The Big Question: Will Developers Fully Utilize The Power of Xbox One X?

Higher rendering resolution, performance or vastly improved graphical parameters?

Posted By | On 17th, Jul. 2017 Under Article, Graphics Analysis


The Xbox One X has powerful internals, there’s no doubt about that. We were a fair bit surprised when Microsoft announced final specifications for the platform at E3. And then, of course, there were the lush, 4K game demos. There’s no doubt about the One X’s credentials as an entry-point to 4K gaming. Microsoft had always made clear that the Scorpio/Xbox One X was essentially a 4K Xbox One, capable of running the latter’s titles in 4K, with broadly comparable performance and quality. There’s no need for rendering tricks here. Because the Xbox One X features graphics hardware that’s broadly on par with the RX 480 and 390X, there is genuinely enough power on tap to deliver a native 4K gaming experience.

The One X can do 4K. The PS4 Pro…kinda can as well. Both of these are immensely powerful machines, compared to what’s come before in the console space. We’re not questioning that. What we’re interested in seeing over the next couple years is just how much Microsoft’s marketing pitch as “4K console” impacts the way developers treat them. How far can the Xbox One X stand on its own?

If you were to ask Microsoft or Sony, the answer would be “not very far at all.” Both have been adamant in insisting that these consoles are nothing more than new SKUs in their existing lines. Even before the PS4 Pro was outed, leaked whitepapers revealed Sony’s stance on the Pro–anything that runs on the Pro must run on the original PS4. Microsoft’s position on the Xbox One X isn’t too different: apart from the possibility of maybe a handful of VR exclusives arriving some day.

While the lack of exclusives that’s almost baked into the Xbox One X’s value proposition may not seem like a big deal in the here and now, it has signficant implications in the years to come.

Let’s talk about visuals: every console generation is accompanied by a leap in graphics quality, made possible by the use of new rendering techniques that require faster hardware to work. This generation, techniques such as tessellation, physically-based rendering, and global illumination have defined the nature of visuals–compared to seventh-gen titles, almost every game on current-gen platforms features complex lighting, realistic materials, higher-res textures, and more detailed models. Making games look this good is only possible when it’s economically viable: when you don’t have to ensure compatibility with older platforms that are still in use. This is the reason why “true next-gen” games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity look markedly better than cross-gen titles like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, even if there’s only a year’s gap separating the two.

Eighth-gen titles came into their own visually when developers stopped supporting the older consoles. Unfortunately, such a break is not going to happen with the Xbox One X, not because of technical infeasibility, but simply because the platform owner don’t want it to happen. Retaining compatibility with the Xbox One will mean that there’s limited space for game visuals to evolve, even as late as 2020–they’ll be held back by the things the Xbox One can’t do, not what’s possible with the Xbox One X.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Resolution’s another key factor. The question of whether 4K console gaming’s even warranted is likely to be valid for at least as long as the One X and PS4 Pro remain on the market.

Going from the PS3/Xbox 360 to the current gen saw an uptick in typical rendering resolution from 720p to 900p/1080p. This isn’t a great leap by any measure–from 720p to 1080p, we’re only talking about a 2x increase in pixel count. Going from 720p to 900p is even less a jump–just a 50 percent increase in pixel count. And let’s not get into the fact that a handful of PS3 titles actually did run at a native 1080p. The bump in resolution just wasn’t that great, meaning that graphics resources could be better utilized elsewhere. With the Xbox One X, we’re talking about a 4x increase in pixel count, moving up to 4K: just getting today’s games to perform reasonably well at that resolution is a challenge in and of itself.

This imposes a hard limit on just how much developers can innovate in terms of visuals in the coming years: games not only need to run at 1080p/900p on the Xbox One, they also need to run at higher resolutions on the One X. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of games offer an enhanced 1080p mode on the PS4 Pro, sacrificing resolution for enhanced visual quality. If developers were to target 1080p on the Pro and Xbox One X rather than 4K, the situation might improve, but this isn’t likely to happen considering the amount of effort both platform holders have spent on projecting the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X as 4K consoles.

Saddled with the requirement of having to run games at such a high resolution, it’s unlikely that developers will try to utilize the full potential of Xbox One at standard resolutions like 1080p, where the increased graphic horsepower could go a long way towards providing photorealistic experiences. One possibility here is that when the successors to the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio arrive, the older platforms might finally be allowed to stretch their legs at 1080p. But at this point, we don’t even objectively know if there’s going to be a 9th gen for Xbox (There have been rumors that Microsoft are already working on a new console which may be a iteration of the Xbox One X, thereby maintaining backwards compatability and totally rejecting the concept of console generations. On the other hand, Sony have already confirmed that there is going to be a PlayStation 5 which may be an actual new generation).

Between having to render games at incredibly high resolutions and Microsoft’s insistence on backwards compatibility, we don’t see much scope for developers to utilize the full potential of the Xbox One X at standard resolutions. It’s certainly possible at a technical level, because of the frankly terrible market positioning for these new consoles, it’s unlikely that we’ll see real innovation in game visuals before 2020.


Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • Rafoca

    I don’t think so. After the Destiny 2 fiasco I really think parity clauses will hurt Xbox X

    • TheNorthFace

      destiny 2 is an exception because they are idiots that hate ms

      bungie hate them so much that they are willing to make the competitive mode scaled down to 4v4 just so it can still look good on sonys platform… sad but true… somehow lower playercount makes it more competitive LOL, soon they’ll say 24fps for ‘cinematic’ experience only on ps4 LOL

    • Mr Xrat

      Is that why Destiny had parity on PS4 and Xbone?

      Love it when Xgimp excuses wither under the light of reality.

    • If your trying to act like they could have achieved 60 fps on the PS4 then you sir are the one drinking the fanboy Kool-Aid

  • Ucouldntbemorewrong

    No the common denominator is the org PS4 and XB1. Pro & XB1X will be held back due to parity. I would imagine 1st party will push It very hard on the mid level systems.

    • Sp4ctr0

      “I would imagine 1st party will push It very hard”

      First party exclusives can’t push hardware to its limit. Those games are held back by old consoles from 2013. Real power we will see in multiplatform games because they are designed for PC so they scale details between 1.3 TFLOPS of GTX 750TI… to 12 TFLOPS of GTX TITAN XP. All multiplatform games will easily scale to 6 TFLOPS.

      Developers said that Xbox X is like standard PC with GPU a little faster than GTX 1070. So they already use support this level of details

    • Ucouldntbemorewrong

      multiplatform will be held back due to a parity with org 2013 systems, especially in MP games.

    • Sp4ctr0

      No, only multiplatform designed for PC have multiple level of details for GPU from 1.3 TFLOPS to 12 TFLOPS. Those games will easily scale to 6 TFLOPS

    • XanderZane41

      Hhhmm XB1X uses a PC O/S in Win10. So it will be no different then developer making games on the PC. Even Microsoft 1st party games use Win10. Now with the PS4 Pro it may be a bit different for PC games coming to the Pro. There won’t be any problem with PC games coming to XB1X.

    • Starman

      Say it again

    • Mr Xrat

      You’ve been saying that with DX12 for years. Never happens.

  • Luke Skywalker

    I’m hoping they take advantage of the extra power

    • Sp4ctr0

      We will see real power in all multiplatform games because they are designed for PC so they scale details between 1.3 TFLOPS of GTX 750TI… to 12 TFLOPS of GTX TITAN XP. All multiplatform games will easily scale to 6 TFLOPS.

      Xbox One = GTX 750TI = 1.35 TFLOPS
      Xbox X = GTX 1070 = 6.0 TFLOPS

      New games on PC already scale to even 12 TFLOPS with 12 GB of GDDR5. So it will be very easy to use 6 TFLOPS with 9 GB of memory of Xbox (12 GB total, 9 GB for games)

    • Psionicinversion

      Well no it doesn’t games don’t use anywhere close to 12GB unless you hack gta5 to have unlimited draw distance

    • Sp4ctr0

      There are already games using 7GB for textures (Xbox X have 9GB for games)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDn_QYasNJ0

    • Psionicinversion

      1 video lol and i can tell you right now it does not use that much Ram at 4k ultra because I can and have tested it. Maybe it did at the start, but not now.

  • Psionicinversion

    You’ll see really good visual improvements before 2020…it’s called star citizen /squadron 42 pc game no holds barred, no downgrades, no sjw, no holding back. Put your seat straight and your tray tables in the upright and locked position, time to go full throttle!!

    • angh

      You believe in SC before 2020?:) as original backer i have no such delusions anymore;)

    • Psionicinversion

      Definitely, according to the latest Gamestar article which they went to frankfurt office and had an interview and played a build of 3.0 there only aiming for 5-10 solar systems at launch which says to me they want it out for commercial release ASAP. So I think end of 2018 1q 2019 for it.

      Soon as all the code is done, gameplay systems in place bug fixed and optimised there kicking it out the door then updating it relatively frequently.

      Each system should have alot to do to keep people busy so should be OK

    • angh

      As the initial full release was set for 2014, you’re much more of an optimist than I’ll ever be;)

    • Psionicinversion

      they wont have the money to get to 2020 so they have to release it commercially way before then.

  • ShowanW

    yes they will…

    people keep glossing over the fact that microsoft has made it super simple with the new dev kit…

    • bigevilworldwide

      It doesn’t matter rocket genius….Even the 1st party games will barely make use of the power, because of the FACT that the X1X is a mid gen refresh and ALL games have to run on the original X1…..3rd parties wont they barely make use of the Pro because NOBODY wants to put the extra time in to make “special” changes

    • ShowanW

      Announcements of devs taking the time to enhance their games for One X proves me right…

      I wont get into trivial name calling…

      Marketing deals wont allow 3rd party devs to say it publicly… But its happening rather u like it or not.

    • angh

      …enhance graphically only. Not bigger world size, better AI, more quests, longer tracks. Games will be identical, only difference will be resolution and/or high-rez textures. If this is ‘fully utilizing’ the power of xbx then i’m off.

    • kreator

      So your saying I won’t be able to enjoy Forza 7 at 60fps because someone is playing on an Xbox One S??

    • Mr Xrat

      Setting up, yes, it’s an Xbone SDK. It should be easy.

      Actual improvements? Those bottlenecks…

  • xravishx

    This article could be arguing that because a new graphics card is being released that new games won’t make full use of the hardware because older graphics cards in older computers exist. This is all true, but that’s how it always is when you want games to be compatible. The difference between the X1/X1X and PC’s of different levels is that the Xbox games only need to have a couple detail levels, one for X1 and one for the X1X. PC games have to be able to be compatible with computers of all different specs and they have to make a choice as to what the bottom of the barrel is going to be for any given game. Anything under that will obviously not be fully compatible, ie the game might run but be nearly unplayable. That’s why you have “minimum specs” and “recommended specs.” X1 will be the “minimum specs” and X1X will be the “recommended specs.” As time goes on, devs will develop games with X1X more in mind until the ceiling gets raised with another iteration of the Xbox. Then, maybe, minimum specs will be raised to X1X. Or maybe not. It depends on how they want to scale their games and where the money is. I don’t think Microsoft wants another XB-OG to XB360 or XB360 to XB1 transition, though. Make it easier to buy a new machine with very little sacrifice beyond the pocketbook and I think people will jump on it.

  • XanderZane41

    Older games that are already out on the PS4 and XB1 won’t get the full treatment from PS4 Pro or XB1X, but any NEW game using the SDK for the Pro or XB1X will get the full effect from the mid-gen platform. The games will be made on the most powerful system and then scaled back to run on the OG PS4 & XB1. No different from how PC games are made On PC the developers get the games running on the most powerful hardware and then scale the game back to run on lower end GPU/CPU PC systems. Same thing will happen with game consoles.

  • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    No. The marketshare isn’t there to benefit from putting the extra effort into it.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      They already have PC assets they can use and according to developers themselves enhancing their games for the X is very easy.

    • J.j. Barrington

      And those PC assets are apparently multi gigs of extra download.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      If downloading large files is an issue, then there is a console for you: an XBO, PS4, a Pro or even a Nintendo Switch.

    • J.j. Barrington

      And most people will go for those consoles, which will make devs less likely to support the XOX.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      That remains to be seen. But that will depend how much effort they will have to put into supporting it, and I can’t find information of a single developer complaining about it. The ones who have worked on it, have stated how relatively easy the Process is. Also, The fact that Publishers like Bethesada and EA have announced support in addition to smaller developers points to a good start when the X is finally released.

    • Tomaterrrx

      The market share is there (for XB1). Multiplats often sell most of their copies on PS4, then Xbox, then pc.

  • TheNorthFace

    this article is like some sony fanboys dream, of course they will utilise the extra power especially since ms made it so easy to port over and optimise ports in a few days, doesn’t take a lot of time on resources.

    sorry sonybots xbox one x will be the best console ever made with it’s great hardware and online service.

    and ps5 thoughts are loooong time away so let’s stay on a subject that is actually happening. so i guess they will have to replay uncharted 4 over and over again until then.

  • Starman

    The only reason you Sony fanboys care about if they’re going to use the power is …….. You know if they do , it will kill the Pro …. FACTS .. and yes , real devs will , not your little indie devs who’s not used to that kind of development…

    • Holeybartender

      It’ll be more than Sony fanboys who’ll worry but Microsoft fanboys also.The fact is is that if Microsoft did then the XB1X will be the one to die.Microsoft can’t afford another lie on their plate.

  • DA-ROOSTER

    Xbox One X Forza 7 4K 60fps

    PS4 PRO GT Sport checkerboard rendering 1600p 60fps

    3rd party developers are already using the power of the Xbox One X
    Shadow Of War native 4K on the Xbox One X and sub 4K resolution on the PS4 PRO
    games will have a higher resolution better quality textures,better frame rates on the Xbox One X

    • Holeybartender

      Yeah,yeah,yeah we get it,Microsoft waiting for Sony’s Pro to be leaked and made a higher spec console. Congratulations…

      http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2016/05/26/ps4-neo-vs-xbox-one-scorpio-report/

      https://www.vg247.com/2016/11/08/xbox-one-scorpio-windows-10-pc-uwp-native-support/

    • Psionicinversion

      yeah because there plannign the next xbox console right now to be delivered in 3-4 years time but yeah of course they only started it 1 year ago lmao talk some sense

    • Holeybartender

      Not talking about the Xbox Two were we…and while we’re at it,which rumor leaked first? Oh yeah PS5.

    • Psionicinversion

      so? its a well known fact it takes years to design a console. you think they could knock up a console in a 1 1/2 years? hahahaha yeah ok

    • Holeybartender
    • Psionicinversion

      yep that said absolutely nohting

    • Holeybartender

      “We’ll keep tuning Scorpio…”

      It says yes we have time to knock it up.

    • Psionicinversion

      yes because tuning software to use less resources over time is exactly the same as producing hardware where it takes time to set up contracts, in MS case make modifications to jaguars design, actually having full working silicon on the node there producing it on last year, designing the cooling system, power delivery systems on PCB…………

      i assume sony started working on ps4 pro about july 2015 to right?!!!

  • Mr Xrat

    Between those bottlenecks that Xgimps insisted didn’t exist and having to support original hardware? Doubt it.

    Still, it’s something else for Xgimps to cling on while their sad little brand continues its march of despair, just like DX12, just like the cloud.

    • Fweds

      Tell me about the PS Protato and what you think about it being so less powerful than the Xbox1X ?

    • MickaelSuarez

      “what you think about it being so less powerful than the Xbox1X ?”
      The One X must outperform the PS4 Pro, just normal.

      On paper, the Pro is less powerful than the X, its price is lower and that’s coherent (something Microsoft could have done for the OG One). A $100 difference is huge between two consoles, $150 could be hard to justify.

      Some players weren’t able to see the difference between 900p and 1080p, will they be able to see the difference between games on these two consoles ?

      “How do you think the PS Protato will stand up in comparison to the Xbox1X when digital foundry do side by side comparisons on Multi format titles ?”
      Even if an RX 470 must be outperformed by RX 480/580/R9 390X, that will be interesting.
      See if FP16 can have a real impact on gaming for example.

    • Mr Xrat

      It better do if it’s a year late and $100 more expensive like we all said it would be and how Xgimps denied it long after the great Geoff Keighley leaked it.

      What do you think about the laughable games lineup on the S**tbox Done despite Xgimp insistence that after three years in charge Uncle Phil was going to lift the floodgates and provide you with a plethora of riches? Good luck with Lucky’s Tale, I guesss.

    • Fweds

      You are trying to take me off topic and you don’t answer 1 of the questions but gave yourself 10 fake Upvotes so what I asked you was .

      Tell me about the PS Protato and what you think about it being so less powerful than the Xbox1X ?

      What do you think about this articles point.
      “There’s no need for rendering tricks here. Because the Xbox One X features graphics hardware that’s broadly on par with the RX 480 and 390X, there is genuinely enough power on tap to deliver a native 4K gaming experience”

      How do you think the PS Protato will stand up in comparison to the Xbox1X when digital foundry do side by side comparisons on Multi format titles ?

      Why are you using an Upvote Bot ?

      ……

      So just go through each question and answer it, it’s simple enough let’s hear your views on the Underpowered Ps Protato.

    • Mr Xrat

      Looks like reality triggers you pretty hard, Fweds. Take a holiday.

    • Poseidon team

      Fake accounts army is back! LOL.

      Many games already announced support for the 1X.

      Sony fans boys are triggered, in full denial and crying…

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/110f50979032bfc69e220530b4d6be91656d38ef393fe0e7ca1532d71cda7d5d.jpg

    • Mr Xrat

      Just as I said, Xgimps getting more shrill and panicky as the full nature of the Xbollox blunder becomes apparent and MS gets cagier about “enhancements” for games. The bell tolls for thee!

    • Poseidon team

      Watch this and cry Mr Pony Rat… several games confirmed true or CB 4K for 1X… meanwhile no word on Pro support…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asJRltk40GY&t=0s

    • Mr Xrat

      MS resorting to exclusive update announcements from its s**ll devs. Don’t worry, updates for the Pro are coming – they’re mandated by Sony. 🙂

    • Ocelot forgot his meds

      Shut your pony shnoz mental case. You and your 50 upvote accounts are an embarrassment to the human race.

    • Mr Xrat

      Make an appointment with a speeding train, retarded woodpecker. 🙂

    • Ocelot forgot his meds

      Indeed you should mental case. Plenty of your type are when they heard of the Spider-Man downgrade.

    • Holeybartender
  • kee1haul

    That final paragraph is terrible. Almost like the writer doesn’t even want better graphics, or back compat. Especially terrible since, so far, all the evidence is to the contrary.

    • One The One

      Gamingbolt bias is entirely terrible.

    • J.j. Barrington

      All evidence of… what, exactly?

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      The author was trying hard to look objective, but I would say that in his last two paragraphs he couldn’t help himself but to show the cards of what the media’s new narrative will be(imo): Parity due BC and “good” visuals ONLY by 2020. Curiously, Only one platform holder is not entertaining the idea of BC, and some Analysts keep predicting a PS5 by 2019-2020.


More From GamingBolt

 

Copyright © 2009-2017 GamingBolt.com. All Rights Reserved.