‘Let developers get familiar with the system first.’
Microsoft’s Xbox One has consistently been clowned in terms of real world performance by Sony’s substantially more powerful, and much easier to develop for, PlayStation 4; one thing that has taken the most visible hit as a result is the resolution, which almost never manages to hit 1080p on Xbox One games or multiplats.
However, speaking to OXM, Microsoft’s director of development Boyd Multerer stated that he fully expects developers to be able to achieve native 1080p output on the console more and more as they familiarize themselves with the hardware.
“I fully expect that to happen,” he said. “The [graphics processing units] are really complicated beasts this time around.”
“The hardware is basically baked, and what comes next is people discovering better software techniques to take advantage of it, especially in the ordering of the data so it flows through all the caches correctly, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity there,” said Multerer. Of the Xbox One’s ESRAM – a slab of super-fast RAM that works in tandem with the console’s eight GB of DDR3 RAM – he added that “this is where tuning your data set becomes super important.”
According to him, the creators of Xbox One launch titles did not get enough time with the hardware to achieve the full extent of what is possible with the hardware; over time, as developers use the hardware more and more, they should be able to create better looking games.
Sounds reasonable enough (and honestly, anyone who was expecting Xbox One games to always have the same visual problems that they do now was kidding themselves), but of course, the elephant in the room is that just as Xbox One games get better looking with time, so will PS4 games too. Will the gap remain constant? Will it increase? Will it decrease? We’ll have to wait to find out.