We finally learned the specifications of the Xbox Scorpio AKA Project Scorpio recently, and during the reveal of what is inside the guts of the Scorpio, we saw Forza 6 Apex running on the machine.
Now, we have learned a little more about the work that Turn 10 did to get the game running well on the upgraded console. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Turn 10’s Software Architect Chris Tector said that they got the PC version of Forza 6 Apex running on the Scorpio with GPU power left to spare.
He said: “The crazy story here is that we’ve gone over our PC ultra settings and for everything that’s GPU-related, we’ve been able to max it – and that’s what we’re running at 88%. This is rendering the player LOD for every car, so you won’t see a single LOD pop. [It’s the] top-level model you’d see in race, one below what you see in Autovista, the model you usually only see for the player. And then we balance out LODs across the scene. It’s a disgusting abuse of GPU power is what it is, right?”
“It’s horrible but we can do it and we still have the power left over. The awesome part about the whole story [is] that we can spend all this time heading into the future. Instead of saying how are we going to wrestle to get the performance on this, we’re actually saying we can make this quality trade-off or this quality trade-off and spend that time iterating heading towards much better image quality – so instead of stressing about getting to a final resolution for titles or a final frame-rate, we can really drive it all into quality.”
Apparently, the work to transition the game from PC to the Scorpio took Turn 10 by surprise.
“There was one issue we had to deal with around memory alignment, then we were up and running on Scorpio. It was that fast. We were floored,” he says. “We had this special room for [Matt], it was all locked away so he could be here for a really long time. It was two days and [on] the third day we were just playing around with all the options and re-doing all those stress tests and saying ‘what if we turn on this MSAA or what if we turn on that’.”
Of course, while the version of Scorpio that Turn 10 (and undoubtedly other developers as well) are working with is the final development version, there is, of course, a lot of refinement and testing left to do on the software side. Getting the most out of the hardware available, which of course includes framerate as well as resolution and graphical fidelity, is still going to take work.
But, the fact that Turn 10 got such positive results from the PC version of Forza 6 Apex is definitely encouraging, and points to a more equal ecosystem between PC and console than we have ever seen before. This is definitely a good sign because if it is less work for developers to bring their PC versions to the Scorpio, the lineup of the Scorpio could see some nice additions that might arrive faster than previously.
As I keep saying, you can have all the monstrous specs that you like, but without the games to back it up it’s no use. Which is why it’s very important for the game side of the Scorpio to be just as slick as the rest.