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David Bierton


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Digital FoundrySkyrim on Xbox One X gets the job done - but we expected more

Resolution apart, upgrades are thin on the ground.

We've already looked at the Fallout 4 patch for Xbox One X, and the impression there is that although massively improved over the turn-out on base console, perhaps the visual sliders were pushed up a little too high, resulting in some issues with performance. Now the verdict is in on Bethesda's companion Skyrim release - and the end result is essentially the opposite: the consistent frame-rate is admirable, and the developer is willing to be flexible on resolution to get there.

Digital FoundryProject Cars 2's upgrades have a different focus on Xbox One X

UPDATE: New graphics modes in the playable demo put to the test.

UPDATE 27/11/17 4:15pm: We've spent the day checking out the Project Cars 2 demo, which features three separate and distinct presentation modes for users with PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X hardware. These modes are currently unavailable in the full game, which we cover in the main piece below, but we can reasonably expect the full patch to arrive in short order. Three separate modes are on offer - with an emphasis on resolution, visual quality or frame-rate - so while testing is only preliminary based on demo content alone, we wanted to put it to the test to get a flavour of what we can expect before the main game is updated.

Digital FoundryStar Wars Battlefront 2: Frostbite stress-tested on Xbox One X

Significant resolution boosts over PS4 Pro, but what about performance?

There was one crucial aspect of the Xbox One X experience we could not cover in our hardware review: to what extent is this actually a 4K games machine and what is the difference in the experience up against Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro? Since then, the X upgrades have rolled in, giving us a better picture of how the machines compare, but what we've been lacking is an apples to apples stress test comparison based on EA's Frostbite technology - one of the most advanced rendering engines on the market. FIFA 18 is impressive but hardly a challenge for the hardware but Star Wars Battlefront is perhaps the game we've been looking for. The results are certainly illuminating.

Every year, a new Call of Duty arrives, the franchise standard bearer for 60 frames per second gameplay and by extension, the end product of some of the industry's most talented engineers, miraculously working more effects and features into a minuscule 16.7ms per frame time slice. Based on what we've seen so far, WW2 can stand proud alongside the technological miracle that was last year's Infinite Warfare. Small issues aside, this is another beautiful-looking title, pushing the series on once again without unduly compromising the 60fps lock.

Digital FoundryAssassin's Creed Origins: Xbox One X is improved, but to what extent?

Impressive resolution boosts over PS4 Pro, but no game-changing improvements.

Assassin's Creed Origins arrives on Xbox One X, giving us a fascinating insight into how a key developer aims to scale their multi-platform projects most effectively across the current generation of consoles - both base models and 4K mid-gen refreshes. On the face of it, there are few surprises here: the more teraflops your console has, the better the resolution, automatically meaning that, yes, the game looks best on Xbox One X. But the techniques Ubisoft has deployed to scale its game across consoles produces some interesting results: Microsoft's new console hands in by far the best raw metrics in terms of pixel counts, but PS4 Pro still holds up rather well.

After a year on hiatus, the Assassin's Creed franchise returns, refreshed in all areas - and that includes its technology. We hope to bring you more about the game's technical foundations soon, but what's clear is that materials, animation and motion capture have been pleasingly improved, while image quality moves on to the next level. Draw distances are further extended with less pop-in - all the better to service an in-game world 4x the size of Black Flag's - while lighting is on another level. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 Pro support looks solid enough, hinting at even better things to come for Xbox One X.

Digital FoundryHow Star Wars Battlefront 2's stunning tech scales across consoles

Digital Foundry breaks down the beautiful beta on PS4, Pro and Xbox One.

DICE's Frostbite engine kicked off the console generation with Battlefield 4, and the technology has evolved considerably over the last four years. Star Wars Battlefront 2 may well be its most spectacular outing yet. Importing and enhancing many of the new features from last year's Battlefield 1, our impression of the recent 2 beta is that we're not simply looking at newer maps, weapons, and characters, but a clear visual upgrade that brings us even closer to the definitive Star Wars videogame experience. It's all about authenticity - Frostbite's feature set is a terrific match for the Star Wars aesthetic.

Multi-platform development sits at the heart of the way games are made today, with code and assets shared across multiple platforms - and this puts Nintendo Switch in a difficult position. It's highly capable bearing in mind its mobile chipset, but it's not quite potent enough to power cutting-edge triple-A titles, explaining why FIFA 18 is somewhat different to its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts. EA has promised a custom-built experience but to what extent is this really a bespoke edition of the game? Is it indeed built from the ground up with Nintendo's hardware in mind, or is it more like a custom variant of the last-gen versions? Yes, remarkably, PS3 and Xbox 360 still get annual FIFA updates.

Digital FoundryHow does Forza 7 improve on Xbox One X over base hardware?

And can Microsoft's new console match the high-end 4K PC experience?

Built to run existing game engines at native 4K, our first taste of what the new Xbox One X hardware could deliver came in the form of a Forza Motorsport tech demo, built to base Xbox One spec, but offering ultra HD resolution, a locked 60 frames per second - and with processing headroom to spare. So just what has developer Turn 10 done with this extra power and how does Xbox One X stack up against PC and standard Xbox hardware? With the release of a Forza Motorsport 7 demo this week, we could finally find out.

Digital FoundryProject Cars 2 runs best on PlayStation 4 Pro

Console performance analysed: Sony's super-charged console gets closest to a locked 60fps.

Project Cars 2 reviews have dropped, the Forza Motorsport 7 demo arrives today and Gran Turismo Sport is en route. It's a huge couple of months for racing sim fans, and we're off to a good start with Slightly Mad's sequel, packed with a raft of new technological features. The question is, in light of the sometimes shaky frame-rate found in its predecessor, how well does the sequel match up - and what are the advantages of running on PlayStation 4 Pro?

There was a time when Digital Foundry would produce bespoke performance videos - and indeed Eurogamer articles - for virtually every major release. With so many games seemingly rushed to market, how well a particular title would run was a crucial factor in any purchasing decision. Thankfully, quality in this area is much improved across the board, but in the case of Ark: Survival Evolved, performance remains a major weakness for the game - even now, after finally emerging from Early Access.

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