Nitrous Engine Dev Explains why the Xbox One and PS4 Struggles with 1080p 60FPS

Nitrous Engine Dev Explains why the Xbox One and PS4 Struggles with 1080p 60FPS

Nitrous Engine Dev Explains why the Xbox One and PS4 Struggles with 1080p 60FPS


In an Interview with Gaming Bolt the developer behind Ashes of the Singularity and the Oxide Engine, Oxide Games, has told gamers exactly why the Xbox One and PS4 struggles with 1080p 60FPS gameplay, saying that “it’s simple math”. 

When comparing the Xbox One and PS4 to their last generation counterparts we can remember at the time that the modern consoles were said to have around 5-6 times the computing power of previous generation consoles, which makes many of us wonder exactly why that doesn’t allow them to achieve 1080p 60FPS with ease in many modern titles. 

What it basically comes down to is is the fact that current generation consoles do not have enough power to both increase the graphical fidelity of modern titles and increase the resolution and framerate from the 720p 30FPS that we were used to with the PS3 and Xbox 360. To put it simply moving from 720p to 1080p and from 30FPS to 60FPS both double the required computing power to run the game, meaning that moving from 720p 30FPS tp 1080p 60FPS requires approximately 4x the computational power to run the game. 


     “If you were running 30 frames a second at 720 and you doubled your pixels and wanted to double your frame rate, you just used 4 more per and you have no more perf. Then you additionally want to increase the fidelity. You’ll see the same thing on 4K. It has 4 times the pixels as 1080. You need a GPU 4 times as powerful just to do the same thing you did before just at a higher resolution level with most engines. With Nitrous you actually don’t. That’s probably why you haven’t seen the big jump that some people were expecting.

“It also takes increased bandwidth, etc. etc. When you try to get a game down into the 16 milliseconds consistently, category, it’s amazing how those milliseconds add up. Going to 30 frames per second is like gaining those extra milliseconds really is huge in terms of flexibility you’ve got there. It’s very difficult. Every game generation you want to do something a little more ambitious.



Nitrous Engine Dev Explains why the Xbox One and PS4 Struggles with 1080p 60FPS   


What also needs to be considered when moving to newer hardware it may not be in your best interest to just focus on making a last generation game with prettier graphics, gameplay, AI and the scale of the game need to be considered, meaning that yet more computational power is required as your games become bigger and smarter.


     “And to pack additional graphics plus additional AI, plus additional gameplay and everything else into 16 milliseconds can be really, really challenging. Especially when trying to do that consistently. The last thing you want to do is stutter between 60 frames per second and 30. You don’t want to jump back and forth there a whole lot. There’s a lot of people that will argue the development cost and the discipline it takes to make a game run consistently at 16 milliseconds is just very difficult to achieve.

“There are other things you can say too. As resolution increases the computational cost increases. I think we’re one of the only engines out there that have been re-investigating how you render a frame. To some extent, as the resolution increases, not only is there a cost of more pixels but those pixels are being faded in a very simple manner. As we scale up in resolution how can we change our rendering so it’s less expensive? Because were doing the object space lighting we actually would scale better as the resolution increases. If you run our games at 4k, a lot of engines are 3 or 4 times slower – we’re like less than half speed.”


Moving forward what Oxide games believe is that we need developers to look at how games render their frames more efficiently, which means that new game engines like Oxide’s Nitrous Engine need to be developed. Many game franchises are well known for using aging game engines year after year like Call of Duty, FIFA and most Telltale games, though as games like Assassin’s Creed Unity has shown us, a new game engine does not necessarily bring good performance.  

When it comes to 1080p 60FPS gameplay it all comes down to the limited resources that the PS4 and Xbox One can provide, as developers try to not only increase the graphical fidelity of console games but try to make their games bigger and better. 

One example of how newer hardware can change a game not in more ways than just graphics is Battlefield 4, where the PS4 ran at 900p 60FPS in Multiplayer with up to 64 Players, whereas the PS3 played at 1280×704 at 30FPS with only a mere 24 players. 


Do you consider Graphical fidelity or a higher resolution/framerate as being the most important for modern games? You can join the discussion on why the PS4 and Xbox One Struggles with 1080p 60FPS gameplay on the OC3D Forums.