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Xbox Series S Optimization Is Nowhere Near as Simple as Lowering Resolution and Textures

Remedy’s Control was recently updated to take advantage of next-generation consoles and in a fresh video interview on IGN’s YouTube channel, Communications Director Thomas Puha touched on a number of related subjects, starting with the issues of optimizing for the lowest next-generation machine, the Xbox Series S.

Xbox Series S, well, it’s no different from the previous generations where the system with the lowest specs does end up dictating a few of the things that you’re gonna do, because you’re gonna have to run on that system, right? It’s very easy to say that you just lower your resolution and texture quality and off you go, it’s just nowhere near that simple.

It sounds good when you say it, but every engine is built in a different way. It’s another thing when gamers might be like ‘This game engine does all of these things!’, well, it depends. Are you making an engine that’s much more GPU bound or CPU bound? Which are you taxing a whole lot more? Well, we kind of tax both in Control because we have a lot of physics but then we have a lot of the ray tracing effects. That makes a huge, huge difference, especially on Xbox Series S.

Puha went on to say that it should actually be easier to take into account the Xbox Series S when making a brand new game with that hardware in mind, compared to optimizing an older game like Control. The Remedy CM also admitted that the lower barrier of entry granted by the cheaper console is indeed appreciated by the studio, though he reminded everyone that having more platforms makes the whole process more complex for less-than-huge development teams like Remedy’s since it just takes more resources to optimize for all of the systems.

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It’s a lot more difficult to engineer an old game to make sure it works on everything, but now that we’re building the future games and we know these are the systems it has to run on, we take that into account from day one and and we can ensure that all platforms have as good of an experience as possible.

We appreciate that there’s a lower barrier of entry for an action experience with the Xbox Series S, but the more hardware you have, the more you kind of have to ultimately compromise a little bit when when you are like a smaller studio like us where we just can’t spend so much time making sure that all these platforms are super good. Of course we need to do that but but there’s just a difference in doing that because it takes a huge amount of resources, not just engineering but QA, the huge QA overhead to test so many different platforms.

In related Remedy news, the Finnish game developer raised €41.5 million through issuing of new shares. The studio is working on two games that will be published by Epic, in addition to a self-published Vanguard multiplayer project which is aiming to solve the content treadmill issue of coop titles.

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