Following their Xbox 20/20 reveal last week, Microsoft have put up a page detailing the games and how they’re taking advantage of the Xbox Series X hardware. While all games are badged as being Xbox Series X optimised, that can mean very different things depending on the game, from the use of ray tracing to letting the game run in a 120fps performance mode, or simply pushing the boat out with visuals and settling for 4K 30fps as in the case of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Let’s dive in to see how each confirmed next gen game will run.
|Game Title||Smart Delivery||4K||Frame Rate||Ray Tracing|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||Yes||Yes||30fps||No|
|Bright Memory: Infinite||XSX Exclusive||Yes||60fps||Yes|
|Call of the Sea||Yes||Yes||60fps||No|
|DIRT 5||Yes||Yes||60 / 120fps||No|
|The Medium||XSX Exclusive||Yes||Unconfirmed||No|
|Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2||Yes||Unconfirmed||Unconfirmed||No|
|Yakuza: Like a Dragon||Yes||Unconfirmed||Unconfirmed||No|
As you can see, each game is tackling things very differently. Dirt 5 is the only game so far where a 120FPS performance mode is featured, though this will make use of variable refresh rates to get close to that, while only Bright Memory: Infinite and Chorus are leveraging the Xbox Series X’s hardware ray tracing effects. That’s no surprise when many of these games are cross-generational and releasing on multiple platforms.
To give the benefit of the doubt – all of these games are work in progress, after all – we’ve labelled those without a specific label as ‘unconfirmed’. Games like Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon have both been in development for the current generation hardware, so it would be surprising if they could not meet 4K at 30fps given the step up in power over the Xbox One and Xbox One X. We would at least hope that developers can include performance modes to give players choice.
While 4K60 gaming is naturally the ideal that console gamers seek, game developers will often prioritise fancier graphics over performance in certain genres, like the open world adventures of Bloodlines 2, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
This is ultimately up to the developer, as Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg says on Twitter, and 60fps will not be mandated by the company, but up to 120fps is possible, should
Developers always have flexibility in how they use the power, so a standard or common 60fps is not a mandate.
— Aaron Greenberg 🙅🏼♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) May 12, 2020
That will almost certainly be the case for PlayStation 5 as well, with Sony’s console slightly less powerful than the Xbox Series X on paper and the company having taken a similar hands off approach during the current generation. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what they have in store when they eventually reveal the console this summer, and we’ll also have to see how game developer adapt to the next generation with things like performance modes that trade fidelity and resolution for frame rate.
Of course, it’s Microsoft that will now be the first to burden the reality of this fact, since no developers are able to currently talk about their games on PlayStation 5. It comes hot on the heels of a game reveal stream that disappointed many, the company admitting that they may have “set the wrong expectations” in the run up to the stream.