A couple of months ago I happened to unhook my Xbox One X out of my regular LG 4K TV, and into something much older: A flatscreen whose top resolution was 720p when I bought it several years ago. The difference was astounding, as the picture wasn’t a wreck but the overall experience was one of a game that was simply dull to look at.
While the actual standardised technology of 4K TVs are nebulous at best as manufacturers compete with one another by throwing all manner of exclusive technology in the faces of consumers, the overall adoption of that resolution still makes for some damn good-looking games. If you’ve ever seen the likes of Forza Horizon 4, The Division 2 or WipEout Omega Collection running on a tuned gaming TV, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Seeing as how the PS5 and Xbox Series X are preparing to land this year, you’d probably think that the next console war will be fought with resolutions over features, future-proofed machines that aim to increase the pixel count thrown at your eyeballs if your budget can afford the TV for it. For the Xbox Series X, that’s not entirely the case as that console will be aiming its power at something far more important: Frame rate!
“The feel of games [is] definitely something that we wanted to have more focus on, not just throwing more pixels up on the screen,” Xboss Phil Spencer said in an interview with Stevivor.
We’ve never really tried to limit what developers are trying to do on our platform, whether it’s 60 frames per second on Xbox 360 or people doing 4K, 60 [frames per second] now on Xbox One X. I think we’ve reached a point with Xbox One X in the generation where games look amazing, and there’s always work we can do to look more amazing. But I want games to feel as amazing as they look. We don’t have that in today’s generations, mainly because the CPU is underpowered relative to the GPU that’s in the box…
I hear that! I’m of the mind that it’s still too early to be talking about 8K video games, especially when the human eye can only perceive so much before all of those technological gains are wasted. What’s the point of having such a massive bump in resolution when it’s not only unreachable for a major portion of the market but also results in gameplay that stutters like King George VI at a public speaking event?
There’s just something better about seeing games run at a silky smooth frame-rate, a soap opera effect that just feels better. Maybe that’s the key takeaway for the next-gen of consoles: All the feels.
Last Updated: January 30, 2020