Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scarlett is aiming for 4K 60fps gaming

While neither Microsoft or Sony have truly revealed their next gen games consoles, they’ve fired some early salvos in the next spec war. Both have committed to an AMD CPU and GPU combo with an SSD alongside, but what’s the point of it all? What’s the key target for the next generation?

There’s been word of ultra-fast loading times, or ray traced lighting and sound, but now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has set out Microsoft’s stall on what we can expect in terms of in-game performance on Project Scarlett: 4K at 60fps.


Speaking to Gamespot he said, “I think the area that we really want to focus on next generation is frame rate and playability of the games; ensuring that the games load incredibly fast, ensuring that the game is running at the highest frame rate possible. We’re also the Windows company, so we see the work that goes on [for] PC and the work that developers are doing.

“People love 60 frames-per-second games, so getting games to run at 4K 60 I think will be a real design goal for us.”

The past few generations of console have come with grand promises of ever higher fidelity, better gaming and wondrous new ways to play… but they’ve often fallen short. With the PlayStation 3 it was the dream of 1080p, only for 720p to become the norm (if that!), while this generation started with 1080p60 the stated aim, only for the Xbox One to fall short and all-too-often slide down to 900p.

Even with the enhanced PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, both companies talked up their 4K capabilities, but we’ve often seen developers compromise with lower resolutions combined with advanced upscaling solutions. Developers have also quite often included the option to choose between resolution and frame rate. It sounds like Microsoft want to make that decision moot.

What’s clear is that, while the early specs from both Microsoft and Sony mention 8K output and up to 120Hz at 4K, this is purely a technical possibility. The latest HDMI versions will allow for the consoles to reach such resolutions and frame rates, but it will be an extreme outlier for games in practice. It will also depend on the screen that you plug your console into. While 1080p at 120Hz is now fairly common in gaming monitors, TV screens are typically limited to 60Hz, regardless of the resolution.

We’ll know for certain what developers actually manage to achieve when Project Scarlett and PlayStation 5 arrive next year.

So, how does 4K 60fps gaming across the board sound to you? Is that enough of a step forward over the current high-end consoles? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Gamespot

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  1. I thought 4k/60 would be the norm and not a goal for the next gen consoles.

    • It’s always going to be a goal though, isn’t it? It’s not as if you can say “We’ve got it running at 4k, and that’s as good as it’s going to look”. There’ll always be a balance between making it look even nicer and having a lower frame rate.

      And in a lot of cases, do you really need 60fps? A rock solid 30fps and make it look as nice as possible instead?

      Of course, some people will always insist anything less than 60fps is terrible and unplayable and pretend it makes a huge difference.

    • That’s what Microsoft are saying, that they’ve designed Project Scarlett with 4K60 as the norm in mind. It would be pretty exceptional if either manufacturer mandated that games would be 4K60 across the board. All they can do is design to a certain spec and leave devs to do their best.

  2. I’d just be happy with 1080 and 60fps without framerate drops etc, and just some more fancy graphics. Most games this generation only achieved it with compromises. Looking forward to playing Thomas Was Alone in 4k!

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