Picture of Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry unboxes the final retail Xbox One X

Plus: details on upcoming review coverage.

It's happening. Digital Foundry has received its Xbox One X review unit and behind the scenes, our exploration of the hardware and its capabilities is beginning to take shape. But for now at least, it's all about the unboxing, a time-honoured ritual we've filmed for you and embedded on this page. Spoilers: expect a console, controller and possibly some cables within. To add some spice, we've included some physical form factor comparisons with PlayStation 4 Pro and prior Xbox One hardware.

Destiny 2 is out now, and as established by a successful beta test, this is an exceptionally streamlined version of the game. Ticking off virtually every box an enthusiast PC gamer could want from a multi-platform release, the beauty of Destiny 2 on PC is the sheer range of options open to the player. If you want a console-style experience, you can have it - but the point is that PC hardware has the potential to offer so much more. Beyond the expected graphical improvements, field of view adjustments, arbitrary resolution functionality and ultra-wide monitor support, Destiny 2 scales beautifully across high-end kit, making it a great match for high frequency displays. For its return to the PC space, Bungie is clearly on a mission.

Digital FoundryAtaribox: Ouya 2.0, evolved Steam Machine or something more?

What would it take for PC hardware to challenge consoles in the living room?

Atari broke cover this week, revealing more about its planned console, dubbed Ataribox. Useful detail is thin on the ground, but we know that it's using a custom AMD processor, that it's based on the open source Linux platform and will cost a minimum of $250. So just what can we expect from the machine - and by extension, can PC technology ever dominate living room gaming?

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with Switch's 'impossible' Doom port

And can a PC specced to match Nintendo's hybrid deliver the same experience?

Just how powerful is Nintendo Switch and what are its limits? From Digital Foundry's perspective, it's been fun - and fascinating - to see the evolution of the platform, our expectations of the core Tegra X1 processor's capabilities exceeded by several key releases. But a Switch conversion of the Doom 2016 reboot? That's on a whole new level, and we had to check it out. We went hands-on with the game for about 40 minutes last week, our key question being: just how did they do that?

Digital FoundryRise of the Tomb Raider shines in HDR on Xbox One X

And Digital Foundry has the gameplay capture to prove it.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft began its latest global media tour, primarily to promote Xbox One X. While the range of games available to check out was essentially a subset of the impressive Gamescom line-up, we did have the opportunity to get direct feed capture of a range of titles that we'll be covering over the next week, starting with Rise of the Tomb Raider. We've already posted our initial thoughts on the Gamescom demo (and we have more coverage planned) but for now, we thought we'd kick off with a look at the game's breathtaking HDR support.

Digital FoundryAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 review

The red team brings the fight to GTX 1080 - but is that enough?

We've already taken a look at the excellent Radeon RX Vega 56, the cut-down version of the full-fat graphics card reviewed here today - and it's a winner. A couple of outliers aside, it's as fast as Nvidia's GTX 1070 or significantly faster and it easily overclocks to push further ahead. It's AMD at its best - competitive, disruptive and adding value - but the same can't quite be said for the RX Vega 64. It's a good product overall and it's competitive enough with Nvidia, but it offers no knockout blow - in the here and now, at least.

Microsoft is planning a quiet revolution in the way that games are streamed and installed onto Xbox One and Xbox One X. The new system - known internally as Intelligent Delivery - aims to save hard drive space and reduce download times by allowing users to only download the assets they'll actually need, as opposed to the complete game package. The platform holder has already dropped some hints about this functionality, confirming that Xbox One users won't need to download X's 4K assets, but the execution goes beyond that, being flexible enough even to support multi-disc releases - not currently supported on Xbox One.

Digital FoundryiPhone X: Apple bets the future of smartphones on Kinect's failed tech

Face ID shares DNA with Xbox's unloved camera - and seems to have similar problems.

Sooner or later we knew we'd reach this point. Apple's newly revealed iPhone X is the first $1000/Ł1000 smartphone, arriving with a slew of features and technologies that have already been trialled in mainstream gaming with varying levels of success. The new phone brings with it a state-of-the-art HDR OLED display and features augmented reality gaming capabilities, but the real star of the show is its front-mounted Face ID camera assembly. Yes, remarkably, Kinect technology is back - miniaturised and repurposed, but based on the same principles.

Digital FoundryHalo Wars 2: how Xbox One X compares to base hardware and PC

Digital Foundry's first look at X scalability on a Play Anywhere title.

If there's one aspect of Xbox One X coverage we've yet to explore in depth so far, it's how enhanced first-party titles compare with existing PC and Xbox One versions of the same game. For example, all marketing of the beautiful Forza Motorsport 7 has been on X hardware, while other titles such as Sea of Thieves have only been demoed thus far running on the Xbox One S. The good news is that at Gamescom, we were given access to an early build of Halo Wars 2 running on Xbox One X, and armed with 4K direct feed capture, we're able to offer an early look at scalability on an established Xbox Play Anywhere title.

Digital FoundryWhat does it take to run Destiny 2 at 1080p60?

Digital Foundry on how budget PC hardware can deliver a superb experience.

The Destiny 2 beta finally arrived on PC this week, delivering a vast upgrade in terms of customisation over the console builds. Adjustable quality settings, unlocked frame-rate and field of view along with HDR support take pride of place in a package that seemingly does everything it can to capture the heart of the PC gaming enthusiast. It also gives us some idea of just how optimal the core code is, how well it scales across different hardware - and perhaps provides some insight into whether the upclocked CPUs in PS4 Pro and Xbox One X might be able to handle 60fps gameplay.

Digital FoundryHow Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One X improves over PS4 Pro

UPDATE: Screenshot and video comparison assets added to the analysis.

UPDATE 30/8/17 10:10am: We've updated one of the comparison images below with fresh PS4 Pro and PC shots that replicate an additional texture layer found in Square-Enix's Xbox One X press shot, representing an injured Lara. We couldn't replicate this look within the cutscene, but thankfully Digital Foundry readers came forward to help get better matching shots. The key takeaway remains the same though - Xbox One X is clearly running with higher quality art than PS4 Pro, but there are some curious differences with the maxed-out PC version.

Digital FoundryHands-on with 10 Xbox One X games that show us what it's really capable of

Digital Foundry takes on Quantum Break, Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4, F1 2017, Shadow of War - and more.

There are two sides to the Xbox One X showing at Gamescom 2017. Initially, Microsoft's colossal acreage only seems to play host to a small range of familiar-looking wares. Forza Motorsport 7, Assassin's Creed Origins and Super Lucky's Tale - games we saw at E3 - are joined by an impressive native 4K version of Shadow of War. Aside from the Warner Bros title, there's very little new here to report on. Forza Motorsport 7 still looks beautiful (as does its companion PC build, also present at the booth) while the other titles look very similar to the builds we've already seen.

Digital FoundryWatch Uncharted: The Lost Legacy running at 60fps

Check out Digital Foundry's first PS4 Pro 4K HDR video.

Naughty Dog's Uncharted: The Lost Legacy launches tomorrow and it's well worth checking out - we've already posted our take on the title, but with refinements to our video workflow combined with some useful tools provided in-game by the developer itself, we can push the game's presentation to the next level. On this page, we've posted a video of The Lost Legacy's PS4 Pro 4K output, in full HDR and running at 60 frames per second. Before we go on, we've got to stress that this isn't real-time gameplay - just like Uncharted 4, it's a 30fps title - but regardless, it still looks absolutely beautiful.

Digital FoundryAMD Radeon RX Vega 64 performance preview

Initial benchmarks from the top-end liquid-cooled AMD graphics card.

The embargo has lifted on AMD's Radeon RX Vega line, and our core emphasis today is on the lower-priced entry-level RX Vega 56 - pared back in terms of processing power and memory bandwidth, but still faster than Nvidia's GTX 1070. But what about the top-end RX Vega 64? Unfortunately, AMD delivered both products mid-way through last week, giving us a very limited window in which to test. We concentrated on getting RX Vega 56 review completed, but we can present some initial findings for the top-end offering.

Digital FoundryDF Retro: we play every single Sega 32X game

The hardware was terrible and bombed badly - but were the games worth playing?

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that things started to go wrong for Sega, but the late 1994 release of its 32X kicked off a timeline of disaster that would eventually result in its withdrawal from the console hardware market. A $149 mushroom-shaped add-on, the 32X crashed and burned within just one year. But just how capable was the hardware, how did it work and how well did its games stack up against the competition? Welcome to John Linneman's most ambitious DF Retro project yet - analysis of every single 32X game ever made, along with platform comparisons for multi-format entries. It's a light-hearted, joyous celebration of one of gaming's worst mistakes.

Digital FoundryCoffee Lake: the most exciting Intel CPU launch in years?

The leaks are remarkable: six-core i5s and i7s with a big price-cut on quad-core chips.

After years of iterative upgrades, things are starting to become interesting again in the CPU space on PC. We've already seen Ryzen 7's disruptive influence on Intel's enthusiast line and how Ryzen 5 strikes at Chipzilla's Core i5 gaming heartland. Things are changing and Intel is set to respond with the imminent launch of its new Coffee Lake line of processors. So what should we expect? Well, how does a full six-core processor for i5 money sound? Or how about today's i5 performance at i3 prices? That's what a series of convincing leaks over the last few weeks and months have promised - and more.

Digital FoundryAMD Ryzen 5 1600/1600X vs Core i5 7600K review

AMD hits the sweetspot - Ryzen is the better buy.

Since the release of the Core i5 2500K in January 2011, Intel's mainstream quad-core processor line has been the default choice for those looking to put together a capable gaming PC. The i5 is always fast out of the box and overclocking can keep your platform competitive for anything up to five or even six years. But the return of AMD has already proven disruptive in other areas of the x86 market and the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X are simply irresistible products: Core i5 is no longer the 'go to' CPU line for gamers - there is now genuine, potent competition. And to cut straight to the chase, given the choice between a 7600K or the cheaper Ryzen 5 1600, it's the AMD product we'd choose.

Digital FoundryHorizon Zero Dawn: the making of PS4 Pro's best 4K game

Guerrilla Games on how it met the ultra HD challenge.

Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn not only raised the bar in terms of technical accomplishment on current generation console hardware, it handed in the best 4K HDR presentation we've seen from any PlayStation 4 Pro title. The native 1080p output on base hardware scales up to 2160p on Pro, using a custom implementation of checkerboard rendering, but Horizon's presentation is so clean, so solid, so convincing, it passes for the 'real thing' - so how was this achieved?

Digital FoundryAMD returns to the high-end: Radeon RX Vega unveiled

Two cards to challenge GTX 1070/1080 - and a liquid cooled GPU too.

AMD has finally announced details specifications for its next-generation line of RX Vega graphics cards, due for release in August. Two versions of the flagship RX Vega 64 will be available - one with an air-cooler and another with a liquid-cooling solution - while a less expensive, lower performance RX Vega 56 is also set for an August release. The three offerings cover a spectrum of compute power starting at 10.5 teraflops, scaling up to 13.7 teraflops, and all cards utilise 8GB of HBM2 memory.