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Xbox One: Pixel quantity doesn’t always equal quality, according to developer

by William Schwartz

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We’ve seen quite a few games arrive on the Xbox One that didn’t launch at parity with their PS4 counterparts.  It’s led many to believe that the raw power differential between the PS4 and Xbox One could see the latter console getting the short end of the stick when it comes to third party games throughout the entire generation.

There wasn’t a whole lot of time for tuning, says Multerer

Boyd Multerer, Director of Development for the Xbox One, gives us some inside information about the development process for the new console, and an interesting reason as to why some games launched at lower resolutions on the XB1.

“Xbox One was a crazy launch,” Multerer told OXM.  “All console launches are crazy. Me and the team, we’ve all worked seven days a week from June until November, and we’re all really tired and all the game companies; they were there too. So in a lot of cases it was “Okay, we’ve got to get the game running” and then there’s not a whole lot of time to do the tuning.”

Though it’s not just optimization according to the developer.  A lot of it has to do with the Xbox One’s CPU.  “We really pushed how fast the central processor is running, so you’ll see much smoother framerates, you’ll see much less hitching on the Xbox One, and that’s a big deal in these games: you really want them to be smooth.”

According to Multerer, “There’s a whole bunch of post-effects that you can run. We do the right kinds of anti-aliasing, you can do shadow rendering and all that, and you do those things in the really, really fast RAM that’s in the back of the pipeline, and you end up with an image that looks significantly better in some ways, and it’s becoming less clear whether this is a number of pixels count story or whether this is a quality of pixels story. Both matter, but it’s not all about one number or the other number.”

Time will tell if this ends up being an issue that persists for the Xbox One.  According to Multerer it shouldn’t be an issue, but as the next batches of games hit the consoles we should see parity for third party games.

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