“Not every developer is going to decide to take that 6TFLOPs and do 4K/60fps with it,” says Albert Penello.
One of the biggest selling points of the upcoming Xbox Scorpio, besides the expected VR support, is the ability to run games at native 4K resolution. So upcoming games like Forza Horizon 3 or Gears of War 4 will most likely run at 4K resolution when the console launches next year. Of course, these games will require a patch or two to support a higher resolution but expect most recent first party Xbox One titles to receive that update when the console releases.
However 4K support is not going to be applicable for every game on Scorpio. In an interview with The Inner Circle Microsoft’s Albert Penello clarified that running games at 4K/60fps is their own goal which may or may not apply to other developers. So if a developer thinks that a resolution of 1080p works for their game, Microsoft will be fine with that. He also clarified that 4K/60fps is not a mandate for developers working on the Scorpio and they are allowed to use the console’s power in whatever way they feel that is best for their game and engine. Penello’s entire clarification can be read below:
“You have to have a goal. When you decide to do a piece of technology…when you want to launch, how much do you want it to cost…and there are all these decisions. At some point you have to say that this is what we want to do. So Phil kind of teased this up…we didn’t…and this is not a slam on anybody…we didn’t want to take a half step. Phil used to run studios and he is got all this studio guys and all these technology guys and he said if we are going to do this we need to make sure that we make a technology goal for ourselves.”
“So the goal was can we take the same level of graphics, the same frame rate, the same lighting effects, same number of enemies and AI on screen and deliver that in 4K. No compromises. I don’t have to half the number of enemies on screen, I don’t have to reduce the effects, I don’t have to make the game smaller. I should be able to take an Xbox One game today that is in 1080p and 60fps and I want to do 4K/60fps on this new box. And we built the box to deliver that goal. So we know the box will do what we want it to do.”
“I think people get confused and say our messaging is weird. Not every developer is going to use it that way. Not every developer is going to decide to take that 6TFLOPs and do 4K/60fps with it. They might decide for their game, their engine that they want to do something different and that’s fine. But our goal is to build a box that deliver true 4K games at the same level of fidelity that you see on your current Xbox One games. That is the box we are building. We know we can do it. We wouldn’t have went out and said it if we didn’t think we could do it. We have a lot of work ahead to do it but that is our goal.”
“I am not saying every game will be 4K/60fps but developers may not choose to do that.”
In short, developers can opt for something like 1080p and 60fps and up the ante in other departments such as visual effects, texture quality and post processing. Personally speaking, I will be more than happy if games run at 1080p and 60fps with all graphics settings maxed out.
The Scorpio is out late next year.