Chris Tector, Forza Motorsport 7’s chief software architect, and the man responsible for Xbox One X performance has claimed the $499 Xbox One X can achieve the same level of performance as a “multi-thousand dollar PC.”
Forza 7 runs on the Xbox One X on a native 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, and at the moment it’s the number one showcase of just what Microsoft’s console is capable of.
“Games at 4K, they’re natively rendered, right? They’re the cleanest, uncompressed pixels that you can see and they’re rendering at 60 frames a second – and the really cool part is that we’re doing this for console gamers now,” said Tector to Eurogamer.
“So rather than hoping you can afford a multi-thousand dollar PC that can achieve it, we’re going to have people playing at console, native 4K, 60 frames a second. It’s going to be awesome.”
Obviously, economies of scale are going to come into play here, and Microsoft can afford to make millions of consoles for a cheaper unit price than it would take to build a similarly powerful PC. However, the specs aren’t exactly mind-blowing, and the same 6 TFLOP number can comfortably be reached by putting together a $700-800 build. The advantage of the Xbox One X is that it can achieve more with less thanks to optimisation, but a decent GTX 1080 build can be had for around $1000 if you shop around.
Let's not forget as well, the recommended system requirements for Forza Motorsport 7 are out, and the recommended graphics cards are the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or a Radeon R9 380X, both of which fall into mid-low budget territory. They need to be matched 8GB RAM and an Intel Core i5-4460 or equivalent CPU. Now it's unlikely the 1050 Ti is going to impress at 4K, but it does at least indicate something in the region of a GeForce GTX 1070 should be able to handle it just fine.
The multi-thousand dollar price point, therefore, comes across as a little wide of the mark, but the Xbox One X is still a decent value proposition. The problem is that value will erode quickly. A year down the line when there’s another generation of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia, this level of performance is going to quickly be usurped. In the here and now, the XB1X is a powerful little machine that can theoretically achieve 60 FPS 4K, by hook or by crook. Even at $499 though, this is still a little pricey in the console market. Historically, anything over $399 has struggled to make any major impact.
Is the Xbox One X the incredible value proposition Microsoft would have us believe?