You know that x86 architecture AMD dumped into the PS4 and Xbox One with the Jaguar, octocore, tablet-based APU for the eighth gen consoles? Well, apparently the slower, less powerful one in the Xbox One has some sort of “secret sauce” that needs unlocking, according to the Xbox director of development, Boyd Multerer.
Total Xbox picked quotes out of Multerer's interview in an upcoming issue of the Official Xbox Magazine, where Multerer stated that...
"The [graphics processing units] are really complicated beasts this time around." … "The hardware is basically baked, and what comes next is people discovering better software techniques to take advantage of it, especially in the ordering of the data so it flows through all the caches correctly, and I think there's a lot of opportunity there,"
Eh, what? The benchmarks for the Xbox One and PS4 have all sided in favor of the PS4 by a landslide... well, when the benchmarks weren't corked.
Of course, there's been this running theme that the Xbox One's GPU will get a magical boost in hardware capabilities thanks to DirectX 11.2, DirectX 12 and the software utilization of tiled resources. I should note, however, that all those software implementations have nothing to do with making the hardware do something it's incapable of doing.
It's like trying to use software optimization to get a GTX 7800 to hit 2K resolution. Yeah, it's possible, but you'll have to make huge sacrifices as to what gets displayed on the screen to hit that resolution. You can't magically upgrade hardware with software; optimization does not fix this problem.
Nevertheless, Multerer believes that once developers tap into the Xbox One's “secret sauce” that people like MisterXMedia have been prattling on about, the system will perform the way it was intended to, saying...
"Once these engines - the engine developers like Frostbyte and those guys - they really wrap their heads around this particular GPU architecture, then all of the titles coming out of that studio will take advantage of it and get better."
As many of you know, Battlefield 4 and Plants Vs Zombies, two games running on the Frostbite 3 from Swedish studio DICE, fail to hit 1080p. Battlefield 4 runs at 720p and 60fps on the Xbox One, and Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare runs at 900p and 60fps on the Xbox One.
These comments from Multerer almost sound like the Xbox One's response to the Wii U's bandwidth secret sauce, that some companies like Ubisoft and Retro Studios are putting to use.
However, will the optimizations offered by DX11.2/DX12 and the magical power of “tiled resources” make enough room for the Xbox One to buffer at 1080p instead of the partial HD resolutions to which the system has currently been rendering games? Well, it depends on what developers sacrifice to make that happen. We'll get our first taste of what the native 1080p looks like on the Xbox One in a multiplatform game with Activision's upcoming Woflenstein: The New Order. That will ultimately determine as to whether or not the Xbox One will maintain parity with the PS4 and PC, or if it will have to make some serious graphical sacrifices to maintain the Holy Grail of eighth-gen resolutions.
As mentioned, you can strip a carriage of its load to help drop some weight and speed up the travel... but in the end, it'll always be limited if it's being pulled by a donkey.