Excitement is building about the upcoming Xbox Project Scorpio console from Microsoft, with many people hankering to hear more about what games will be available.
Now it appears that Microsoft will allow video game publishers to decide how their games will be delivered to the Xbox Project Scorpio. The tech giant says that it will make sure its own games run in native 4K resolution, but will leave games developers to decide about the games they produce, writes Rishi Alwani for Gadgets 360.
Microsoft promises i4K rendering for Xbox Project Scorpio
“Any games we’re making that we’re launching in the Scorpio time frame, we’re making sure they can natively render at 4K,” Shannon Loftis, Microsoft Studios General Manager, told USA Today.
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The news comes hot on the heels of the confirmation from Sony that not all PS4 Pro games will boast full 4K support. This means that while each PS4 game will be compatible with the PS4 Pro, not all of them will look better thanks to the improved specs of the new console.
This division will also exist with future games, with developers left to decide how their games will be delivered.
Consumers facing more complicated purchasing decisions
Another point to consider is that the visual upgrades will not be the same for every game. While the adoption of 4K televisions appears to be faster than the adoption of HD, not all 4K TVs are made equal. The amount of visual upgrades will depend on other factors such as high dynamic range (HDR).
The main takeaway is that there will now be an added layer of complexity in the buying process. In years past the purchase of a console meant that you would enjoy uniform support and performance for a period of time. However now that Sony and Microsoft are loosening the requirements for developers, you will need to be more careful when it comes to purchasing decisions.
The idea seems to be to allow gamers the widest possible variety of games, even if that means compromising on uniform performance. “Our goal is for Xbox is to provide the broadest spectrum of games,” says Loftis. “The number one thing we hear when we talk to gamers … is choice.”
Does 4K necessarily mean better graphics?
Xbox is set for a big year in 2017, with the arrival of Xbox Project Scorpio to face off against arch rival Sony and its PlayStation 4. With native 4K gaming Microsoft is aiming for top performance, but the situation is more complicated than you may think.
Even a dedicated gaming PC struggles to produce 4K gaming at 60 frames per second, and that’s with a graphics card that costs more than an entire console. However most gamers play at 30 fps, which demands less sophisticated graphics power.
While Microsoft claims that it will render games at a native 4K resolution, it seems likely that the Xbox Project Scorpio will have some visual compromises. Unless the console is going to cost more than any other in history, there will have to be some reduction in frame rate or graphics quality.
At the moment it looks like Microsoft is focusing on 4K because it is an easy number for consumers to latch on to. However this impressive resolution may not deliver games of overall better visual quality due to the extreme demands on the console.
We may well be looking at a situation in which the Xbox Project Scorpio delivers 4K gaming, but overall graphics quality isn’t much better than the existing Xbox One.