Overwatch achieves native 4K resolution on Xbox One X

A few days ago, Blizzard suddenly announced that Overwatch's 4K update was available for Xbox One X. This isn't the first time Overwatch has received a "4K" update on consoles, however.

Previously, PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) owners were disappointed to find that Overwatch's PS4 Pro upgrade just rendered the menus at native 4K, the rest of the game was still at 1080p resolution. Xbox One X owners feared the same even though Microsoft's console has a roughly two teraflops advantage over Sony's machine.

Due to questions revolving around the legitimacy of Overwatch's Xbox One X upgrade, Xbox Platform Corporate Vice President Mike Ybarra took to Twitter to clarify that the game was indeed running at 4K resolution on the console. It wasn't just an upgrade to the interface. Unfortunately, he didn't clarify if it was native 4K, an upscaling solution, or even checkerboard rendering.

Today, Digital Foundry put out a comparison of Overwatch on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. The outlet confirmed that the game achieves native 4K resolution on Microsoft's device through a dynamic scaling solution. Dynamic scaling means that the resolution is lowered if the game senses an imminent drop in the frame rate. The dynamic scaling solution is only implemented on the horizontal axis, which means that it preserves the image quality more so than if there was a decrease in pixel count on both axes.

There are still a few issues with the Xbox One X patch though. For example, there is some screen tearing at the top of the display and the frame rate dips from time to time by a few frames per second (FPS). Overall, many gamers will consider these acceptable trade-offs to play the game at 4K resolution at 60 FPS. Hopefully Blizzard will issue a fix for these minor problems on Xbox One X in the future.

We tested Overwatch on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro and it's clear that image quality on Microsoft's new console will be vastly superior to competing consoles. The jump to 4K resolution from 1080p means you'll be getting finer details at longer ranges, and a generally crisper, cleaner experience.

Overwatch is a first-person shooter which features various heroes battling various villains. Each character is unique and has their own set of abilities and skills. Despite the diverse cast of fighters, the game is surprisingly balanced at a casual level, and you never feel like you're at a disadvantage if you choose one over the other. The game is currently available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.

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Asher Madan

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.