It’s up to developers to choose.
Perhaps the most commonly used type of ammunition by purveyors of this generation’s console war has been framerate differences across third-party games, with PlayStation 4 versions of games besting Xbox One versions in this regard more often than not. But with Microsoft set to release the Xbox Scorpio with its much-touted six teraflops of processing power later this year, many Xbox gamers were hoping the tides would turn given Scorpio’s significant power advantage over even the upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro.
And according to Microsoft, it will be completely up to developers to choose whether or not to leverage Scorpio’s extra power to hit certain framerate or other graphical fidelity benchmarks. “Developers are free to choose how they use the power of Project Scorpio for games,” Corporate Vice President of Xbox Program Management Mike Ybarra tweeted over the weekend. “We have no requirements limiting framerate or fidelity.”
But at least one fan doubted the veracity of that statement. After all, since Microsoft has previously stated that all Xbox Scorpio games must also run on Xbox One, isn’t it reasonable to assume that Scorpio games will, therefore, be held back by a presumed need to achieve framerate parity with their Xbox One counterparts?
Not according to Ybarra, it isn’t. The executive responded that there is no framerate parity requirement between Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio versions of games. “This is up to the developer to choose, for their games, what they want to do.”
Why did all this dust kick up now? Likely because of the framerate controversy brewing online over Destiny 2. Bungie formally unveiled its highly anticipated sequel last week and revealed that while the PC version would hit 60 fps, all console versions would be locked at just 30 fps. Some Xbox gamers took umbrage with that since Scorpio seems like it would be capable of running Destiny 2 at 60 fps.
The problem, however, appears to be the result of Bungie and publisher Activision wanting their game to look the same on PlayStation and Xbox platforms, rather than Microsoft holding back developers for cross-console generation parity reasons. Additionally, Activision has a pre-existing marketing deal with Sony that may very likely de-incentivize or outright prevent Bungie from releasing a better version of a Destiny game on an Xbox platform than a Sony one.