“Killing Floor 2” & Some Other New Xbox One X Games Won’t Have Native 4K, But It’s Okay

by on August 3, 2017

Stephan Jukic – August 3, 2017

While anyone who cares about the Xbox One X knows that not every game which is already being patched for upgrades when played on the Xbox One X will support native 4K resolution, another thing is also becoming ever more obvious: Namely, even some newer Xbox games that are still pending release won’t offer this specific option. However, those of you who don’t absolutely need true native 2160p resolution will still have plenty to look forward to with these new games and the Xbox One X with its very hefty console specs.

One superb example of what we mean by this is the soon-to-be-released new “Killing Floor 2” game from Tripwire Interactive. We ourselves recently reported that it would be coming to the new Microsoft console with native 4K UHD resolution enabled but it turns out that this isn’t to be the case. Instead Dave Elder, Senior Graphics Programmer for the game has stated that,

“Killing Floor 2 runs at native 1800p, fixed resolution (no checkerboarding) on Xbox One X.  We did experiment with true 4k rendering, but the frame rate drop was a bit too significant. We will be using Ultra textures on Xbox One X. We are also increasing the resolution of our shadow maps and shadow draw distance”

Xbox One X 4K gaming console

Again, some potential Xbox One X buyers with 4K gaming aspirations for this particular game might be disappointed by this piece of news and those who are interested in 4K console gaming in general might take it as an ominous sign of a possible trend towards many more newly released games for the upcoming console topping off their pixel counts at something just shy of real consumer 4K. Furthermore, considering how much Microsoft has promoted the new One X for its “true 4K” performance chops, these sorts of 4K failures around major new games are indeed a bit embarrassing. However, the logic behind why developers would do such a thing isn’t bad either:

Instead of forcing 8.29 million native pixels in upcoming games even if it spoils performance, what we’re probably going to see at least for now and especially in certain highly detailed games like “Killing Floor 2” is a focus on smoother frame rates and excellent eye candy with HDR included but at resolutions that don’t quite reach real 4K. Doing this will let most people appreciate detail at a level well beyond 1080p and close enough to 4K to be almost indistinguishable from it to the naked eye but with much more robust overall performance stability.

The Xbox One X can indeed handle native 4K gaming and even do so at decent frame rates but there are limitations to this capability. 4K performance has been shown during live demos of certain games under controlled conditions and games that are light on detail and fast-paced action should deliver 4K AND 60FPS relatively smoothly but for a game like Killing Floor 2 and many others that we’re going to see emerge, we can probably forget about native 4K itself. 1800p and even slightly lower resolutions will still most likely be more common instead. This isn’t too bad however since those games will still get the benefit of smooth frame rates, high dynamic range enhancement and other graphics improvements that the Xbox One X can deliver with or without native 4K resolution.

The Xbox One X has been demoes with real, native 4K on games like "Forza 7"

The Xbox One X has been demoes with real, native 4K on games like “Forza 7”

High-performance games like “Killing Floor 2” would have a hard time sticking to 50+FPS (never mind a constant 60FPS) even on a serious 4K gaming PC with a hardcore 4K GPU like NVIDIA’S Titan X Pascal card. Such a rig would cost well over $1500. Expecting the same from the Xbox One X with its $499.99 initial release price tag is stretching your hopes just a bit.

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