Forza Motorsport 7

Another handsome, well built and entertaining Forza rolls off the production line - though there are controversial changes under the hood.


Key events

One of the more irritating facets of game consoles' generational cycle is the scorched-earth approach to peripheral compatibility. Since the business began, platform holders and their partners in the peripheral business have used new console generations as an excuse to get gamers to shell out again for new controllers and other accessories they've already bought by ensuring older models won't work with the new console hardware. It is, and has always been, a bit of a racket.

Tech Analysis: Gran Turismo Sport vs Forza Motorsport 7

Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo: two franchise juggernauts that push the technical limits of their respective platforms. As console-orientated driving simulators, they share much in common - both hand in state-of-the-art visuals, a remarkable level of fidelity, and they both target a silky-smooth 60 frames per second. With plenty of matching content in terms of cars and tracks, there are many ready-made comparison points for analysing their respective technologies. But while both Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport set out with very similar objectives, the end results are often very different, underscoring a profound difference in execution - and philosophy.

Owing to Gran Turismo's traditional extended development cycle (GTS is the first Polyphony title of the generation, compared to Turn 10's third) it's rare to see Forza and GT titles release within weeks of each other, and adding further spice are the arrival of PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, upgraded consoles targeting 4K displays. We don't tend to compare platform exclusives generally, but the more we looked at these latest cutting-edge racers, the more interesting the story became. Yes, it's fascinating to see the different ways that two immensely talented developers have brought home two exceptionally good games, but at the same time, it's also a great way to appreciate the sheer craftsmanship that has gone into both.

For the purposes of our analysis, we looked at Gran Turismo Sport primarily running on PlayStation 4 Pro using its higher resolution 1800p checkerboard mode, while in the case of Forza 7, the lack of Xbox One X code made us settle on the PC version with all settings maxed out and resolution set to native 4K. Aside from improved anti-aliasing and higher refresh shadows, it's a good match for what we should expect from Microsoft's 'true 4K' console.

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Forza Motorsport 7 physical sales down slightly on Forza 6

Forza Motorsport 7 physical sales down slightly on Forza 6

But Forza Horizon 3 still going strong.

Forza Motorsport 7 entered the UK chart in second place this week, behind last week's new release FIFA 18.

Sales of Microsoft's car exclusive were down slightly compared to 2015's Forza 6 - but the franchise as a whole had an excellent week.

The chart's third position? That went to Forza Horizon 3, now a year old. The last few weeks have seen Horizon 3 buoyed by its inclusion in the Xbox One S' Forza Hot Wheels bundle - although it has been selling consistently well for far longer.

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Forza Motorsport 7 review

RecommendedForza Motorsport 7 review

Forza many, not the few.

If you're a regular player of Turn 10's racing games, your first reaction to Forza Motorsport 7 is likely to be: what's new? After a rare stumble with the slender and skittish fifth game, this most consistent of series hit its confident stride again with the highly polished Forza Motorsport 6, and you're forced to wonder what this sequel could really bring to the table. The initial impression is: not much.

Forza Motorsport 7

Developer: Turn 10 Studios

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

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.

First things first: while our Xbox One and PC assets are derived from this week's demo release, our fresh new X assets hail from a preview build of the entire Forza game we saw during Microsoft's press showcase a couple of weeks back, and there are some differences - the circuits you've played in the demo constitute the first three races of the single-player career mode in the final game, for example, and this build shows a variance in lighting.

Whether this is down to a factor of the dynamic lighting and weather system or simply a peculiarity of the preview build or settings in the capture equipment Microsoft had at the event remains to be seen, but the differences between the two consoles - and indeed the commonality with PC - are fascinating. Remember that Turn 10 had access to Project Scorpio hardware as soon as it was available in its earliest prototype form, so it stands to reason that this team would be able to get the best out of the new console.

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Digital FoundryForza Motorsport 7: Xbox One X's true 4K showcase delivers

Plus: the full story behind Project Scorpio's 'uncompressed pixels'.

We went to E3 looking for the software pay-off to the Xbox One X hardware reveal and emerged baffled by the lack of games - specifically, the true 4K titles promised from so much of the marketing. These titles do exist, they are coming, but for now, the only taste we have is the brilliant Forza Motorsport 7. And there's no doubt about it, Turn 10's latest series entry is beautiful on Xbox One X - but does it have the 'highest quality pixels' anybody has ever seen? One year on, Project Scorpio's most infamous meme and its connection to Forza Motorsport can finally be explained.

FeatureThe big interview: Xbox boss Phil Spencer

On Xbox One X, exclusives and more.

During its E3 2017 media briefing, Microsoft faced pressure to convince the gaming public to fork out its hard-earned cash - £449 in the UK to be exact - on an Xbox One X, née Project Scorpio. With the specs out of the way, it was all about the games. And so the games came - 42, 22 of which with rather vague "Xbox console exclusivity" attached. But while we saw some lovely little games as part of a different side of Microsoft (The Last Night, Artful Escape and Ori 2 spring to mind), where were the big first-party exclusive new game announcements? You know, the kind of announcement that gets early adopters fumbling over themselves to pre-order? There weren't any.

Forza Motorsport 7 out in October, has trucks

And Porsches. Lots of Porsches.

Microsoft has announced Forza Motorsport 7 with the first live gameplay demo of Xbox One X at its E3 press conference. The racing sequel will be released on October 3rd - a month before the new console it's serving as a flagship title for - for the Xbox One and Windows 10.