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What game developers are saying about Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One X

The third-party developers seem to have nothing but praise for the console, from small indie studios to huge well-known outlets, there's no shortage of positivity from developers in regards to the power and ease of development for building on the console.

Here are some of the things developers have been saying about the Xbox One X.

Super Lucky's Tale Paul Bettner of Playful Corp.

Super Lucky's Tale (opens in new tab) is an upcoming Xbox One X action platformer that calls upon the golden age of colorful characters and vibrant environments. Paul Bettner of Playful Corp. heaped praise on the Xbox One X to Gamespot, calling it "super over-powered" and hailed the developer kit as the "most advanced" the team had used.

From a developer's standpoint, [Xbox One X] is the most developer-friendly console we have ever worked with. Not just because the hardware is super over-powered — which it is. [I]t's like a high-end PC crammed into this tiny little box. The tools and support we had developing the game is the most advanced it's ever been. And I think that's because Microsoft hasn't necessarily been reinventing [with every new console], they've been refining and making it more powerful. This is the best version yet of the Xbox."

Crackdown 3's Gareth Wilson of Sumo Digital

In separate interviews with Sumo Digital's Gareth Wilson (via Metro and OXM via WCCFTech), Wilson praised the Xbox One X at the expense the PlayStation 4 (PS4) Pro, calling the power difference "night and day." Sumo Digital is developing Crackdown 3 for Microsoft, which features Terry Crews, tons of explosions, and a gun that shoots black holes.

To be honest the [Xbox One X] dev tools we got were great. They pretty much allowed us to get it up and running at 4K straight away. It's a beast, actually, that machine. It's so much faster than the PS4 Pro. Comfortably faster, especially in terms of running things in 4K. There's no question it's more powerful, the question will be whether third parties make use of that full power or not.We've got something like 15K simultaneous props moving around in our game [Crackdown 3]. Now the Xbox One X just eats them for breakfast. You can just go and go and go with it. Once we start making games that are optimized for that platform, it's going to be badass. I don't mind saying that it's significantly more powerful than the PS4 Pro, and we've worked with PS4 Pro. It's way more powerful. It's a night and day difference."

Assassin's Creed Origins' producer Julien Laferriere and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot

In seperate interviews with We Write Things and Gamespot, Ubisoft has been keen to praise both the power and positioning of the Xbox One X. Assassin's Creed Origins' producer Julien Laferriere hailed the Xbox One X's capacity for rendering at 4K, while Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot praised Microsoft for ditching Kinect, and focusing on raw power instead.

Assassin's Creed Origins (opens in new tab) takes the stealth 'em up to ancient Egypt and leverages RPG inspirations from the likes of The Witcher 3 to breathe new life into the aging franchise. And having played the game myself at E3 2017 on an Xbox One X dev kit, I have to say, it's probably the best looking game I've ever laid eyes on.

Our friends at Microsoft were kind enough to build the Xbox One X. It's a really cool machine. What it enables for us is we built a dynamic resolution system. What that does on Xbox One X is it enables us to render the game in full 4K. The world we crafted on 4K is amazing. That's just one of the things we can now do on Xbox One X.We did a deal with Microsoft on Assassin's Creed: Origins, which is taking really good advantage of the power of the machine. We like very much what they are doing because instead of having a Kinect or something this time the industry went after more power for the machine, so more immersion, better AI, and overall better games. We like that because it means the industry will grow because the better the experiences, the more people want to have it. We think it has a good potential. If Microsoft is really behind it, it can do well.

Path of Exile and Grinding Gear Games' Jonathan Rogers

Path of Exile is an upcoming Diablo-like game from Grinding Gear Games. It's probably more accurate to call it a Diablo II-like, as it focuses more on that classic, dark, realistic horror imagery than the somewhat comic book-style horror of Diablo III. Path of Exile will get a 4K 60 frames per second (FPS) version on the Xbox One X, and having seen it myself, I'd say fans are in for a treat. Grinding Gear Games' Jonathan Rogers hailed the speed at which the company was able to get Path of Exile up and running at 4K on Xbox One X.

Bringing a PC game to Xbox, Microsoft makes it really easy ... in terms of tools. So it really just comes down to making the gameplay good. And especially on Xbox One X, two hours after we got the dev kit it was running at 4K, 60 FPS. That thing is very powerful. It was that easy. I think we were expecting it to take a little longer than that, but no, it was a cinch.

Killing Floor 2's Dave Elder, senior graphics programmer at Tripwire Interactive

Killing Floor 2 is a Horde-like first person shooter where players battle waves of freakish monsters, leveraging all sorts of environmental traps to aid them. Up until now, Killing Floor 2 had been a PlayStation exclusive on console, but it's making the leap to Xbox One X.

Dave Elder of Tripwire Interactive praised the deployment time on the Xbox One X to WCCFTech, stating that it took just four hours of programming time to get it running on the X. Killing Floor 2 uses some NVIDIA proprietary technology for certain aspects of its engine, which means the best version will always be on PC, but it looks as though the Xbox One X version will be the definitive version on console.

Xbox One X was a very smooth and easy platform to develop for. It took very little engineering effort to get our base Xbox One game running on the Xbox One X. It took maybe four hours of programming effort total.Killing Floor 2 runs at native 1800p, fixed resolution (no checkerboarding) on Xbox One X.  We did experiment with true 4K rendering, but the frame rate drop was a bit too significant. 1800p provides the optimal balance between visual quality and performance in Killing Floor 2. We don't have a specific frame rate target for Xbox One X, although the game does run at higher frame rates than the base Xbox One, even at 1800p resolution. We will be using Ultra textures on Xbox One X.  We are also increasing the resolution of our shadow maps and shadow draw distance.

Titanfall 2 and Respawn Entertainment

Titanfall has a storied history with Xbox, with the first game being a console exclusive to the Xbox One back when it launched in 2014. Titanfall 2 (opens in new tab) launched last year to a huge amount of praise, but the sheer volume of quality multiplayer shooters that launched during 2016's holiday season effectively derailed Titanfall 2's chances at reaching the big leagues. That doesn't mean Respawn Entertainment won't be supporting the Xbox One X, though.

Speaking on NeoGAF, a Respawn developer known as "DKo5" described how Titanfall 2 looks on the Xbox One X, noting that, using dynamic scaling, Titanfall 2 has hit 6K resolution at times.

When it comes to X1X [Xbox One X] it means there are times it'll render at higher than 4K and then downsample to whatever resolution the X1X is outputting to. It is truly glorious on a 4K display. This quote will come back to haunt me, I'm sure, but there were times on Wargames last time I was testing where it was rendering at ~3200p (6K?) internally. The internal render resolution is dictated by the GPU load, so obviously there are no guarantees as to how often it renders at particular resolutions, but essentially we're using 100 percent GPU all the time."

Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Monolith design director Bob Roberts

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (opens in new tab) is an upcoming Xbox Play Anywhere title, meaning that you can purchase the game once, and get it across Xbox One, X, and Windows 10. Monolith has been quick to praise the Xbox One X, noting the speed of the development kits, while stating that on consoles, Shadow of War will look best on Xbox One X.

Yeah, it's a crazy powerful box, it will be the prettiest possible version of the game. We have some devkits which also load a lot faster, while in development it's extra nice to load a giant world in a matter of seconds so we can iterate faster. But it will also have faster loading times for players, I think that one of the big things in this console generation is that we got a lot more memory, but in a lot of games I played loading times got longer rather than shorter. It's nice to see them push on this side of the technology.

ARK Survival Evolved and Studio Wildcard's Jesse Rapczak

ARK Survival Evolved (opens in new tab) is a popular dinosaur hunting survival simulator from Studio Wildcard. The game has been in an extended Game Preview on Xbox One, but it's expected to launch fully in August 2017 and will get a patch to boost it on Xbox One X later in the year. On the Xbox daily show (via WCCFTech), Studio Wildcard's Jesse Rapczak had a huge amount of praise to hand to the Xbox One X, claiming the best console version of ARK would be on Microsoft's six-teraflop monster.

It's amazing. It's basically like Epic settings on PC, we're targeting 60 FPS. We recently introduced variable frame rate, but on Xbox One X with the extra horsepower, you'll notice less variation in your frame rate even in busy situations.The PS4 Pro also has improved frame rate when compared to PS4. Before the XB1X, it was the best console version of ARK, but it's hard to argue with [the Xbox One X's] six teraflops. Having the same frame rate in our game isn't really possible, there are a couple reasons for that: the Xbox One X not only has a faster CPU than PS4 Pro, it also has a lot more RAM. I'd say there's a 50 percent performance difference.The Xbox One X is great. Everything from the devkits is so much easier to develop for. It's faster in all sorts of ways, especially for us developers it's easier to iterate. In terms of horsepower, it's just phenomenal, it is expensive but when you think about the price for a similarly specced PC, it doesn't [seem] unreasonable at all to me.

Final thoughts

The vast majority of developers commenting on the Xbox One X seem more than happy with the strength of the console and the technical capabilities of the developer kit, the power of which Microsoft has been keen to emphasize.

The Xbox One X is without any shadow of a doubt the most powerful video games console ever made. Designed to get the most out of 4K displays, the Xbox One X should be able to bring about true PC-like gaming performance to the living room at an affordable price.

All signs are looking extremely positive for Xbox's attempt to retake the technological crown, which has up until now been sitting pretty atop Sony's PS4 line. I'll leave you with a quote from Xbox head Phil Spencer:

Give devs the best tools and platform we can, don't dictate creative or tech decisions, good things will happen, trust.

List of Xbox One X "enhanced" games

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

41 Comments
  • When are the pre-orders happening?!?
  • It'll probablly get announced at gamescon, only a few weeks to wait. :)
  • Awesome I am in!
  • yeah but all the Sony fanboys and PC elite claim all these developers are wrong. And that its impossible for it to perform like a high end PC. Hahahaha. Cue the haters. Simply put MS has custom made a box with more power than a stock 1070GTX PC. And is the easiest console in history to develop for. Absolutely amazing piece of kit.
  • Not to mention the next set of games will be optimized for One X from the ground up. Don't forget these current titles at launch have had 3-4months of devtime on One X. That's it. Next years games will destroy this years One X games with ease. The next 3-4 years is easily the best place to play all Console 3rd party titles. It's nit even close like before
  • The ignorance in your comment is laughable. No matter how much they target build a game for the console it will still run into CPU limited situations.   The Xbox One X will still be on an old low power architecture AMD created years ago running at relatively slow speeds. Yes, it will be the most powerful console, but yes it will also pale in comparison to a "high end PC".  The Xbox One X comes nowhere close to having the power of a high end GTX1070 PC.
  • Considering the developer for ARK said it was like developing for a high end PC with a 1070, I'm more inclined to believe the dev over you.
  • LOL it is truly funny reading the kiddo console comments.  You guys are literally freaking out. But facts are facts.  The Xbox One X has much less power than GTX 1070 based PC. Graphically it does not need as much power since the console developers can optimize the games better for console.
    In regards to the CPU, there is not much develpers can do when they hit the wall on the limited and slow CPU inside the Xbox One X.
    This will be seen in any game with lots of physics, npcs, rts games, anything that requires logic. Console optimization is not quite the "boost" it was in the past.  They are now running on x86 processors, close to identical graphics architectures, and an operating system that is running on the same core as Windows. You dont understand and that is ok. 
    That is why the term "Live and learn" exists.
  • First of all, you have no idea who I am so don't assume you know where I'm coming from. Second, your comment is largely inaccurate since there are no CPU requirements for a GTX 1070, calling something a GTX 1070 PC and saying the CPU is automatically more powerful than anything is just plain illogical. Finally, there have already been preliminary benchmarks that already prove you wrong. You don't have to like it, but you gotta accept it.
  • Do you even have a remote clue of the CPU used by the Xbox One X? Its a 2.3Ghz CPU based off a 4 year old low power architecture made by AMD. Preliminary benchmarks and existing development have already proven the Xbox One X will have a comprimised 4k experience.
    Dynamic scaling, reduced textures, etc.... Xbox One X will be the most powerful console, and offer a great CONSOLE gaming experience.  It will be truly great for the cost. But it is no high end PC and will not offer the ability to play full 4k like a high end PC (and yeah a 4k PC will cost a pretty penny, I know first hand as I built one).
  • I am fully aware of the CPU in the x1x, and ill tell you what. Show me proof that the CPU is stopping the machine from running 4k and that'll be it. No "I built a machine so I know" show me something that proves the CPU is stopping it.
  • Here are just a few examples showing XBox One X and its inability to run full 4k. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8oPvbpVGP0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asJRltk40GY&t=350s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3E5L2sOvNI
  • So for starters not one of these videos proove your inital statement that the CPU is what is stopping the Xbox One X from running like "A high end PC with a 1070". Second, they don't show that the CPU is what is stopping them from running at 4k. Third pre-release software can have anything done to it between now and the moment it goes gold, I don't assume at all that Anthem or AC will do much to not have their games checkerboard, but cherrypicking 2 titles doesn't really prove your point (I say 2 titles because building a PC that's "close" to an xbox is actually very far from having an xbox along with the software that is designed to run on the xbox. So I ask you again to provide proof of your statement. BTW Forza 7 4k 60FPS Super lucky's tale 4k 60FPS Path of Exile 4k 60FPS SMITE 4k 60FPS Titanfall 2 6k downscaled to 4k 60FPS Minecraft 4k (I can't find the offical FPS) Gears 4 4k 30(single player)/60(Multiplayer)FPS Halo wars 2 4K (can't find an offical FPS) Halo 5 4k 60FPS Plus a large list of more that is regularly growing, I just don't feel like looking them up anymore.
  • Your own ignorance is even more embarrassing. Did you even read the article? The $500 Xbox One X performs like a GTX 1070 PC in many games. That's a fact. Who cares that the high end pc has more raw computing power? The end result isn't any better, because console games are perfectly optimized, and pc games aren't. But sure, if you enjoy wasting money and power, keep gaming on pc.
  • I wouldn't say that console games "are" perfectly optimized, but they can approach that a lot closer than a PC game can.
  • Yeah, it's a lot easier to optimize with much less (almost zero) fragmentation to worry about. You're certainly spot on saying they aren't perfectly optimized. I personally believe no piece of software ever can be while remaining at all profitable.
  • Considering that rumors peg the price of Scorpio at ~ $500. I wouldn't expect it to have the same frame rate as a pc with GPU that costs $500 by itself.
  • Not rumors, official price. It's also official that multiple titles will run at 4k 60 fps so I dont really know what you're debating.
  • Why do you come in here acting like you know anything without reading squat? The price is not a rumor and the name has already been announced. Nobody cares about your observation or your opinions, particularly when they are completely inaccurate.
  • See what I mean? Users know more than developers in the internets world. Hahaha. Just let them now continue to show their bias. The proof will be in Digital Foundries comparisons to the same games running on a 1070GTX PC. The melt downs will be so funny.
  • This is all great and I'd love to get one for my family of FOUR boys...but will developers be taking that power and make split screen games again, or will I have to buy multiple XB1X's to make us happy???
  • As a parent of 1, I can only imagine. Only thing I can say is tell them to get Jobs and save every penny. 
  • Just get multiple xb1x.
    Cheaper way? Get multiple xb1s and upgrade later (xbOg, xb360, xb1s can still do LAN party with xb1x btw). All games from now on, runs on (and sync between) every future Xboxes (some xpa titles run on win10/win10.arm).
  • To reiterate the main point of my question was, are split screen games and multi-player games "gone" now...like Just Dance with the Kinect? Does the "One" in Xbox One signify the intention now is for the game console to be useful for only a single player? That's the way it will be when AR/VR becomes more mainstream anyway, right? Also, the promotion of the XBox being a "media entertainment hub" in a living room has to change...
  • Not really, no.  XB as a media platform doesn't have to change. X1X is just another tier catering specifically those those that want the extra power.  There is no reason a developer should abandon features like split screen, if that is the experience they want. With the extra power, in fact, it should be less of an issue if it ever was.  I don't think it is a zero sum situations with respect to audience or targets.  Its purely a matter of intended experience.   As for your specific conundrum re: four boys. I have several nephews. Two of which live with me.  *I* would be the one getting an X1X, they get to have X1S, or X1s as befitting their age, earned priviledge, etc.  For one of my older nephew however, I did offer to get him an X1X over X1S... but he declined and said he was "fine" with X1S.  Why?  He doesn't have a 4K TV anyway and though he plays a lot of cooperative games (Titanfall, Overwatch, Destiny, etc, etc), he knows the X1X is more expensive and would rather wait until he has money to at least contribute to that luxury.  He and his friends aren't too worried about keeping up with or being "the Jones". I think that is how it should be and I'm pretty sure that is what Microsoft is expecting to be the case.  X1X for those that can afford it and want it as a luxury "pro" system, and then X1S for those that just want a good console.  Not unlike the decision between an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S, etc...
  • This is certainly awesome and I look forward to upgrading my old 360 to the X when it comes out, but there remains one issue. I suck at FPS using a controller :( I really hope there are good keyboard/mouse options for the X1X so I can stop buying huge, heavy gaming laptops. Still can't wait, though. I'm giddy :D
  • Cry Ponies
  • Is that the name of the new Crytek My Little Pony shooter?
  • Then there is Bungie, who seem to have only just heard the XB1X is releasing in Nov.  Basically, they have offered little comment  on Destiny 2 graphical enhancements for XB1X.  Please don't think I'm referring to 30 vs 60 fps. Their decision to standardize at 30fps across all consoles makes sense.
  • Their decision to build a FPS without dedicated servers makes no sense at all. If they would use dedicated servers, maybe 60fps on consoles would be possible. Bungie isn't talking about the XB1X because Sony doesn't want them to. Sony likes to spend millions of dollars on misleading consumers, that's why Bungie isn't talking.
  • This kinda motivates me to buy one at launch rather than waiting a year. 
  • I still find it hilarious that now that the Xbox has greater graphical fidelity suddenly resolution matters whereas everyone was rabbiting on about how full HD meant nothing and games were perfectly fine in 720 or 900p. Until I bother getting a 4K TV I couldn't give two ***** about the PS4 Pro, or the Xbox One X, even with improved visuals at lower resolutions.
  • Eh, it only means something if the same people are com