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DF Direct - XsX Gameplay Reveal Reaction - Is This Next Gen?

Nov 5, 2016
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John and Alex talk the XsX stream from yesterday

(thanks, D dark10x )


from DF YouTube

John Linneman and Alex Battaglia offer their reaction to the Microsoft Xbox Series X 'gameplay' reveal. What do they think about the games shown? Did we actually learn anything new about the capabilities of the next-gen consoles?

Subscribe for more Digital Foundry: http://bit.ly/DFSubscribe

Video just went up, its 44 minutes so I can't provide a recap yet

- Both pretty disappointed in what they saw. Opportunity to show next gen for the first time, felt poorly timed, should have aired after first party stuff

- Bright Memory Infinite - updated version of OG game on PC targeting 4k/60 with RT. Looks fairly impressive. Disclaimer of "representative of expected quality" should be noted tho. 4k/60 plus RT seems aggressive to John, wonders how it is possible, speculate if it will need some sort of upscaling with RT in full effect, RT is just too expensive. Not a bad way to open the event, game does look good, actually showed real gameplay unlike most other games shown

- Dirt 5, at first glance, barely looks like something beyond Forza Horizon 4, but 4k with 120fps is great for a racing title. One extra frame can be the difference between 3 meters of driving for a fast racing game like this. Could be the first non-VR console game to run at 120fps. No mention of RT in the press briefing. Examples of planar reflections in the trailer and typical SSR

(edit, at 5:48 mark is when 4k AND 120fps is mentioned)

- Scorn, been in development for a LONG time, dev quote said they want to show more gameplay but were limited to 2 minutes by MS, what we saw looked really good but also really Giger copycat. Targeting 4k/60, not using RT. Dense, tons of geometry. People wanted to see Series X, not an approximation. Really disappointing that they couldn't provide an actual example of XsX running a game. Compares this to Ryse being shown running on XBO leading up to this gen, and Killzone being shown on PS4. Those demos were important for showcasing their systems.

- Chorus, space shooter, kinda Everspace style combat game, seems to be using RT reflections, targeting 4k/60. Theoretically they could implement very select instances of RayTracing but not in the full blown gameplay experience to hit 60fps at 4k without upscaling. Gameplay in the trailer shows some hitches from 60fps. Could be a new Colony Wars

- Madden, just looked like Madden

- Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, first game was janky, press briefing for this game doesn't mention RT for console but will have RT for PC. Gameplay snippets looked cool but not best way to communicate what game is about. The dancing stuff was silly.

- Call of the Sea, aiming for 4k/60 and gameplay snippets are in 60fps, Alex doubts that all these games will really hit 60fps at true 4k without concessions. Is it medium/high? Surely can't be 4k Ultra at 60fps. Biggest bottleneck as CPU this gen and that bottleneck is now removed for next gen so 60fps should be seen much more often. These cross gen offerings won't show off anything SSD related.

- The Ascent, looks like cancelled version of Prey 2, kinda has that same vibe, density of the geo is nuts, so much stuff going on, striking visuals. Seems like a lot of effort going into rendering for a twin stick shooter, though it is being called an ARPG. Looks very detailed. Showed actual gameplay. Looks fun. Only concern hardware wise is framerate is very unstable in the clips. Cannot pass judgment on that yet, though.

- The Medium, lot of pre-rendered CGI, seems kinda waste of time, they have a composer from Silent Hill, the in-game footage looks cool, targeting 4k and uses RT. No mention of 60 fps. Environments are pretty geometrically dense, great use of lighting.

- Scarlet Nexus, aesthetic is fine, simple, doesn't look very next gen, Code Vein meets Astral Chain. Looks like average current gen assets. No 60 fps mention in the briefing, only targeting 4k. Lot of combat footage was 60fps in the trailer tho. Some of the city scenes remind him of an anime version of UE3.

- Second Extinction, using engine from Rage 2 and Just Cause, co-op dinosaur survival game, visuals look pretty great, good use of motion blur, press briefing did not mention 60 fps. Rage 2 ran at 60fps on One X so they expect this to run at 60 fps too

- Yakuza: Like A Dragon, shift to turn based RPG, doesn't really show off XsX but good to have as next gen launch game for depth at launch. Running on the Dragon Engine from Yakuza 6. Should be easy 4k/60 on next gen. Briefing only mentions smart delivery. The engine can scale pretty high. Animations look great.

- AC Valhalla, hyped gameplay gameplay gameplay and we got trailer with least amount of gameplay. We got scenes running in-engine. Visually, what we see looks great, but should have given us a sequence of actual gameplay, should have shown less pop-in or quicker fast travel. Showed nothing that next gen can really offer. Nothing really indicative of what the game really is. They expect it to run at 30 fps


They think MS can shift opinion back around with actual gameplay demos in July and this shouldn't hurt them too long term

I just type this out as I listen to it for the first time, so sorry if I mistake anything
 
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martino

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he's right the fact than nothing is running on xsx is not disappointing it's near worrying at this point.
 
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Fake

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- Scarlet Nexus, aesthetic is fine, simple, doesn't look very next gen, Code Vein meets Astral Chain. Looks like average current gen assets. No 60 fps mention in the briefing, only targeting 4k. Lot of combat footage was 60fps in the trailer tho. Some of the city scenes remind him of an anime version of UE3.

Is there any anime game pushing the hardware limits? Was the one game from the presentation I actually not ask for next gen because they're more art direction games rather than making photorealism graphics. More close to the anime cartoon, better the anime game is.
 
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What a silly question. C'mon guys, is really need a video to talk about nothing?

Sorry for the bad thread, thought maybe some people would want to discuss DFs thoughts

Is there any anime game pushing the hardware limits? Was the one game from the presentation I actually not ask for next gen because they're more art direction games rather than making photorealism graphics. More close to the anime cartoon, better the anime game is.

Personally, Scarlet Nexus was my favorite game of the show. The DF guys didn't seem too impressive but I love it
 
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I guess the biggest takewaway from the video is which games openly state they are targetting 60fps and which don't, as well as the couple that claim to be targetting 4k/60 WITH RT too. How much RT will be implemented? 4k and full blown RT will be pretty expensive, to try and hit 60 fps as well may be hard to do?
 

Fake

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how long did they worked on this one ? not that long it seems
Maybe no much. I watched IGN video saying will be much smaller than previous AC. I stop playing AC since Black Flag, so I can't say for sure how small could be in comparison with Origins and Odyssey.
 
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MCplayer

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I don't think its 4k 120fps, but 1080p 120 FPS, or did the PR actually said 4K 120FPS, I just remember him saying 120Hz
 

Uzupedro

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how long did they worked on this one ? not that long it seems
At least 3 years, at most 4 if you take into account conceptual stages or things like that. But what is known is that it has been done since Origins ended and has the same director, then at least 3 years.
 

martino

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At least 3 years, at most 4 if you take into account conceptual stages or things like that. But what is known is that it has been done since Origins ended and has the same director, then at least 3 years.

I know it's the team that did back flag, am i right ?
But i didn't know they worked on it for so long.
It's good news
 

Vawn

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You feeling okay, bud?

Did you not see the warning label?

 

Drewpee

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The real question is are some of these games even that impressive for current gen ?

Is that the fault of the company that makes the hardware or the company that develops the game?

Remember most, if not all of these games will look the exact same or worse on PS5.
 
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You're a good dude Vawn. I got love for ya.

I don't think its 4k 120fps, but 1080p 120 FPS, or did the PR actually said 4K 120FPS, I just remember him saying 120Hz
They said it's 4K when running at 60 FPS. They didn't mention resolution of you run it at a higher framerate.

I believe it as the 5:48 mark of the video where he says "4k AND 120fps"
 

martino

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Some people felt that Origins and Odyssey were too big or too padded with filler

the content can range vastly. it's mostly up to you .two quests requiere to do some side content grind on odyssey if i remember well(and this is if you haven't done it)
this game is not for tcompletionist that don't like to spend 100+ hours on the same game that"s sure.
 

Vawn

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They will not look worse on ps5 lol. All of the titles shown can run on a fucking PS4 pro if optimized for it

They could, but technically they "could" look worse on Series X too. Sometimes weaker harder gets the main focus and the stronger hardware actually gets a lesser version.

It happened recently when Resident Evil 3 was running significantly better on PS4 Pro than Xbox One X (until a patch).

Bayonetta ran like crap on PS3 compared to 360 while Final Fantasy XIII ran better on PS3 than 360. Ori and the Blind Forest looks and runs better on Switch than Xbox One and Alien Isolation looks better on Switch than either PS4 or XBO.
 
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Drewpee

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They will not look worse on ps5 lol. All of the titles shown can run on a fucking PS4 pro if optimized for it

That is my point. I am not sure who we are supposed to criticize here. Is it Microsoft's fault if a developer does not create a game with Nextgen level graphics? I dont think I have seen any posts criticizing the developers for creating a game that does not meet their standards of Next Gen, the negatively has been directed at Xbox and nowhere else.
 
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Paulxo87

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Listen guys. They did this to themselves. You mean to tell me they could not even show one exclusive title? That they have no footage at all of anything? They could and SHOULD have. I don't know how in the hell they thought this was a good idea. But then again they have been making bonehead decisions for the past 20 years of xbox
 

Andodalf

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Listen guys. They did this to themselves. You mean to tell me they could not even show one exclusive title? That they have no footage at all of anything? They could and SHOULD have. I don't know how in the hell they thought this was a good idea. But then again they have been making bonehead decisions for the past 20 years of xbox
No titles are XSX only in that they all hit PC, but there were multiple titles shown that won’t be anywhere but those two places at launch, namely Scorn and The medium. Unless by exclusive you mean first party (which would be weird), In which case they very intentionally chose not to show that stuff of yet.
 
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Codes 208

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Where is Skull and Bones? Is that still being made?
Ubisoft is still trying to find a way to give it their signature downgrade.
Listen guys. They did this to themselves. You mean to tell me they could not even show one exclusive title? That they have no footage at all of anything? They could and SHOULD have. I don't know how in the hell they thought this was a good idea. But then again they have been making bonehead decisions for the past 20 years of xbox
Tbf, we came in knowing there wouldnt be exclusives. They explicitly mentioned this would be third party. The problem was they overhyped and under-delivered on the gameplay.
 
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Ascend

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- The Medium, lot of pre-rendered CGI, seems kinda waste of time, they have a composer from Silent Hill, the in-game footage looks cool, targeting 4k and uses RT. No mention of 60 fps. Environments are pretty geometrically dense, great use of lighting.
I honestly think that some things are actually running in real-time and they are being confused with being pre-rendered CGI.
 

ToadMan

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That is my point. I am not sure who we are supposed to criticize here. Is it Microsoft's fault if a developer does not create a game with Nextgen level graphics? I dont think I have seen any posts criticizing the developers for creating a game that does not meet their standards of Next Gen, the negatively has been directed at Xbox and nowhere else.

The criticism is because these are the (3rd party) games MS chose for their “first gameplay reveal” of their next gen hardware.

If this is the best stuff MS could find amongst 3rd parties, MS made a mistake showing it and that’s the criticism aimed at them. If this is genuinely indicative of what next gen will be like for MS, they made a mistake developing Xsex.
 

Craig of War

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I mean the CPU of last gen console was weak sauce holding back the FPS so with next gen and Zen 2 CPU Cores there is no reason it cannot do 60FPS standard Most of MS first party games already run in 60FPS on the Xbox 1 like Gears Halo Forza and many more and Gears and Halo and Forza runs in 4K 60FPS on the One X so with that being said i see no reason why Next Gen games cannot run in 4K 60FPS standard on the Series X or even PS5.