Xbox boss Phil Spencer: 4K games won’t be mandatory on the Xbox Scorpio

by on June 21, 2016

Stephan Jukic – June 21, 2016

Now that we know Project Scorpio is eventually coming from Microsoft at some point in 2017, the rumors have started to get cleaned up a bit by some hard facts but this still leaves room for plenty of speculation.

Well part of that speculation is also being cleaned away by the head of Project Scorpio development himself, Phil Spencer. While we now know that the powerful new next-generation gaming console will definitely be aimed at 4K TV owners who want a non-PC platform for full 4K gaming, Spencer has also recently clarified that the 2017 gaming console won’t make running every game on its hardware at 4K resolution into a mandatory thing, according to a recent post by the website

After being asked on Twitter if developers could go for 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second with massively upgraded visuals, th Xbox development head explained that the subject was open for later discussion but that his team had never said they’d “mandate” 4K frame buffering, and that this wasn’t something they planned on doing.

Phil Spencer had also recently spoken on the Giant Bomb Live at E3 Show and during this particular event, the development head also affirmed that letting developers do what they want is something he generally supports:

“We’ll absolutely be open to that, I think creative freedom and how you want to use the power of the box is something that I always support. I came from first party, as you guys know, so putting the right tools in the hands of the creators, the best creators, is our job as the platform.

One thing we should make sure that everyone understands is, every game that comes out in the Xbox One family will run on the original Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Scorpio, so we have had some questions, ‘Are there going to be Scorpio-exclusive games?’ No, the line of games you’re going to get to play is the same.”

Phil Spencer speaks at an Xbox event

Phil Spencer speaks at an Xbox event

Spencer however then also went on to state that users shouldn’t buy Scorpio (when it goes on sale in 2017) with the expectation that it would automatically make their current HD games run better, though this was a possibility for certain games with features like dynamic scaling. According to the Scorpio developer’s won words:

“If you look at a game like Halo 5, [it] implements something called dynamic scaling. As scenes get more complex, in order to maintain 60 frames per second, they will actually change the resolution that you’re running at, and they’re not the only game that does this. So if you run that game on Project Scorpio you’re actually going to be at the max frame rate of that game more often.”

Another interesting thing also noted during this same discussion by Spencer was that the Xbox Scorpio is going to be about four and a half times more powerful than the current Xbox One. This admission means that we can definitely look forward to one very powerful new console, unlike the only moderately enhanced Xbox One S, which is slated for release in August of 2016 in  500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions, all of which share some features with the 2017 Scorpio. These include 4K video playback and HDR content processing on 4K TVs. However, unlike Project Scorpio, the Xbox One S draws a line at playback of movies, shows and other static video content in streaming 4K and ultra HD Blu-ray disc formats. The One S will not support 4K gaming.

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