Microsoft Won’t Require Native 4K on Scorpio Games, Says PS4 Pro’s 4.2TF Isn’t Enough for True 4K

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Sep 21, 2016
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Microsoft’s Albert Penello (Senior Director of Product Management & Planning) talked again about Xbox Scorpio in an interview published today by Eurogamer.

While a few days ago we reported the words of Publishing General Manager Shannon Loftis, who said that Microsoft is making sure that the games being launched in the Scorpio time frame can render natively at 4K, Penello clarified that this will not be a requirement for developers. They could, for instance, choose a lower resolution and target 60FPS instead for their Scorpio game.

We had to pick a number. Why did you choose six teraflops? Why did you choose 384Gb/s in memory bandwidth? What’s the point of those numbers? The point of those numbers was to deliver Xbox One-quality games in 4K. That’s the point of those numbers. But we’re not going to dictate to developers that that’s how they have to use that power.

Interestingly, Penello mentioned 384Gb/s of memory bandwidth whereas the original announcement listed 320GB/s; whether that is simply a mistake or rather a spec upgrade, we don’t know yet.

He then proceeded to highlight that Scorpio’s competitor PlayStation 4 Pro will have more “asterisks” around the 4K experience due to its inferior hardware.

I think there are a lot of caveats they’re giving customers right now around 4K. They’re talking about checkerboard rendering and up-scaling and things like that. There are just a lot of asterisks in their marketing around 4K, which is interesting because when we thought about what spec we wanted for Scorpio, we were very clear we wanted developers to take their Xbox One engines and render them in native, true 4K. That was why we picked the number, that’s why we have the memory bandwidth we have, that’s why we have the teraflops we have, because it’s what we heard from game developers was required to achieve native 4K.

Now, similarly to what Sony said, that doesn’t mean I’m going to require developers to do this. They’re going to be able to decide to take that six teraflops of power and do what they think is best for their game. But I know that 4.2 teraflops is not enough to do true 4K. So, I feel like our product aspired a little bit higher, and we will have fewer asterisks around the 4K experiences we deliver on our box.

We still don’t know much of the Xbox Scorpio, but that should be fixed in the upcoming months. In the meantime, Xbox fans can start getting the HDR experience with Xbox One S.

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