that is displayed. Their information is accurate which means you are a liar. This game CANNOT run at 60FPS It actually cant, and that has nothing to do with hardware.

      Why is this the case? Because the engine has been coded to a frame rate ratio of 5/6ths of your display refresh rate. This means that it will run at 50FPS on a 60 hz screen. And with thanks to the badly implemented 30FPS frame rate lock the engine will only display 25 FPS.

      This isn’t conjecture, it’s a fact born out by the data that Digital Foundry has collected while running the game.

      • Hey moron welcome to pc gaming. Everyone has different performance on games and mine is running great.

        • Yours is running great? Good for you. Doesnt make other peoples experiences invalid because yours runs well.

          Dont know if you realized this Voidwalker. But the world dont revolve around you.

    • Funny. I run the game at 1080p fine as that’s what the game defaults to. Select the Ultra graphics preset and it throws everything to max and uses 1920×1080. The moment I switch the game to my monitors native resolution 2560×1440 it becomes a stuttering mess on a 980 TI. To fix it I had to disable gsync and since my refresh rate is at 144 hz the FPS is quite OK.

  • The video is testing a 970, which more people have than the grossly overpriced 980

  • Hmm. My 970 runs Killer Instinct, a UWP, like a dream. It runs and looks much better than SFV does. So I’m not sure that those issues really are universal to the UWP platform.

    I’m unlikely to buy Quantum Break any time before a good price drop anyway, but I assume they’ll fix these issues with patches. Hope so,.

  • So it sounds to me everyone is just blaming UWP out the gate for what? Could it be lazy programming? Not enough time? Rushed PC port? All because there nvidia cards are beaten by amds for a change?

    Seriously – everyone just wants an excuse for having to buy it through windows instead of steam – with the latger being a cluster snarf itself (yet so.ehow excused).

    How about we just hold off on the pitchforks until we either get a patch or confirmation whats causing the issue? Id like yo see UWP excel for the obvious reasons.

    • Given all we’ve heard about UWP from a number of sources and developers, I’m happy for the pitchforks to be brought out right now.

      Microsoft have been messing this up for a while now. Remember the initial XBone “you’ll always have to be connected to the Internet or you won’t be able to play games” and various other things they were trying to push until everyone went “NOPE” ?

      No one wants to see GFWL2, and so far it appears that UWP is like that, but possibly even worse.

    • “So it sounds to me everyone is just blaming UWP out the gate for what?”

      Well; UWP is Microsoft’s attempt to seize control of the PC as an entertainment device. Every time they have tried this it has ended in failure, not because the games offered aren’t good, but because their approach simply doesn’t work. UWP doesn’t work with SLI gaming systems, UWP prevents all overlays from functioning, UWP eliminates your ability to troubleshoot the issues since the game is locked off behind an encrypted container on your computer. UWP prevents Modding, Now if the game was perfect and every PC launch perfect there may be room for something like UWP, but that isn’t the case. I can think of almost no game released in the past 5 years by a AAA publisher on PC that has properly worked right out the door.

      Those are a few small examples of UWP’s limitations. Now if all PC game launches were perfect, and the games were without any defect or performance sapping bugs then I think their might be a practical use for UWP. But this is not the case on PC, many games are broken on release but at least most of us can troubleshoot the issues and build a solution to the problem that works for us. UWP doesn’t permit anything of the sort. PC Gamers are genuinely concerned about this and they have good reason for that concern given the disaster that was Games for Windows Live.

      This isn’t about where we would rather buy the game, this is about the technology Microsoft has decided to wrap its shoddy software up in. We aren’t simply whinging, this is the third AAA title Microsoft have brought to PC with UWP. And each of them has been broken, and because the game is locked behind an encrypted container there is literally nothing any of us can do to help resolve the issues.

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