1080p on Xbox One will get easier over time, assures Microsoft hardware boss

Expect "fairly large improvements" to graphics as devs master the GPU and ESRAM

Xbox director of development Boyd Multerer "fully expects" more game developers to achieve native 1080p on Xbox One as time goes by - it's a question of tweaking performance to suit the console's GPU and ESRAM setup in particular.

"I fully expect that to happen," he told us, as part of a gargantuan technical chat you'll read in issue 110 of OXM UK, on sale now. "The [graphics processing units] are really complicated beasts this time around."

Improvements resulting from software optimisation are par for the course with any piece of gaming hardware, naturally. As you may recall from our report on backwards compatibility, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One employ completely different processing architecture, which means that developers must discard or build on their old techniques.


"The hardware is basically baked, and what comes next is people discovering better software techniques to take advantage of it, especially in the ordering of the data so it flows through all the caches correctly, and I think there's a lot of opportunity there," said Multerer. Of the Xbox One's ESRAM - a slab of super-fast RAM that works in tandem with the console's eight GB of DDR3 RAM - he added that "this is where tuning your data set becomes super important."

The creators of the Xbox One launch titles didn't have much opportunity to fine-tune their work with a view to improving visual fidelity, according to Multerer. "Once these engines - the engine developers like Frostbyte and those guys - they really wrap their heads around this particular GPU architecture, then all of the titles coming out of that studio will take advantage of it and get better."

Multerer says we can look forward to "fairly large improvements in GPU output as people really tune these data sets now to get maximum use out of their GPUs". Resolution isn't the be-all and end-all, however. "Part of it is learning how to tune, part of it is I think a very legitimate question of quality of pixels versus number of pixels, and of course both are interesting."

Pick up the new issue to read all these arguments in full, plus Multerer's thoughts on the Xbox One's indie portfolio, the online DRM policy reversal and plenty more.

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