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See how Middle-earth: Shadow of War on Xbox One X stacks up to PS4 Pro

According to Digital Foundry's analysis, the game features native 4K resolution at 30 FPS on Xbox One X compared to the 1620p resolution on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Both titles run at 30 FPS so there's no difference there. However, the improvement in texture quality is the highlight here because it's truly differentiating.

If you're playing Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you'll notice that it looks exceptionally blurry on Xbox One and features low-resolution textures. According to Digital Foundry, the same problem applies to PlayStation 4 Pro. This is evident when you walk up to any large structure and examine the detail of the walls. The textures need a massive upgrade more than anything else and that's exactly what only one console provides.

Luckily, on Xbox One X (opens in new tab) this is the case and it's the only console which features PC-quality assets. If you look at the video, there's a noticeable difference between the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro versions. However, what's more important is that it fixes the problems gamers are experiencing on the regular Xbox One. It's definitely worth it to play this game on Microsoft's upcoming console because it's quite underwhelming visually on the standard console.

That's not all though because it gets even better. On Xbox One X (opens in new tab) you're given the option to enable or disable Dynamic Resolution. Dynamic Resolution lowers the resolution of the game to maintain 30 FPS when it senses that performance might take a hit. Well, disabling it gives you higher resolutions even if you select "Favor Quality" mode over "Favor Resolution" mode.

If you turn off Dynamic Resolution, "Favor Quality" mode offers a 1980p picture but scarifies some advanced effects. "Favor Resolution" mode offers a native 4K picture with the mode disabled too. So, if you crave the best resolution, and want it to remain at that mark throughout gameplay, be sure to disable Dynamic Resolution on your Xbox One X. However, Digital Foundry recommends that you play at "Favor Resolution" with Dynamic Resolution on because that gives you the most bang for your buck especially if you have a 4K display.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. During the campaign, you go behind enemy lines to forge your army, conquer fortresses, and dominate Mordor from within. Aside from playing as Talion and Celebrimbor, beings like Gollum and Shelob the spider make an appearance too. The end goal is to confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

13 Comments
  • I'm not gonna say it sounds complicated because I'm part of the PC Master Race, but doesn't these kind of configuration options make console games less "just plug and play"?
  • I think it's a matter of degrees... providing two or three optimized modes that will run well is a nice middle ground... some people prefer resoultion, some framerate, some graphic quality, so this gives a bit of an option. To me, the bigger deal is not having to worry about driver crashes and getting optimized drives for certain games, and all that. In addition, my feeling is that games on consoles are more reliable and crash less because there are vastly fewer combinations of hardware for them to test. I think that's more of the "plug and play" aspect people are after... not having to troubleshoot problems. A few options (with a sensible default) never hurt anyone.
  • I totally agree with you!
  • My sentiments exactly.
  • Not just HW, driver version, OS version, user-installed-background-services, optimizers (cccleaner, someone wrote an algorism that magically understands how all other applications handle their data), etc, all sorts of variables. To debug, I'll need to be able to replicate the problem, but my combination... most of the time, will not be the same as yours. Surface Pro / xbox / Alienware xxx would be much easer for me to do my job.
    With xboxes, billions of people use the same hardware, same software, UWP is sandboxed, unable to interfere / tamper with your system. Your problem is everyone's problem. Even if I'm lazy to file tickets, others will (outta billions of users).
  • Is part of tearing down the old console concepts, this acquires importance in the new model that install MS in consoles: more regular releases and games that are not guided by generations, intergenerational. It's the change that the consoles needed, and it's a better future for Xbox.
  • 30fps with native 4k and 4k textures with no performance hit?
  • Yes.
  •  In one area the fps dips to the low 20's, otherwise it's locked in at 30. Also at native 4k the texture quality is slightly diminished, it's all explained in the video.
  • You have to keep in mind this is the Gamescom build. It is not fully optimised. He says so in the video. So it will be better in the final release
  • Would prefer a 1080p quality mode with 60fps but 30fps is still ok for such a game. The dynamic resolution should be standard.
  • let's be real here. The difference in textures alone here is the difference we see between 360 and One textures. Or Ps3 - Ps4. The Ps4 Pro textures look majorly blurry in comparison. Huge difference. That's before we even get to the shadows, lighting, higher poly count and extra scenery detail. It's staggering. Rise Of the tomb raider on 360-One is the same big jump as we are seeing here with PS4 Pro-One X. No one can say with a straight face that 3rd party games are not worth getting a One X for. This level of difference is a staggering. And this is on a game with only 6 months devtime. Imagine next years titles with nearly 18 months devtime. Next year the gap will be even larger. 
  • From what I've read, it's going to be very hard to do open world type games at 60fps on One X, even at 1080p. The CPU is the limiting factor here more than the GPU. Significantly more powerful CPUs will wait for next gen... this mid gen is all about GPU and memory. I think it's a good compromise personally... I don't need open world games at 60fps. I just want them to look and play great.