Microsoft on Xbox One 1080p/60fps debate: "It's up to individual developers"
Xbox executive Harvey Eagle says "performance in this era comes from three areas: hardware, software, and the cloud."
The Xbox One is fully capable of rending games in 1080p at 60fps, but it's up to individual developers to balance resources in such a way that their titles deliver the optimal visual experience to players, a Microsoft executive said today in a new interview.
"Let's be clear about this: Xbox One fully supports 1080p at 60 frames-per-second,” Xbox UK marketing director Harvey Eagle told The Guardian today. “Forza Motosport 5 is an example of a game that delivers on that. It's up to individual developers to determine what is the best balance in order to deliver the best experience to gamers."
Eagle further noted that you have to throw away the old benchmarks for how you determine the "power" of a console. "No longer can you measure or talk about power in terms of pixels and polygon counts. Performance in this era comes from three areas: hardware, software and the cloud," Eagle said.
Much has been made of the fact that right now, more high-profile games run in 1080p on PlayStation 4 compared to the Xbox One. Sony responded to the 1080p/60fps debate this month, saying better performance on PS4 over Xbox One is because Sony's console is "performing and packing the punch that developers want." Meanwhile, Microsoft previously contended that "these little things get way overblown" concerning the Xbox One's library and what's truly important to players.
Also in the interview, Eagle addressed the recently concluded Titanfall beta on Xbox One, saying the reason it was so successful (it had 2 million players and no significant issues) was because of its vast network of dedicated servers.
"That makes the game run smoothly without interruptions. You need to think about what power really means in the next generation," Eagle said.
Asked if other developers, including third-party studios or those without exclusive deals with Microsoft, could utilize Microsoft's server networks, Eagle offered a coy response.
"We're committed to allowing developers getting the maximum out of the investment that we've made," Eagle said. "We said at launch that we'd built a server farm of 300,000 dedicated servers to support multiplayer games--it would be foolish of us not to work with developers to ensure they get the maximum from that power."
Eagle also offered a candid response to the Xbox One's first few months on the market, acknowledging various system issues, but explaining that Microsoft is learning from its shortcomings.
"I want to be honest: there are some things that haven't worked as well as they were intended to--we've had a lot of feedback from our community about that," Eagle said.
Finally, Eagle responded to some of the criticisms regarding games like Forza Motorsport 5 and their controversial microtransaction-based business models.
"We're trying out a number of different business models to understand which are best for us and best for gamers," Eagle said. "You're not going to get everything right first time--we're still at the stage of experimenting and trying new things; everything we learn from our community we put into what we do going forward. There is still a huge appetite for big commercial triple A titles if you get it right--look at GTA V. But obviously developers are looking at other ways to monetize and I think that will carry on."
Earlier today, Microsoft announced a $500 Titanfall Xbox One bundle and confirmed a £30/$50 price cut for the system in the United Kingdom. This price drop is not coming to other regions. Microsoft also today seemed to rule out the possibility of a Kinect-free Xbox One.
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