August 5, 2021

Xbox One X

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How today’s games could look and run better on future consoles

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Since the arrival of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, games have skewed towards multi-platform projects, but could it be that we are now moving into a period of multi-generational development? After all, we now have developers targeting console hardware with graphics power at the base Xbox One’s 1.3 teraflops, right the way up to Xbox One X’s 6TF, with a brace of PlayStations sandwiched in between. Techniques and technologies have emerged to help bridge the gap – and a knock-on effect is potentially improved performance and image quality on the games consoles of tomorrow.

Yesterday, we published our discussion with Bill Stillwell of Microsoft’s backwards compatibility team, but also present was Martin Fuller of the Advanced Technology Group: “My team works a lot with developers when they’re making the games, whereas Bill’s working with the games after they’re made, so we are always kind of looking towards the future and helping developers adopt new technologies,” he explains.

ATG provided the reverse tone-mapping technology that allows Xbox 360 games to run in HDR on Xbox One X, but there is more crossover between the two teams than you might imagine. A whole new back-compat opportunity arose with the arrival of the X, a chance to take the existing catalogue of Xbox One titles and run them better on the new machine. Smoother performance, improved texture filtering and faster loading are the main upgrades offered at the system level, but a small range of titles deliver all of that and more thanks to dynamic resolution scaling, a technique ATG has championed to game-makers.

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