The forthcoming release of graphics engine DirectX 12 won’t help the Xbox One run at 1080p more easily – at least according to the Lead Engine Programmer working on The Witcher 3.
One of the points of contention for the latest generation of consoles so far has been whether games are able to run at full 1080p HD resolution (and at 60 frames-per-second) – with the PS4 widely viewed as so far having a slight edge over the Xbox One in terms of raw power to make this possible.
Speaking to GamingBolt, Witcher 3 dev Balazs Torok said:
“I think there is a lot of confusion around what and why DX12 will improve. Most games out there can’t go 1080p because the additional load on the shading units would be too much. For all these games DX12 is not going to change anything,”
It was speculated though that with Microsoft’s dumping of the Kinect camera as well as better engines and tools (like DirectX 12), it would make it easier for the Xbox One to run games at this gold standard. However, what Torok seems to be saying is that this isn’t the case: developers are still going to have to make the trade-off between running at a higher resolution versus having more polygons on the screen (so more detailed graphics).
So whilst annoying for purist gamers, we would still expect PS4 and Xbox One games to reach 1080p consistently eventually – perhaps in a few years when middleware improves even more. You only have to look at the last generation to see what sorts of improvements are possible: Compare GTA5 to GTA4, or Call of Duty: Ghosts to Call of Duty 2 last generation, for instance.