Prior to its official E3 2017 reveal, Microsoft hyped Project Scorpio (now known as Xbox One X) as a console that can offer a true 4K experience. However, and while most – if not all – first-party games will run in 4K, it appears that most multi-platform titles will rely on checkerboarding solutions on both PS4Pro and Xbox One X.
During its E3 2017 event, Microsoft showcased three graphically impressive multi-platform games; Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Metro Exodus and Anthem.
4A Games revealed that the E3 2017 demo was running on the PC, targeting Xbox One X’s specs, so we don’t know whether the final product will run as smooth as this E3 2017 demo on Microsoft’s console.
On the other hand, DigitalFoundry revealed that the E3 2017 demo for Assassin’s Creed: Origins was not running in native 4K resolution on the Xbox One X. Like most multi-platform titles in PS4Pro, Assassin’s Creed: Origins was using a checkerboard solution (we suspect from a higher resolution than the one that is currently being used for PS4Pro).
Now while Microsoft has already claimed that third-party developers can take advantage of Xbox One X’s extra power as they see fit, it really makes everyone wonder why the company insisted on claiming that Xbox One X is the only console that will offer a true 4K experience. Because… well… it won’t be.
Now there is nothing wrong with checkerboarding. In fact, this is a solution that will also benefit PC gamers with weaker PC systems. However, we can simply only laugh at the way Phil Spencer and Microsoft attempted to hype Project Scorpio as a true 4K console.
Back in 2016, Xbox executive Aaron Greenberg said:
“This will really bring the most powerful console you’ve ever seen. It will bring these really true 4K, really incredible visual games that we’ve never seen before on the console.
People who have spent thousands of dollars on a high-end PC are getting that experience. How do we bring that to scale in a console in your living room? That’s a big part of what Project Scorpio is about,”
So unless all games are running in native 4K resolution, Microsoft lied to its customers in order to make Xbox One X look more powerful than it actually is. There is no doubt that it’s more powerful than PS4Pro. However, it looks like it won’t be able to run all games in true native 4K resolutions as the company claimed.
Phil Spencer also stated:
“This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.
When I think about techniques to somehow manufacture a 4K screen like what some other consoles try to do, this is different than that.”
Ironically, that’s exactly what is happening in Assasin’s Creed: Origins for Xbox One X.
Bungie has also claimed that Destiny 2 will run in 4K/30fps on consoles, however the team did not clarify whether this would be native 4K or checkerboarding 4K.
Bioware has remained silent regarding Anthem, and has not revealed whether the demo was running on a high-end PC or an Xbox One X (although Digital Foundry claimed that it was likely running on Xbox One X and was using a checkerboarding solution as well).
In conclusion, the only platform that will offer a true native 4K experience (as well as 60fps) in multi-platform titles is the PC platform!