“More RAM helps us cache art assets so that they are instantly available if later needed.”
The Xbox One X is a really powerful machine- the terms ‘beast’ and ‘the most powerful console ever made’ have repeatedly been used to describe it, after all. But the numbers and specs are just that, numbers and specs. Meaningless without larger context- so when we had the chance to talk to Chris Wilson, producer at Grinding Gear Games, currently working on Path of Exile (which itself is due out on Xbox One soon), we decided to ask him about what the extra hardware power may mean for games.
Speaking about the GPU, and what benefit it may spell for games and developers, Wilson said, “There are two types of benefits. The first is that games that ran at 1080p can now run at 4K without compromises. The second is that the additional graphics power can be used to make games look even better than they did before. This is something we’ll be looking at over time with Path of Exile – pushing the boundaries of the hardware.”
Truly, being able to run 4K games natively is a big benefit graphically, especially as we move towards a push for 4K. However, that’s not all, either- Wilson also discussed the higher RAM in the console, with 9GB out of 12GB available and usable for games (far more than the average gaming PC).
“More RAM helps us cache art assets so that they are instantly available if later needed,” he said. “This is important when players decide to visit areas they recently went to, or if they enter an area that contains art assets that are shared with another they have been to recently. The base Xbox One (and average gaming PC) has enough RAM for a few areas to remain in memory, but the 9GB available here pushes that by quite a lot.”
It is hard to disagree with him- and it is hard to disagree with the assertion that the Xbox One X is truly a wonderfully made system, with untapped power that could be hugely beneficial not just for how games look, but also how they play. We can only hope that games that tap its power release, and that they release soon.