Microsoft buzzwords, 30 frames per second and low setting…

Reach for the stars…

There you have it, Starfield confirmed to be running at 30 frames per second on Xbox Series S and X. Already the armchair critics are tapping and bashing on screen and keyboard, arguing over a game that has not yet released.

I read a comment that went, “I never want to go back to playing 30 FPS again!!!” I would simply say give it ago on Game Pass and if it sucks you haven’t dropped £60/70 on a 30 FPS dud, if it turns out to be a dud? So I want to put a question/thought out there about buzzwords and console gaming.

So who in their right mind thought that today’s consoles could pull off 4K gaming comfortably? Perhaps 4K equivalent (low/medium) setting on PC on some simple designed independent games, other blockbuster games that push open world and sprawling content is a totally different ask, surely that calls for extreme compromises with checkerboard/up-scaling trickery that gives the illusion that it is 4K.

That’s the buzzword right there, 4K. The Achilles heel, the choke point plaguing developers. Now the thought? What if Microsoft and Xbox developers simply ignored the buzzwords of the generation and aimed for 1080/1440P, would that not give room for higher visuals/effects and a more silky smooth experience?

I’m no Richard/Digital Foundry, in fact I have always said that graphics don’t make a game – game play does, and that goes back to the days of Obliterator published by Psygnosis back in 1988, yet there is a part of me that when I’m PC gaming I want to crank up the setting and look at how beautiful the water and foliage looks from low to ultra in older games like Far Cry played at 1080P on my Intel i3/ARC CPU/GPU setup.

Stunning is the word and fantastic is the game and that’s a game going on two decades old nearly, played not at 4K (which my TV is) but at 1920 X 1080P – Full HD on a budget PC. Xbox Series S/X must muscle out my setup and be able to garner lusher results.

Surely this philosophy could be implemented into development today for maximum quality and playability, or is it a case of the executives dictate and order the buzzwords to be met, even if it means trickery and compromises.

Technology advances, techniques get refined, but there is always cost – that is another Achilles heel, consoles are designed to be reasonably cheap, but that doesn’t mean a console not having quality games – maybe it’s time for Microsoft and Xbox to be bold and screw buzzwords, like power your dreams, power of the cloud and other newfangled wording that’s created to lure. What about looking at power of the box and adjust accordingly.

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