The next-gen consoles, namely the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, pack quite powerful hardware akin to a high-end gaming PC. As such, we’ve all been wondering just how taxing next-gen games are going to be on PCs going forward, and now we have an idea. Minimum requirements for The Medium have now been revealed on Steam, and if you’re rocking an older PC, it’s time to upgrade for next-gen games.
|The Medium System Requirements||Minimum||Recommended|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-6600 / AMD Ryzen 5 2500X||Intel Core i5-9600 / AMD Ryzen 7 3700X|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GTX 1060/ AMD R9 390X (4 GB)||NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti/ AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 | For 4K NVIDIA RTX 2070/ Radeon RX 5700 XT|
|RAM||8 GB||16 GB|
|DirectX||DX 11||DX 12|
|Storage||30 GB||30 GB|
Dissecting The Medium’s Minimum Requirements
Let’s start with the low end here. Bloober Team (developer) suggests that at the very least you’ll be needing a GTX 1060 (the most popular GPU among Steam users) for playing at 1080p. This one isn’t too surprising, as the GTX 1060 has always been a great performer at that resolution. However, to think that 1060 is now the minimum tells us that dual-reality rendering isn’t gonna come cheap. A Ryzen 5 2500X/ Intel Core i5-6600 is required for what we assume is 1080p gameplay. Again, the Ryzen 5 2500X is a fairly recent quad-core CPU. You won’t be looking for any raytracing at the minimum settings, so DirectX 11 is a predictable starting point.
It’s the recommended settings that are way more interesting to assess. Right off the bat, a top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is recommended here, with a Core i5-9600 on Intel’s side. Both CPUs are fairly recent, having released just last year. It’s interesting to see an 8-core AMD CPU being suggested when the Intel equivalent is a 6 core chip without hyperthreading. The AMD CPU is relatively faster and more suited for multi-threaded workloads.
A GTX 1660 Ti and AMD’s Vega 56 are recommended, which we assume to be for 1080p Ultra settings. After all, both cards are meant for that resolution and perform quite well at that. At 4K, an NVIDIA RTX 2070 and AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT are recommended (we assume for 4K medium settings). The same pattern from the minimum requirements emerge here – all suggested PC parts here are all fairly recent when compared to current-gen PC port’ requirements. When you think of 4K gaming, you’d normally think of the GTX 1080 Ti, which up until now was the best GPU for that resolution, minus the obvious raytracing/ DLSS features. For gaming at 4K with RTX On, an RTX 2080 is recommended.
Expect AMD’s Ryzen CPUs to Be More Prominent in Next-Gen PC Ports
Both the minimum and recommended requirements include CPUs from AMD’s Ryzen lineup. This is to be expected as both the Xbox Series X and PS5 house a similar chip based on Zen 2 technology. Essentially, both next-gen consoles have a Ryzen 7 3700X considering the 8-core count and the frequencies at which it operates. That translates directly into the inclusion of the Ryzen 7 3700X on the PC port.
It’s a well-known fact that the biggest weakness of the current generation of consoles was their weak AMD Jaguar CPUs. Both the base PS4 and Xbox One consoles used a custom Jaguar 8-core APU at 1.6GHz and 1.75GHz respectively. A Zen 2 CPU running above 3.5 GHz is quite an upgrade. The Jaguar CPU is also one of the reasons why we saw more graphically demanding games running at 30 FPS, as the consoles were bottlenecked by their CPUs. Next-gen should change that, offering a far more balanced system with the RDNA 2 GPU & Zen 2 processor. With that said, The Medium will be targeting 4K/30 FPS on the Xbox Series X, likely due to the usage of raytracing.
Why is an SSD Not Included?
Aside from a much faster CPU, the other key improvement with the next-gen consoles is the inclusion of SSDs. Both consoles will include and support NVMe SSDs for fast storage. Thanks to custom decompression technologies, it seems like the consoles will be able to take advantage of them in more ways than a PC might, at least for the time being. So the question stands – Why is there no mention of an SSD in The Medium’s PC minimum requirements?
Our best guess is that both developers and the console manufacturers are still testing various consumer SSDs. Not all solid-state drives are the same, and due to the custom nature of the consoles, we can’t expect any third-party SSD on the PC space to be supported by next-gen games. We expect SSD requirements to be up closer to the consoles’ launch, something Mark Cerny already alluded to in Sony’s PS5 deep dive video. In any case, as I stated at the beginning, it looks like console games are soon going to tax our high-end gaming PCs. Building a PC right now is quite challenging without knowing the state of PC ports of the future. However, if you do decide to build one, do check out our PC build guides for the same. Or if you want to future proof your PC as much as possible, then we highly recommend Digital Foundry’s video on the same:
The Medium is targeting a late 2020 release on the Xbox Series X as a timed console exclusive. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass, and later on the PlayStation 5.