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Microsoft’s Xbox One Scorpio games to natively render at 4K

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Not very many games running on Sony’s impending PlayStation 4 Pro will run at a native 4K resolution. Instead, the system will very cleverly be running some incredible upscaling technology that utilises checkerboard rendering. In effect, what that does is allow developers to create a 2160p 4K framebuffer from half the pixels, using equal parts black magic and science.

It looks far better than you’d imagine, especially when coupled with HDR. Says Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry:

“…while the PlayStation 4 Pro GPU lacks the horsepower to render out challenging content at native 4K, the presentation we’ve seen on a number of titles clearly shows a worthwhile, highly desirable increase in fidelity over 1080p – one that does put a 4K screen to good use. Switching between full HD and checkerboard 4K, the increase in detail is simply stunning.”

Microsoft’s already available Xbox One S also upscales existing Xbox One content to 4K, along with adding the much celebrated HDR effects – and results on just that are impressive enough. That’ll be different on next year’s Xbox One Scorpio though – which Microsoft promises will deliver a lot more native 4K content.

Speaking to USA Today, Microsoft Studios publishing general manager Shannon Loftis has said that any Microsoft-published games released on the future console will be natively rendered at 4K.

“Any games we’re making that we’re launching in the Scorpio time frame, we’re making sure they can natively render at 4K.”

Hmm. Given that the Xbox One Scorpio runs (presumably) on AMD’s upcoming VEGA architecture and its 6TF of raw power, it’s quite possible. I do, however, hope that developers are granted options – letting them run games with more effects and more fluid framerates ad clever upscaling, over bare native 4K presentations.

Last Updated: September 19, 2016


  1. Umar

    September 19, 2016 at 09:45

    Still very unsure how they’re going to handle backwards compatibility with normal One games, and will they even be able to use the full scale of the tech is they have o make sure the games run on both the One and Scorpio


    • Geoffrey Tim

      September 19, 2016 at 10:11

      There won;t need to be backwards compatibility; it’s essentially x86 architecture going forward running on the same OS, so it should just work. Older games will need patches to take advantage of the newer hardwre unless their internal timings were unlocked to begin with


      • Umar

        September 19, 2016 at 10:39

        Well, I mostly mean the graphics capabilities. I just wonder how big they’re willing to let the gap be between Scorpio and One. I mean, Scorpio is quite the beast compared to One.


        • JC

          September 20, 2016 at 17:42

          The games currently out for X1 will run the same as their current programming settings allow, meaning they won’t suddenly hit 1080p if they were 900p originally. The Scorpio will just keep it locked at 30/60fps and whatever the highest res output was for a game. All X1 games are forward compatible as the other poster already responded.


    • VampyreSquirrel

      September 19, 2016 at 10:12

      lol! Same way they did for 360 games on the One… REMASTER EVERYTHING!!!!


      • Pieter Kruger

        September 19, 2016 at 10:42

        Except for the 250 and counting 360 Games they didn’t remaster……..????


  2. Original Heretic

    September 19, 2016 at 09:49

    To me, framerate is more important than resolution.
    Man, I remember the original Prince of Persia games. The fluid way your character moved around was breathtaking.


    • Viking Of Science

      September 19, 2016 at 10:18

      By Original you mean the Jordan Mechner mid 80’s, Early 90’s classics, right? 😛


      • Original Heretic

        September 19, 2016 at 10:21

        Yup, those are exactly the ones I mean. There were no other games around then (that I can recall) where the character moved like that.


  3. ElimiNathan

    September 19, 2016 at 10:47

    I’m keen to see how Scorpio handles. I sold my PS4 because of 30fps gaming, how in this day and age games running at 30fps is acceptable I don’t know. After playing something at 100fps on PC then moving straight onto a PS4 game running at 30FPS it feels horrible and sluggish. That Scorpio hardware sounds impressive but anyone that owns a PC knows it takes damn impressive hardware to run any new game at 60fps at 4k. So if they do 4k at 30fps once again I won’t touch it


    • RustedFaith

      September 22, 2016 at 10:56

      You will be lucky if you get true full 4k at all.


      Microsoft’s head of Xbox planning, Albert Penello said, “I know that 4.2 teraflops is not enough to do true 4K.” In an interview with Eurogamer, Penello adds:
      I think there are a lot of caveats they’re giving customers right now around 4K. They’re talking about checkerboard rendering and up-scaling and things like that. There are just a lot of asterisks in their marketing around 4K, which is interesting because when we thought about what spec we wanted for Scorpio, we were very clear we wanted developers to take their Xbox One engines and render them in native, true 4K. That was why we picked the number, that’s why we have the memory bandwidth we have, that’s why we have the teraflops we have, because it’s what we heard from game developers was required to achieve native 4K.


      • ElimiNathan

        September 22, 2016 at 11:44

        “You will be lucky if you get true full 4k at all.” Ur referring to the PS4 pro ?


        • RustedFaith

          September 22, 2016 at 12:05

          Any console in existence and in prototype doesnt have enough memory bandwidth for native 4k.

          To give you an idea the GTX 1080 does 9 teraflops and can barely keep 30fps on 4k. You need 2 of them to get almost 60fps 4k. The costs of the GTX 1080p is R14000 give or take.

          The xbone scorpio has 6 teraflops and the ps4 pro has 4.2 teraflops. Not to mention the memory bandwidth on the consoles also effecting it.

          The ps4 pro and xbox scorpio will give you your 60fps 1080p experience but no you wont even get close to full 4k rendering in games. However you will be able to watch your movies at 4k.


          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 12:48

            My friend you sound like you think you know what ur talking about, but ur highly mistaken.

            I have a 980Ti which has a max compute power of 6.5 TFPS. At Native 4k It can run the Witcher 3 at +- 40 – 50FPS.

            Now, this may seem low, but keep in mind my PC is running windows 10 AND a consoles hardware is designed to do 1 thing only, and thats render games. The scorpio will go for 30FPS I assume at Native 4k and that is definitely possible with 6TFPS.

            We also don’t know exactly what kind of architecture that 6TFPS GPU in the Scorpio will be using. Im pretty sure if MS say they’re gna be rendering at Native 4k they will be otherwise the console will be a dud from the get go. If I knew you in person I would wager a bet on it being native 4k at 30fps

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 12:52

            I have a 980ti as well with a core clock of 1500mhz and memory running at 8000mhz and no you cant even get close to 40fps at 4k with all the settings on full. You barely get 70fps with everything cranked up on 1080p.

            Sorry I dont believe you.

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 12:56

            What CPU etc are you running ?

            Also, your original quote you posted was a MS employee talking about the PS4 PRO not being able to do Native 4k you do realize that ?

            You don’t have to be believe me I couldn’t care less. Point is Microsoft would not make a big deal about Native 4k if they couldn’t do it

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 13:02

            4790k at 4.6ghz

            Really I can link you over 400 articles where microsoft made a massive deal about the xbox one being able to render games at 1080p at 60fps. Over 90% of Xbox One games cant run 1080p 30fps so they upscale 720p or 900p at 30fps. They even went as far as saying its faster than computers that was doing 1080p over 60fps for years and they made a massive deal about it as well. I can link you those articles as well if you want.

            I can link you just as many articles where the PS4 stated the same, the majority of their games cant get 1080p 30fps either.

            While we are on the subject show me 1 console that can do 1080p at 60fps for most of their games ….

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:06

            Links please

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 13:20

            I will post one straight from the horses mouth enjoy …


            Official Xbone Announcement

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:37

            I’ve seen the press conference and they say Native 4k. Are you kidding me

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 13:41

            THats the Xbox One Reveal from 21 May 2013 that I posted how daft are you ? I said I will post links where MS said the Xbox one can do 1080p at 60fps you must learn how to read.

            Anyway have fun you obviously a fanboy and cant grasp reality …

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:37

            Plus this is a 2013 Conference the Scorpio was announced THIS year. You trolling hard dude shame

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:08

            And OF COURSE it will be able to render games at 1080p at 60fps if it can do native 4k

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 13:43

            I suggest you learn how to read …

            Im out this is pointless, you obviously created your own little reality.

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:44

            “The ps4 pro and xbox scorpio will give you your 60fps 1080p experience at best but no you wont even get close to full native 4k rendering in games.” YOUR reality as that is what you claimed. Grow up

          • RustedFaith

            September 22, 2016 at 13:47


            Wowy you dont even know what you are arguing about anymore, I suggest you take a deep breath and read the posts again. Cause your reply doesnt make any sense in the context of my post.

            ROFL enjoy your native 4k tiger … I am getting dumber just talking to you.

            Im out for real now …

          • ElimiNathan

            September 22, 2016 at 13:51

            Bye bye

  4. Fox1 - Retro

    September 19, 2016 at 10:48

    Funny how nobody mentions just how much performance DX12 is seeking out from older hardware* and how much more it promises for future hardware*.

    *Hardware in mention refers specifically to Team RED.


  5. CodeDisQus

    September 19, 2016 at 11:09

    Exciting and uncertain times for the console space! I wanna see how Microsoft will boast about their power advantage, and how Sony are gonna retaliate. Do you guys think the extra time with the ps4 pro will allow them to close the gap come scorpio launch, and will that added power really make much of a difference?


    • ElimiNathan

      September 19, 2016 at 11:10

      I think once the Scorpio launches Sony is gna have to answer with another console.


      • CodeDisQus

        September 19, 2016 at 11:18

        But that’s way too soon, and what could they add to the “ps5” to make it worthwhile, HDR is there, Faux-K is there, VR too…. Nothing really…. Looks at uhd Blu Ray weirdly


        • ElimiNathan

          September 19, 2016 at 12:36

          If the Scorpio is gna be rendering native 4k imagine the performance it will get at 1080p. It will make the PS4 Pro look rather obsolete unless you really want to play the exclusives


          • rudero

            September 19, 2016 at 15:55

            They both will enhance 1080p gaming perfectly. Trying to find the differences will take comparison articles to whole new level of annoying.
            The power is to allow games at native 4K 30fps.
            I would think the Scorpio will have 1080p with all the bells and whistles at 60fps or 4K 30fps exact version of an Xbox one game.
            I would also be prepared for Microsofts trickery graphics like they did with halo and other games where they did a lower res background and higher res character and hud.

      • Pieter Kruger

        September 19, 2016 at 14:16

        They will 100%, just don’t tell anyone looking to buy the PS4 Pro………????????????


  6. SA_intZA

    September 19, 2016 at 13:16

    Don’t forget how dumbed down those textures will have to be at 4K to get those 30FPS anyway. You lose both ways.
    Rather get Full HD with 60FPS as a minimum and up the textures.


  7. It should be about the games

    September 19, 2016 at 14:49

    This is probably another misquote from MS that will see a flurry of tweets to correct the information. MS seem to be good at doing that. I can’t see 6tf being able to render natively at 4K without taking away from other areas such as frame rate. And who really cares about 4K gaming anyway? In a few years time it might be viable but surely right now it’s not really that marketable. I’d prefer a good solid 1080p and 60fps over 4K and 20-30fps. It seems strange to bypass the current resolution, which hasn’t been fully catered for yet, and go straight to 4K. One step at a time and all that.


    • rudero

      September 19, 2016 at 16:05

      Their key words, straight out of phils mouth, is games will be made to run in 4K, not the system will run games at 4K.
      All of their current exclusive will have no issues running at 4K with that much power, but there will be no extra bells or whistles to the games.
      The interesting part will be what upscaler will they develop for max settings. I.e. Not using 4K to make games shine on a 4K tv like sonys pro checkerboard process.
      I mean, the cods will not drop down to 30fps just to put out 4K and the Scorpio will not be doing 4K @ 60fps.


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