(Pocket-lint) - This November, the latest in Codemaster's hugely successful arcade driving series, Dirt 5, will be a launch game for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

And, that means it will sport a number of key enhancements only made possible by the next-gen machines. The game will be available for PS4, Xbox One, PC and even Stadia too, but there are some benefits exclusive to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions.

We spoke with the development director of Dirt 5 at Codemasters, Robert Karp, to find out exactly what kind of additions to expect. You can hear the entire interview as part of the Pocket-lint Podcast that will be available from Friday 9 October 2020. You can also check out what he told us on some of the individual next-gen features below.


Dirt 5 will be one of the first games to offer a 120fps option for those with a compatible monitor or TV. We wondered how it will work in the game and whether there are any trade-offs in picture quality:

"The latest set of consoles are more powerful than the previous ones and allow for better looking games. We're also pushing the boundaries in terms of frame rates with our 120 frames option. I think it gives much smoother game play than you'll have seen before in racing," Karp explained.

"When you boot up, you have the option between resolution/image quality or frame rate. So, if you target the highest resolution on next-gen, that'll run at 60fps, but if you target frame rate, that will compromise some visual aspects of the game, or some of the resolution in order to get that frame rate.

"At the minute, that option works in time trial, but our technical director's working really hard because he wants it to be available in all races."

Haptic feedback and resitive triggers

Resistive triggers and haptic feedback will be part of the new controllers, especially the DualSense on the PS5, so we asked Karp how Dirt 5 will make best use of those features:

"The resistive triggers are used more for ABS [anti-lock brake systems]. If you've ever driven a car and you slam your foot on the brake, you get that sensation where the ABS kicks in - the judders. The resistive triggers give you the ability to kind-of mimic that," he said.

"We also have a lot of surface types in the game, from gravel to ice and tarmac, and the haptic feedback gives you a much better feeling in terms of your grip and feeling on the road."


Xbox Series S vs Xbox Series X

The PlayStation Dirt 5 experience will be identical on both the standard and Digital Edition consoles, but there are distinct tech differences between the two next-gen Xbox machines. We asked whether there were any cutbacks that had to be made to get the game to run on Xbox Series S:

"My understanding is it's more about the resolution. The Xbox Series X targets 4K, whereas the Xbox Series S is meant to do everything the X can, but at 1440p," Karp detailed.

"Some people can tell the difference between 4K and 1440p, but I'm not 100 per cent sure that everybody can. So, for people who are less about the visuals and more about the gameplay, Series S gives you that entrance into next-gen at an incredibly competitive price."

Faster loading times

As the new machines each use SSD storage solutions, loading times will be significantly shorter than on Xbox One and PS4. And, if you've played some of the other Codemasters driving games on current-gen, you'll know that loading tracks can take a while. This should be greatly improved for Dirt 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S:

"I don't know if you've seen any of the loading time graphics from Xbox, showing Xbox One games running on Xbox Series X and their faster loading times? Straight away, without even doing anything from a development perspective, the game runs and loads much faster on this next generation hardware," he told us.

"I think once you start taking full advantage of the IO [input-output], then the games are going to be even even faster. I think it's going to be a couple of years until we see developers really get to grips with it and knowing the very best way to almost eradicate loading times."


Just the beginning

Finally, we asked the development director what further enhancements we can expect in next-gen games in future, considering that PS4 and Xbox One games now are much more advanced than their respective launch titles in 2013:

"I actually think this is a really interesting console generation because, in some ways, people look at it and compare it to Xbox One and PS4, and feel like it's not necessarily a huge step forward," Karp answered.

"And, I think that, although there may be some good points and some good arguments there at the launch of this generation, by the end of this generation that will probably be totally different. I think with the faster loading speeds and the power, it'll allow even bigger worlds to be created and even more data to be loaded and streamed almost instantaneously, which will lead to some really epic games.

"I think we're only just touching the surface".


Dirt 5 will be released on 6 November for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, 10 November for Xbox Series X and S, and 16 November for PlayStation 5.

The Google Stadia version will be available from 2021.

Writing by Rik Henderson.