Phil Spencer and Shanon Loftis explain the saga of mixed frame rates across platforms.
When Microsoft first started promoting Project Scorpio, it’s mid-generation upgrade to the Xbox One which would enable native 4K gaming (at least, that’s the promise), it made clear the lack of an FPS/resolution mandate. Yesterday, Xbox division corporate VP Mike Ybarra again noted that developers will not have any frame rate, resolution or fidelity requirements placed on them and can use the hardware as they see fit.
Shannon Loftis, general manager of Microsoft Studios publishing, answered a query on Twitter about whether it would be okay for games on Scorpio running at 60 FPS to be matched with Xbox One users who have the same title running at 30 FPS. “Developer choice, but as a developer I would bet no one chooses different framerates for MP games ever.”
It’s certainly an interesting conundrum overall. Loftis clarified this remark by saying, “Since I confused folks. As a dev, we use all power for what matters. This is typically frames and resolution.” She continued by stating that, “Also AI, game systems like economy, etc. Devs have a goal to deliver as much of all as possible all the time. Most will *not* limit frames.”
Loftis then noted that some cases, like general PvP (i.e. non-competitive), would not have issues with mixed frame rates. “Except in very specific situations. In coop, general pvp, pve – mixed framerates are no issue.” Finally, she ended by stating that, “In competitive (tourney qualifier e.g.) situations, devs will try to ensure matches have equal frames. Sorry for confusion.”
So in the end, it falls on the developer to make sure its game matches – those taking place on Xbox One at least – are all running at the same frame rate. In regular PvP though? Having different frame rates for players is apparently not an issue.
When another Twitter user took the example of Bungie’s Destiny capping the frame rate at 30 FPS for Crucible, Xbox head Phil Spencer chimed in to state, “Trust that devs will try to build the best experience for their players, that’s a good bet.”
Spencer ended by saying, “Fear that without platform holders limiting studios that they will create broken game experiences is misguided.”
What are your thoughts on this whole debate about developers having to balance frame rates in multiplayer between Project Scorpio and Xbox One? Let us know in the comments.