After last week’s reveal of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio console there was precious little to get excited about beyond theoretical gaming performance. It was all specs, promises and marketing spiel. There was one shining light though - a port of the PC version of Forza 6: Apex running at a rock solid 60 frames per second at 4K.
My one lingering doubt was whether the graphics had to take a dip in order to accommodate this, but that’s not the case says developer Turn 10’s software architect, Chris Tector. He claims Forza 6: Apex is running at PC Ultra settings with everything maxed out, and it’s currently using 88% of the available GPU horsepower.
“This is rendering the player LOD (Level of Detail) for every car, so you won’t see a single LOD pop,” said Tector to Digital Foundry. “It’s the top-level model you’d see in race, one below what you see in Autovista, the model you usually only see for the player. And then we balance out LODs across the scene. It’s a disgusting abuse of GPU power is what it is, right? It’s horrible but we can do it and we still have the power left over.”
According to Tector, it’s meant the team no longer has to be concern about the final resolution or frame rates during development, it’s all about visual quality.
Kevin Gammill, group program manager at Xbox, said “Chris’s experience is not atypical of what we’ve seen from partners we’ve had in – varying, different degrees of results but all positive. It’s been great.”
My one major caveat with this is that Turn 10 isn’t your typical studio cranking out your average game. They’ve proven themself absolute pros time and time again at extracting the most amount of performance possible. Forza Motorsport 5 was an Xbox One launch title that ran at 1080p / Locked 60 FPS for example, but we’ve seen a number of other high profile developers struggle with the Xbox One’s performance since. A lot of this will come down the familiarity of its engine, and working on iterative games year after year. However make no bones about it, the performance is certainly there in Microsoft’s new console. Now it’s just a case of unlocking its true potential.
Do you believe the Xbox Scorpio can truly become a 4K, 60 FPS console? Or is Forza 6 Apex just a one-off? Let us know!