The Xbox One 1080p, 60FPS performance level for higher end games was hoped to be possible with the Xbox One DirectX 12 update, but game developers are claiming this still isn’t likely to happen.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Watch Dogs native resolution turned out to be a loser for both consoles since neither the PS4 or Xbox One are capable of doing 1080p 60FPS. But if you’re interested in who wins the PS4 VS Xbox One battle in regards to energy consumption, you might be surprised at the results considering the relative power of each system. The fight over resolution and performance also got interesting with recent release of Mario Kart 8, which has Nintendo crowing that the Wii U can handle 1080p, 60FPS.
The whole Xbox One 1080p, 60FPS argument has been weak marketing point for Microsoft when it comes gamers’ expectations of what next generation should be. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer realizes this, but claims that removing the Kinect may enable developers to squeeze more performance from the Xbox One GPU:
“I know that developers want to get every bit of functionality out of the box that they can. In conversations I’m having with our partners, that’s something that’s come up. We need to land the right plan there so that we’ve ticked off all the boxes to make sure we understand all of the long-term ramifications, but you bring up an idea and a workstream that we’re focused on that makes a ton of sense. It’s just about when we’re ready to make those kinds of calls.”
The reason this was mentioned at all was because of a rumor about a Xbox One update which could potentially help the GPU performance by opening up system resources reserved for the Kinect and for app functionality. Then of course there was the hope that a Xbox One DirectX 12 update may increase efficiency to the point the Xbone could catch up to the PS4. We at The Inquisitr thought that idea highly unlikely and, as it turns out, Flying Wild Hog’s lead engine programmer Krzysztof Narkowicz, who is working on Shadow Warrior, agrees that DirectX 12 won’t help:
“[DirectX 12 is] targeted at lowering draw call overhead on PC, which isn’t such a big issue on Xbox One, as some low level access is already available there. On the other hand having one API across multiple platforms decreases development time. The hardware is very similar to PS4. Xbox One is using familiar APIs like DirectX. Adding Xbox One support after having a PS4 version up and running was an easy task.”
Translation: PC games tend to be performance bottlenecked by the CPU due to the higher number of draw calls, and since game developers are able to target a set piece of hardware with consoles, this is not an issue. The PC performance issue is just a side effect of having to program for a large number of potential system configurations. Even memory management on consoles is drastically easier, and less expensive performance wise, since you can just shift data to a specified address, whereas on the PC developers must use an API function that may tens of thousands less efficient.
Narkowicz also brings up the issue of porting between PS4 and Xbox One but, quite frankly, if game developers wanted a common API, then DirectX 12 is not the answer. Microsoft would never let DX12 on the PlayStation 4. If anything, AMD Mantle would be a better choice since AMD GPUs are being used in the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and potentially even the Steam Box. In addition, Mantle also targets similar optimizations as DirectX 12. Of course, that would leave Intel and Nvidia GPUs out in the cold on the PC side, but that hypothetical scenario seems unlikely since both Microsoft and Sony have rejected AMD Mantle for their respective consoles.