Major developer suggests Xbox One will still struggle with 1080p despite DX12


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.

James O’Malley
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One thought on “Major developer suggests Xbox One will still struggle with 1080p despite DX12

  • I don’t know, man. The Xbox One clearly wasn’t designed to pull off full HD 1080p + flitering. We honestly don’t even know what Microsoft intended in terms of the console’s expected lifecycle. When I look at Sony’s machine, I see that it’s just barely keeping ahead of the Xbox One, in terms of graphics… meaning, I am not seeing 40% hardware performance differences in games, and it makes me think that Sony is reserving most of their resources, in hopes of maintaining a longer shelf life…and is only interested in keeping ahead of the Xbox, if only by a margin. Meanwhile, the Xbox may be giving it all its got, but may only be out for a small duration of time, when compared to last gen.

    Rumors had suggested that Microsoft intends a much shorter lifespan this time around and while, console gamers will gripe about it and whine that they had only just bought theirs, it makes sense. The Xbox One and PS4 sport over-the-top tablet hardware inside of a box. You will see tablets with these same specs, in just a couple years. Already, tablets/ mobile devices are nearly at the Xbox 360 level and climbing fast. How would we expect these consoles to remain competitive with the mobile market in another 7 year lifespan? What would stop you from moving over to tablets, which also have HDMI out and can display at 1080p? My 3 year old tablet was able to display at 1080p, on TV and play fantastic looking games, like Dead Space as well as other games, with just a Tegra 1.

    The way I see it? “how are we going to expect consoles to turn around 1080p and 60fps without a significant hit in graphics effects, when a PC struggles to even maintain those specifications with almost 2-4 times the shaders?” In order to do so on PC, requires turning down lighting, shadow resolution, maximum shadows displayed, draw distance, texture detail etc.

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