Update: According to numerous sources, Microsoft is already working on the Xbox One X’s successor. The project already has a code name and rumor has it that it’ll again be the most powerful device out there when the PlayStation 5 launches.
We all know that the Xbox One X is an incredibly powerful console. It features around 2 TFLOPS more GPU strength than the PlayStation 4 Pro. However, what does that mean in the real world? For example, if you look at games like Forza Motorsport 7 and Gears of War 4, how much are they really pushing the console. Well, Digital Foundry shared some interesting benchmarks with us today. The outlet said that Forza Motorsport 7 was only utilizing 66% of the console’s power at 4K 60 FPS. Gears of War 4, which is a surprisingly intensive title, only uses 78% of the console’s power at 4K 30 FPS. Keep in mind, these are early benchmarks and these titles had just been crudely ported to the console, no proper optimization had taken place. Digital Foundry said that these early benchmarks may be “underestimating results on the Xbox One X”.
Some games which were possibly Assassin’s Creed Origins and Star Wars: Battlefront experienced some issues. The engines didn’t really work on the Xbox One X and if DICE and Ubisoft want to bring their games over to Xbox One X, much more work will be required. We known Anthem runs at checkerboarded 2160p on Xbox One X and it’s using the Frostbite engine. This goes to show that some engines may not be easily ported to the console and developers will either have to go back to the drawing board or, more easily, use checkboarding or dynamic resolution to achieve a 2160p buffer. While we all want developers to go back and modify their engines for a native 4K presentation, that requires a lot of work and it may not be cost effective.
— Mr.Zweistein (@MrZweistein) July 5, 2017
Digital Foundry also discussed backward compatibility and Xbox One games being made with the new tools. If a developer is making a title on the new Xbox Development Kit (XDK), then the console will automatically tap into the added power of the Xbox One X. From what we understand, this isn’t possible with games or engines developed using old kits. Microsoft is encouraging developers to submit updates for their older games on the new XDK so that they automatically take advantage of the Xbox One X. For example, old games will only use around half of the console’s power. While they should look amazing because it doesn’t take much to increase the anisotropic filtering and other effects, it would still be better if developers went back and performed some optimization. They don’t have because every game is “boosted”, but it would still be nice for consumers.
Those were the main points discussed by Digital Foundry. Despite the fact that the games were early tests of the Xbox One X hardware, they still demonstrate an incredibly powerful system which should be easy to develop for if you’re using the new XDK. While we may not see many older games being updated for Xbox One X due to issues with the engines which cause unforeseen problems with performance, all new games should use the power of the console in some fashion. This is definitely exciting news and gives us one more reason to pick up an Xbox One X over the PlayStation 4 Pro, and even pick up an Xbox One X over the 1.4 TFLOPS Xbox One S.