Phil Spencer Says You Need A 4K TV For Scorpio’s Benefits, But MS Won’t Force 4K Games

They were doing so well! Bless Microsoft, they almost got their message across but now we’re back to the muddled days of Microsoft contradicting themselves somewhat.

“Scorpio is designed as a 4K console, and if you don’t have a 4K TV, the benefit we’ve designed for, you’re not going to see,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said to Eurogamer.

However, he also suggested that there is no requirement for Scorpio versions of games be in 4K. “6 teraflop gaming machine, which will be a great gaming machine for true 4K gaming, giving you a native 4K frame buffer so you can see games in all their beauty,” he told Videogamer. “Or, if developers want to use those 6 teraflops in other ways they’re free to do that.”

Put the two together, and chances are he doesn’t mean we’ll see super pretty 1080p games which don’t need a 4K television, but the same kind thing we see on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with developers not dropping to 900p or even 720p to get better performance. Don’t be surprised if “1800p” becomes a thing…

Incidentally, the Xbox One S will also be able to upscale games to 4K, as well as play 4K video, assuming you have a 4K TV.

Source: Eurogamer / Videogamer

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  1. Personally I don’t want developers to think about the graphics too much. It’s nice they have the extra power (and the freedom to use how they want), but the idea of it just being 4K is better in my opinion, at least better for the install-base. But then the devs will do what they want.

    • This. I want devs to focus on more imaginative and productive ways to play rather than focusing on pixel quality. No Man’s Sky is built on math formula and while it could falter I would like to see devs taking more risks with gameplay rather than pretty graphics and familiar gameplay.

  2. Disappointing to see the media go down this route again.

  3. I’m confused. One set of games for all three consoles with only subtle benefits of you buy the big one and have a 4K TV?

    • Yes. Same discs, same games, same features, everything… but games on Scorpio can run at up to 4K and can potentially do flashier things with graphics, have higher resolution textures, more particle effects, etc.

      What Phil Spencer’s saying is that if you plug the Scorpio into a 1080p TV, you’re not getting the best out of it. Just as you don’t get the best out of a PS4 plugged into 720p or from a PS3 plugged into a SD TV. Because you’re not locked to Scorpio to play new games, but can play them just as well on current hardware, there’s no big jawdropping reason to get a Scorpio unless you have a 4K TV.

      • So if I have Scorpio and a 1080p TV will it outperform the current Xbox One? I’m guessing I’d still get any performance benefits and resolution improvements.

        BUT as you say is not be getting the full package as that’s where a 4K TV is needed.

      • Potentially. Phil Spencer used Halo 5 as an example, saying that where it has a variable resolution that dips on XBO when the action gets a bit much for the engine, Scorpio could be running that game without any Scorpio specific enhancements and the resolution might not dip because the hardware’s more capable. Similarly, games designed to run at 4K on Scorpio could run at 1080p, where XBO can only manage 900p, or something like that.

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