Microsoft has confirmed that its Project Scorpio console will render games natively at a UHD ( 3840 x 2160) resolution.
Until now, Microsoft was rather coy with its wording, saying that Project Scorpio will hit “true 4K”. That wording might have allowed Microsoft to sell a console that simply upscaled video that is natively 1920 x 1080p to UHD resolutions.
In an interview with USA Today, Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager, Shannon Loftis, has said that the studio is preparing for native UHD resolutions.
“Any games we’re making that we’re launching in the Scorpio time frame, we’re making sure they can natively render at 4K,” said Loftis.
This tiny detail could give Microsoft a massive lead in the enthusiast gamer market, well as far as consoles are concerned. While Sony does have a “4K console” in the works, the Playstation 4 Pro will upscale content to UHD resolutions rather than render it natively.
You need to sacrifice something for UHD
While gaming on a console at UHD resolutions sounds grand, it comes with a few caveats. For one, to render games at a UHD resolution with graphic settings turned up to 11 takes a lot of high powered hardware.
For instance, to get a PC to run UHD games at Ultra settings would take an NVIDIA GTX 1080. Even that GPU would only get your frame rate to somewhere in the region of 40 – 60 frames per second at those settings.
A report by Tweak Town suggests that Project Scorpio will cap frame rates at 30 frames per second and lock texture settings at medium. This means its likely that Microsoft will opt for a smaller GPU to keep the cost down and help the console reach those resolutions.
It’s also likely that depth of field and other performance settings will be toned down to make sure the hardware doesn’t catch fire when gamers try to run a game at UHD resolutions.
Through all of this though, the cost of the console needs to be affordable. At the moment the price has not yet been announced but the popular opinion is that it will priced in the region of $600 (~R8 400), which isn’t cheap but not all that bad for UHD gaming.
Of course that price actually needs to be confirmed and we’re still waiting for technical details about the console but if it can offer UHD resolutions for cheaper than a PC can, more power to Microsoft.
[Source – Tweak Town] [Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Mack Male]