Dev Explains How Outlast Runs At 1080p, 60fps On Xbox One

By William Usher 2014-07-28 19:41:10 discussion comments
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A lot of games haven't been able to hit the holy grail of 1080p and 60fps. A lot of times it's one or the other or something a little lower on both sides of the table, such as Ryse's 900p at 30fps or Dead Rising 3's 720p at sub-30fps. In the case of Outlast, the founder of the development studio explains just how they were able to hit 1080p at 60fps on the Xbox One.

Gaming Bolt spoke with the founder of Red Barrels, Phillip Morin, the development studio behind the highly acclaimed horror title, Outlast. Gaming Bolt sought an explanation on how they were able to achieve what so few other developers have been able to do on the Xbox One.

According to Morin...
“It is true that the eSRAM is pretty small for 1080p, you never seemed to have enough of it,” ... “But since Unreal Engine 3 is a good old forward renderer, we did not need as much as some of the other games using deferred shading,”

That's very interesting, as they're essentially saying that old rendering techniques render at higher resolutions on newer hardware. Who knew?

Previously it had been revealed that Outlast ran at 1080p and 60fps on the PS4 on the highest graphical settings and according to Phillip, they didn't have to make any sacrifices to get the game running on par to the Xbox One, saying...
“Actually, because of the additional time development, we were able to fix additional bugs and do further optimization,”

Parity, by every measurable quality.

Gaming Bolt makes the observation – in conjunction with Morin's own admission that the UE3 is using an older renderer – that most mid-ranged PCs can run Outlast at pretty high settings due to the game's low overhead and modest resource requirements.

More than anything, it would be surprising if Outlast didn't hit native 1080p. I mean, how embarrassing is it that a game that's just slightly beyond the capabilities of the seventh generation consoles couldn't run at 60 frames per second in full HD? Well, technically we see it often with cross-generational games like Watch Dogs, which runs 900p on the PS4 and only 792p on the Xbox One.

Other newer games are having a hard time achieving parity across both systems, mostly due to the fact that the PS4 is 50% more powerful than the Xbox One, as evidenced with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes running 1080p at 60fps on the PS4 and only half that resolution on the Xbox One.

Unlike the previous generation, however, there is no secret hardware technology to unlock on either console. The PS3 had scalability in its multi-threaded architecture, enabling developers (and CPU specialists) to maximize the efficiency and optimization of games running on the PS3 due to the Cell's multiple sub-threads. With the PS4 and Xbox One, the technology is all native to standardized x86 technology found in most PCs, so what's there is what's there. No hidden doors or secret compartments.

For now, the only thing developers can do with the Xbox One is find ways to maximize their technology around the eSRAM.

Outlast is currently available for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. You can pick up a digital copy from the respective storefronts or visit the official website to learn more.

This article was first published on June 26, 2014 and was last updated on July 28, 2014.
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