Xbox One S will still upscale picture for 4K TVs

By Marshall Lemon, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 19:07 GMT

Even if you don’t have a Project Scorpio, the Xbox One S will use dynamic scaling to upgrade your picture.

xbox one s

Xbox One S will still upscale video to 4K TVs

While players might be uncertain whether to buy an Xbox One S or wait for Project Scorpio, Microsoft has emphasized the differences won’t be so vast for the average consumer. All Xbox One titles are planned to be supported equally across all platforms, and dynamic scaling options will adjust the image if you haven’t upgraded your entire gaming setup. For example, while Project Scorpio is designed with high-end TVs in mind, the Xbox One S can upscale images to fit a 4K TV.

“Even on the Xbox One S, if it’s plugged into a 4K TV, it is going to upscale the picture to 4K,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GamesIndustry.biz. “It doesn’t touch the pixels of the game. It just upscales everything. The video it supports is obviously true 4K. It has true 4K video streaming in Blu-ray.

“There are games that were written on Xbox One, and we continue to evangelize this tech of dynamic scaling – Halo 5’s a good example – when Halo 5 runs it wants to max out at 1080p/60 frames per second or highest resolution/60 frames per second. As scenes get more complex, the vertical resolution will shrink… to keep the 60 frames per second. When that same game’s running on Scorpio, because of the compute capability, it’s effectively is going to run at its max resolution the whole time. And so you will see advantages like that when your Xbox One games are running on Scorpio.”

In other words, while one gamer with a Project Scorpio and a 4K TV will gain the best available resolutions, someone who could only afford the Xbox One S won’t be falling completely behind – the system makes some adjustments for you.

“Now, it’s not going to make Halo 5 run with 4K pixels,” Spencer clarified. “The frame buffer is not a 4K frame buffer for the game. But it will run more solidly. And certain developers might go back and decide if they’ve built a 4K version for PC already for some of their games, they might go back and decide to enable a 4K version for the Scorpio Xbox when it launches.”

While the technical considerations might go over the heads of most customers, it’s encouraging that Microsoft is taking steps to ensure whatever console and TV you buy, the games themselves will still be supported. The limited edition 2TB Xbox One S launches in August for $399, followed by standard editions shortly afterwards.

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