Native 4K Is A Waste Of Xbox One Scorpio’s Power, DOOM Dev Says, Hints At Reconstruction Instead

He hints at temporal and spatial reconstruction instead to achieve 4K, while using the actual processing power for something else.

Posted By | On 27th, Jun. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

xbox one scorpio

You know who knows a fair bit about tech? Anyone working at id Tech. Although the studio is hardly the pallbearer of cutting edge technology like it used to be back in the 1990s, they’re still pretty damn good at putting out some sick bits of code- just look at the new DOOM game.

So when the lead graphics programmer of DOOM says something about technology, you sit up and take notice. You’d already be doing that, since this is a pretty major member of the development community, but in this case, his stature earns him even more attention.

And what exactly is Tiago Sousa of id saying? Well, during E3 week he had a conversation with other developers about the Xbox One Scorpio’s specs. He thinks that 4K resolution is a complete and total waste of the Xbox One Scorpio’s immense processing power. Especially on consoles, where the player distance from the screen renders it completely useless, he thinks that the Scorpio’s power should be used for something else entirely.

Judging by a tweet related to the subject that he also retweeted, it seems as though he believes that 4K resolution is fine- just that native rendering shouldn’t be what the processing power is used for. Instead, a combination of spatial and temporal reconstruction should be used to reconstruct 4K resolutions (basically, think of it as upscaling, a technology used in Quantum Break), while the actual processing power that would have gone towards rendering images at those resolutions is used for something else- maybe CPU cycles and calculations, to render physics, or the like.

Of course, he knows what he is talking about, so who are we to disagree? And based on my limited knowledge and preferences, I will say I agree with him- I have always felt that the spec boosts with each generation of console hardware should be used to better gameplay more than graphics. Sadly, developers always opt for prettier looking games than better playing games. That leaves me with no hope that Sousa’s advice will be followed- we’ll probably end up with games that play no better or worse than current generation games, except thy’ll look prettier. Heck, if Microsoft enforce the kind of development parity policies for Scorpio and Xbox One that Sony are rumored to be doing with PS4 NEO and the base PS4, that alone may ensure that.

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  • Reclaimer13

    Pretty sure phil spencer already said that how resources are used will be up to the developers.

    • jp

      yup he did, actually he said they are giving the raw power to devs with no strings attached so they basically have free roam, I would love to see bigger worlds and effects than pixels, and thats what I hope the next gen of consoles will be used for.

    • sgt_hammertime

      I actually want both

    • Clint Hoffman

      1080p at 60fps plus all the graphic pretty stuff THEN upscale it. It will be fine at 4k upscaled. 🙂 no worries

    • theduckofdeath

      He did, although, I believe he also said no exclusives. So Scorpion will have the best console versions of XBOX games, but presumably that is it. A ton of computational power may be left of the table with each release. A dev would have the option (with the left over headroom) to scale a game, not to native 4K, but some res inbetween, then upscale.

      Scorpio being beholden to XB1 (and Neo to PS4) is like a console being…”consoled.” Like what happens to PC releases in the some of the best case scenarios, sadly.

    • Mark

      My thoughts too

    • Hvd

      then 4 years after the xbox Scorpio we will have xbox 2.

    • MS

      Man, i swear people will just repeat the same thing over and over again. We’ll see.

  • BelAirBoss

    I don’t sit too far from my television or my projection screen. How dare this man impugn my reputation. I am offended.

    • MS

      And rightly so, good sir.

  • Mr Xrat

    And that’s why there’s been so many reversals these last two weeks. The Xbone can barely do 1080p, gonna be funny when Shitpio repeats the same mistakes at 4K.

    • Dynasty2021

      Yeah because the graphical “powerhouse” of Uncharted 4 runs so well.

      Oh wait. 30 FPS @1080p when you all drooled over it at the E3 reveal saying it would of course run at 60 FPS, PC elitists are just jealous blah blah blah.

      Turns out we were right, and you were all wrong again.

      No difference here. You’ll see a few cars or trees in 4K, that’s it.

      A GTX 970 worth £300+ with a CPU worth £150+ can’t do 4K at 30 FPS. You need the new line of cards worth £450+, two of them ideally.

      If you’re sat there thinking the new consoles will do 4K, you’re a moron.

    • aawells07

      Good god, you idiots are so worried that the console guys will think their console is better than PC’s. You’re only the one millionth person to comment about which better. Why is it so damn important to run from article to article vigorously typing the same crap that’s been said for yrs?Let people enjoy what they wanna enjoy without the constant badgering from people like you. Everyone already knows which one PC only guys thinks is better.

    • Hvd

      doom is 1080p/60 on xbox one.

    • Paul

      The 970 just dropped in price, it’s now around £220, also the the RX480 is about £220 which has 8GB vram and when drivers mature for that, it might perform around the 980 card.

    • Cenk Algu

      lol what happened to your precious Sony? cant even talk about it right? haha poor little troll

    • DLConspiracy//

      Back under the bridge little fella. Xbox shouldn’t concern you anymore. Your PS4 is a super computer.

  • Wolfman Jack

    Speak for yourselves my friends!! I for one will be looking forward to the arrival of the beast (Scorpio) and at that time will invest in a sick 4K TV (Sony or Samsung) to play Xbox games/movies in true 4K. I’ve seen true 4K and I truly say that I see the differences between 1080p and 4K. Don’t get me wrong my good friends, I’ll definitely be keeping my awesome PS4 connected and active along side of the Beast but honest to say I’m looking forward for Scorpio to come out and skipping Mr. Neo. Enjoy!!

    • cweb1988

      I can see the difference as well…..but it’s not at all worth it compared to using the resources in other ways.

    • Matt

      Oddly enough Vizio is the brand you should really look into… not only will you be getting quality that rivals or out performs even the likes of Samsung you’d be saving about a third to half the price by doing so. The P and M series Vizio’s specifically should run about $800 to $1000 for a 50″-60″ panel. Look them up yourself and you’ll see they top most of the lists you’ll find for the best TV’s… I used to think of them as just a Wal-mart brand TV and never put any thought into it until I started looking into some of the best TV’s on the market as of the past couple of years. I’ll be picking one up next summer when the 2017 models hit unless something else comes out of nowhere. I’ll just end off with a couple of thoughts about what’s on the market as of now.

      OLED is going to be expensive for some time to come and that would be my only recommendation to really spend that kind of money now if you have it… LG OLED is misleading as they still use LCD with a white OLED backlight so while they might seem like they are cheaper the color reproduction won’t compare to what a real OLED will be able to do which is why the real sets still top out over $10,000.

      This is more of my own opinion but curved TV’s are a Samsung gimick which offer nothing in terms of improved image quality for the premium they cost.

      Sony TV’s were great in the 80’s and 90’s when the Trinitron was king but they never got a real grasp on the flat screen market… I can’t say much about them other than that. Their TV’s are ok but they just seem to follow market conformity.

      If I were to recommend any other brand than Vizio at the moment it would be Sharp or a non-curved Samsung though you’d be paying a premium for the namesake but their build qualities are good.

    • Wolfman Jack

      Thanks Matt for the heads up!! I recently went to Best Buy and had one of thier more knowledgable sales person walk me around thier Top 4K TVs.

      I currently own a 55inch Smart Samsung 1080p LED 3D model 7500 TV. Have it for nearly two years now and I love it. Even my friends who come over love it as well which is why I like Samsung much but lots of other companies have come out with pretty good 4K TVs too.

      According to the BB sales rep, Sony has the best motion rates compared to all brands however I’m not sold much by that because honestly they all look great and can’t tell much differences. You’re absolutely right on regarding Samsung curve TV, curve offers absolutely no advantages or benefits infact it’s a disadvantage when viewing from average distance so no curve coming here. Flat is the way to go!!

      I agree that OLED looks sick however yeah $10,000 is definitely not what I’m looking to spend so that’s not even a possibility. I refuse to ever get an LG tv. I once bought an LG TV a few years back and the crap ended giving problems months after purchasing, so no LG coming here.

      Vizio would be the best bang for the buck 4K TV and they do look pretty good too but Samsung has my interest based on my own TV excellent performance although Sony too are making some what of a comeback and might consider over Samsung but it’s gotta be a big deal or something. There’s lots of time between now and end of 2017 so honestly I’ll be picking up either a 2017 or 2018 latest sick 65inch 4K TV then. I gotta make sure though that I’m able to hook up both my awesome PS4 and the new Beast (XBScorpio) to come. I truly want that 4K gaming/movies experience.

    • Matt

      There’s nothing wrong about going with Samsung… My advice would be to research the model and make sure it’s not assembled in Mexico though. I have a 5 year old edge lit 32″ 5500 series that has some screen imperfections that I bought from Best buy. I wasn’t able to notice the problems at the time because I didn’t know what to look for back then but all around it was a good TV and It’s sitting on a dresser right now retired from gaming. The unit was assembled in Mexico after researching it so the manufacturing process left this blob like area that didn’t get as bright as the rest of the screen so you could only notice it on bright images or full color test screens… I didn’t notice it within my warranty so I couldn’t do anything about it. Other than that it had the normal downfalls that edge lit TV’s all have like light bleed at the corners and uneven black levels.

      Considering you have a Samsung TV at the moment there’s a simple feature I use on mine that really increased the picture quality in gaming that should work with yours and all other Samsung tv’s though I can’t confirm that it actually does. What it does is change how the TV displays the image so it’s more in line with a computer monitor. You’ll have to readjust the brightness and contrast levels after doing this and you won’t be able to use the advanced picture options as they’ll be greyed out while you have it set like this kinda like when you use game mode. There’s no risk to doing this at all as all your doing is changing the name of the input to COMPUTER and the tv is treating the image as such. The image will seem more natural than what your used to if you’re used to all the image enhancing settings in the menu but it will be an all around cleaner image once you get used to the way it looks.

      So down to it…

      -Hit the ‘SOURCE’ button on your remote and highlight the input for your console
      -While it’s highlighted hit the ‘TOOLS’ button on your remote and select edit name
      -Scroll through the list a select Computer and hit Ok

      That’s it. If you have a newer remote then there might not be a ‘TOOLS’ button but I’m sure there’s an alternative.

      As for adjusting the TV’s brightness and contrast after that there is a certain image I use to do this but I’m not sure if I can post images on this site without it being blocked so I’ll reply to my own post with it. It’s a 0-255 greyscale so just copy it and display it through your console either with a USB or navigate to it with the consoles browser. What you want to do is adjust your TV’s brightness and contrast settings until 0-16 are completely black and 240-255 are completely white… 235 is actually the white target but I know it’s not on the greyscale so adjust it until the bar for 232 is just noticeable. I usually end up with the values around 30 for brightness and 90-100 on contrast for reference.

      I know this has turned into a wall of text but nobody really knows about this feature that Samsung Tvs have and since your not going to be upgrading until sometime next year this might breath some new life into your current setup. I’d go into more detail about what’s actually going on with the image but I’ll spare you for now unless you want to know.

  • ambleThought

    Targeting 1% of the market for 4K is weak. No one owns these. And at what cost? Do games increase like they did last gen because of these extra assets? Is the console going to be $1000? Is is going to look like a fridge? I mean it is M$.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    1080p @60 fps + 0% compressed textures + multi-passes_MSAA16-32X antialiasing + perfect shadows + perfect global lighting + 3 million_polygon characters + 500k-1million polygon_NPC’s + ultra-complex-shaders + dynamic sky_sun-wind + billions of particle effects + photorealistic_8k x 8k_pixel_textures + life-like_gpgpu_rendered_sand-water-fog-fire-snow-rain-brick-road-etc shaders/textures + dynamic_photorealistic_random_trees and foliage + hollywood_quality skin/face/eyes + a_little_raytracing

    UPSCALLED TO 4K…………..


    4K@45-55FPS 30-50% compressed textures + cheap_SINGLE-PASS_fxAA32X antialiasing + average shadows + classic pre-backed lighting + 500k- 800k polygon characters + 200k-400k polygon_NPC’s + normal-shaders + NO dynamic sky_sun-wind + MUCH LESS particle effects + STANDARD CHEAP_2k x 2k_pixel_textures + cpu rendered basic_sand-water-fog-fire-snow-rain-brick-road-etc shaders/textures + limited ugly_random_trees and foliage + average-low_quality skin/face/eyes + NO RAYTRACING.


    lighting, texture quality and multi-pass antialiasing ARE MORE IMPORTANT than a 16’000 X 16’000 pixel image that uses heavily compressed textures, has a bad lighting engine and is full of aliasing.

    • cweb1988

      right? resolution is the last thing these extra resources should be used for.

    • Logan5

      You’re right. As an example, take 720p video of the real world and compare it to the state of the art in real-time graphics today. Even the highest quality graphics currently possible, at whatever resolution, won’t match that “low rez” video of real life. That is exactly what Microsoft is referring to when they talk about “better pixels.” There is still tremendous improvement yet to be realized in rendered image quality before increased resolution really becomes necessary.

      Just look at the expert consensus in the audio/video world when it comes to 4K resolution versus High Dynamic Range color (HDR). Everyone I have read has agreed that the resolution increase from 1080p to 4K is only marginally noticeable most of the time, while HDR significantly improves picture quality and is the best reason to upgrade to 4K. “Better pixels” beats “more pixels”, all other things being equal.

    • HAppY_KrAToS

      For me, lights are the most important thing . You can have a perfect pixar/avatar sequence, at 4, 8 or 32k resolution. But without a fantastic light engine, all colors, shadows, self shadows, objects, reflections, refractions, everything will look dull, lifeless, dead, empty. Turns the lights one by one, and admire the show.

      Sure, hdr could give a new life to games and characters.

  • cweb1988

    4k would indeed be a huge waste of the resources. Resolution is the last thing I’d want those extra resources used for honestly. Throw that extra power at in-game systems like dynamic worlds, weather, effects/particles, textures, physics, destruction, changing environments, more assets, better draw distances, etc. etc……not freakin’ 4k……that craps over-rated.

  • Hvd

    doom is 1080p/60fps on xbox one what more can they do? a dev should be striving to push a console to do more.they should want to make 4k games on the xbox Scorpio so instead he wants to tear it down and make doom 1080p and look alittle better.

    sounds like a lazy as* dev to me.

  • Casey Rybek

    We have to remember, the same guy that said “no exclusives for Scorpio” also said we’re going to utilize the cloud to revolutionize multiplayer gaming. We’ll also see how stakeholders respond once the system isn’t selling and they will need to create exclusive games that optimize exactly what Id is referring to. Anyone who actually believes developers are not TODAY creating an exclusive game for Scorpio, should probably never be allowed to run a business. From a PR standpoint and to maintain the small amount of credibility X1 has, they have to pitch Scorpio as part of the “same family”. LOL. We’ll get games like Forza Scorpio, Dead Rising Scorpio, etc.

  • Fay_Z

    why are people so dumb? clearly native 4k won’t be done on scorpio, most devs will max out 60fps and ultra settings, then just upscale to 4k, digital foundry actually did a video of how much upscaling would be typically needed, and only around 15% upscaling is almost as good as native 4k.

  • Matt

    Nobody really sits at the recommended distances for screen sizes… I’ve sat the same distance away from a 32″ as a 55″ which is about 2-3 feet and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that by a long shot. If I’m sitting on a couch 10 feet away then I’m not playing anything seriously.

  • THU31

    I was looking forward to this console refresh, until they said they were going for 4K at 30 FPS. Now I am not interested in it at all, a complete waste of computational power.

  • Christian

    It is actually not exactly true that console gamers necessarily sit farther away, so that native 4k would be a waste


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