As with any hardware launch, the Xbox One has faced its share of controversy since its release in November. One of the most pressing issues for gamers has revolved around the console’s lower native resolution in comparison to the PS4. For many, this discrepancy was a moot point and hardly something that has detracted from the experience of gaming, it has become a sticking point for others.
The past decade has consistently shown that developers require time to achieve strong optimization and experiment in designing for new consoles – represented by the games released in the first years of a console’s lifespan as opposed to those near its end. Yet Microsoft is aware of the public perception of their lacking visuals, and claim that rectifying the situation is not only a priority, but inevitable.
Serious gamers know the reality of the situation: that all developer knowledge on one console must be put aside as they begin work on a new console. But with much of the marketing for both the Xbox One and PS4 being based solely on visual improvements, it’s no surprise some have been underwhelmed by the console’s launch offerings. Some have showcased the new hardware admirably, but far more have straddled the two console generations with simple ports.
According to Xbox director of development Boyd Multerer, the improved hardware may be partly to blame, claiming that “the [graphics processing units] are really complicated beasts this time around.” Speaking with OXM, Multerer gave his prediction for what the future will bring:
“The hardware is basically baked, and what comes next is people discovering better software techniques to take advantage of it, especially in the ordering of the data so it flows through all the caches correctly, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity there.
“Part of it is learning how to tune, part of it is I think a very legitimate question of quality of pixels versus number of pixels, and of course both are interesting.”
This gives hope that while the Xbox One may not be currently performing up to the standards that many have set for it, as time goes on and developers learn the hardware’s optimal workflow, gamers will no doubt begin seeing more games that run at a native 1080p resolution. It all comes down to developers learning to make use of the console’s powerful GPU and ESRAM.
If games like Titanfall (check out our review) are any indication though, developers have already shown considerable improvement in the short months since the console’s launch. They still have a long way to go before they will live up to the promise of a “next-gen” experience, but with the rumors of Microsoft getting into the VR market, it’s clear the gaming giant is on the right path. After all, even Titanfall‘s developers explain they’re still trying to figure out the best way to use the Xbox One hardware.
How long do you think it will take before developers are able to effectively make use of the Xbox One’s power? Are you willing to accept the realities of a new console, or did you expect better this time around?
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ThatRyanB.