Xbox Series X will feature a 60 FPS “Standard Output”, but what does that mean?

Xbox Series X will feature a 60 FPS

Xbox Series X will feature a 60 FPS “Standard Output”, but what does that mean?

Last week, Microsoft’s GM of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, stated that the company’s Xbox Series X console would feature a “standard output” of 60 FPS, while also highlighting the console’s ability to support up to 120FPS when used with HDMI 2.1 compliant displays.

This statement has sparked some controversy, especially after Ubisoft revealed that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla may not run at 60 FPS on the Xbox Series X. To be clear, Ubisoft has not confirmed that Valhalla is a 30 FPS game, they merely have not committed to 60FPS gameplay. Even so, some consumers wrongly thought that Microsoft was mandating 60 FPS on Xbox Series X.

Many read Greenberg’s statement as a mandate for all Xbox Series X developers to target 60 FPS framerates or higher on its new console. The reality is that this is not the case. The Xbox Series X is designed for 60 FPS outputs, but that doesn’t mean that all games will run at 60 FPS. 

Looking back at the Xbox One and Xbox One X, we know that the console outputs at 60FPS to televisions and monitors. 30FPS games operate at 60Hz, and developers choose to make their rendered frames persist for two refresh cycles on 60Hz screens. Technically speaking, the Xbox is outputting 60 frames per second, but the reality is that two of these frames are identical. A 60 FPS “standard output” does not guarantee 60 FPS gameplay. 

In a later statement, Aaron Greenberg would state that “Developers always have flexibility in how they use the power” of the Xbox Series X. He also said that “a standard or common 60fps is not a mandate”. 

Microsoft cannot set a 60FPS mandate for developers, as such an order would be difficult to enforce and it would restrict developers who want to push the graphical fidelity of their games to the highest possible levels. Another fact is that Microsoft also cannot stop developers from failing to meet their framerate targets on Xbox Series X, a factor which makes mandated framerate targets untenable. 

Xbox Series X will feature a 60 FPS  
Just because a console outputs at 60 FPS doesn’t mean that the console will render games at 60 FPS. The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 generation will not put an end to 30 FPS gaming, even with its increased CPU and GPU power. As sad as this will make some people, the next-generation of consoles will not put an end to 30 FPS games. 

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