Interviews

Xbox head Phil Spencer prefers higher frame rates than resolution

While Microsoft won’t dictate what developers will optimise for on the Xbox Series X, Xbox head Phil Spencer said he’d prefer to play games with higher frame rates over those with a larger resolution.

While both the Xbox Series X and PS5 can both reach 8K resolution — though it’s not clear if that’s native or upscaled — Spencer told Stevivor that he’d prefer games in 4K with a higher frame rate cap instead.

“We’ve never really tried to limit what developers are trying to do on our platform, whether it’s 60 frames per second on Xbox 360 or people doing 4K, 60 [frames-per-second] now on Xbox One X,” he continued. “We want to give developers the tools to go try things that they want to go try on any of the hardware platforms and capability can be there for them to go try things.

“I think we’ve reached a point with Xbox One X in the generation where games look amazing, and there’s always work we can do to look more amazing. But I want games to feel as amazing as they look. We don’t have that in today’s generation, mainly because the CPU is underpowered relative to the GPU that’s in the box in order to reach a feel and frame rate and kind of consistency or variable refresh rate and other things that we want.

“As we were looking at the future, the feel of the games was definitely something that we wanted to have more focus on, not just throwing more pixels up on the screen.”

We’re wrapping up our chat with Phil Spencer in the coming week.



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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.

20 Comments

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  • So true Phil, so true. Well it would be true if you weren’t a liar.

    If higher frame rates matter over res as you just claimed, why wasn’t there a 1080p 60fps option for Crackdown 3 when it came to Xbonex? Instead you opted for a dynamic res, nowhere near 4K option, even though the game looks like last gen, dated animation, cartoony crap.
    You favored res over FPS and if it couldn’t do 60fps at that res, why not just drop the game to Well below 1080p like the way Halo 5 did to achieve 60fps.

    Oh right, that whole liar thing, that’s why you didn’t do that.

    • Dang man, you need to let go of whatever is hurting you inside. Holding grudges over things that arent actually important in life and that actually don’t effect your life in any real way is very bad for mental health.

      • Dang man, great rebuttal to the topic at hand. Copy and paste your comment for the rest of your life, it can be applied to just about any reply to someone.

        My comment must have been very important for YOU to reply to though lol. It must have really affected your life, as it clearly did with me if you must know, to have taken less than 3 mins to post a reply on a Disqus article. Maybe try using your own advice next time.

        • What I wrote wasn’t a rebuttal to the topic, it was a comment about your anger. And also, I think I have maybe commented on a disqus comment once or twice in 5 or so years? Your comment was just very disheartening to see, and I legitimately meant what I said to you. I felt compelled to comment to you to say that holding on to a feeling like that is never positive to your own life and wellbeing.

      • Nobody, because it was one of the biggest flops ever, and the community want to quickly erase everything from their minds.

        Crackdown 3 was supposed to be the biggest xbox pride,
        With the famous cloud computing ‘100% destruction’ feature, ultra super awesome highend graphics, amazing gameplay, etc etc, as the ultimate game to showcase what a maxed out x1 console, dx12 and full cloud processing can do, to a gamer … and a game.

        Instead, the game was a gigantic flop, a true shame, and looked more like a 2001 1st xbox game, but with a better lighting engine and high res textures.

        So, OF COURSE, today, it is ‘who cares about crackdown 3″

        IF the game hadn’t flopped, today, it would be ‘hey, crackdown 3 is the new reference, the new benchmark’

        How funny this can be, lol…

    • Because the game was already chucking around a load of physics than most games deal with so was inherently bound by the CPU. Fun Fact that you’ll have to take on my word, The game was going to feature a “performance mode” but due to it not hitting 60fps when it got hectic, it was removed due to the fear of additional PR problems and online “outrage” that framerate graphs cause.

    • Hmm… I didn’t know that Spencer single handily working on Crackdown 3 and Halo 5 on his own. Intriguing… Andrew just go back to you toxic hole of Gaming Bolt and spread your mis-information there.

      • He was in charge of it all taking the leadership of all the game studios roll right before Crackdown 3 was announced. He is literally THE man who was in charge of development of the game. No mis-information here, this all happened, try and learn the difference next time.

  • Sure he does…

    Because in order to get high framerates all devs need to do is grab the cpu/gpu slider, and allocate more raw power….
    …done in 10 seconds.

    … whereas in order to achieve better graphics, the whole company must work their ass off :
    Engineers need to highly optimize the code and max out the perfs, the design team must use much better assets, like higher polygon charactersor objects, much higher resolution textures, then, the engineers must optimize the texture stream engine, to be able to load bigger textures much faster, the lighting and shadows must look better as well…
    … Pretty much everybody will be involved, while requiring much more time..

    Give 20% resources to the devs, they might get 30 extra fps, in 5 seconds, by moving a slider.
    Give 20% resources to the devs, to make everything look 1 or 2 steps prettier,
    they might need 4 or 6 extras months.

    Of course, mr. Phil, OF COURSE, you’d rather pick the simple, the lazy route…HUH PHIL ?…

  • I find it rather Hilarious that he is talking FPS now. Just a year ago he was touting
    Resolution as the main Focus. I guess the Gaming community finally got his dam
    ass attention. Unfortunately for Xbox, Phil still doesn’t understand the importance
    of console exclusives. He’s a big fan of play anywhere and that is doing nothing but
    driving a stake through the heart of Xbox. He woke up on the FPS, Lets hope this
    time next year he wakes up to single player exclusives for Xbox.

    • Dude, seriously. Games like Gears 5 were 60fps and not just 4k and ha e a regular campaign. All of MS games are story driver campaign games. The fact that they have MP aspect doesn’t change that. Unless Sea of Thieves makes all of the MS games.

      And wtf bothers you if I can play my games on my PC as well. How does that affect you? Other than the fact you obviously have no xbox or played any of the exclusives.

      Your whole comment is a joke.

      • Your Comment is a total Joke. Sea of Thieves Sucks and so does
        Xbox right now. My Xbox One X was sold last week and i’m headed
        straight to PS5 come November. Tired of Xbox nonsense.

    • I disagree, Phil has already said there focus is not being a #1 console. Its to be successful as a gaming company, not a console company. The Xbox is just an extension of that as one of many ways to play there games. It does not need to be more then that. There is no big profit in hardware. They will continue building the Xbox brand across as many platforms as possible and make a boat load of money. Sony will continue to put all there eggs in one basket for now, but expect even them at some point to change things as M$ grows there brand to become the most played gaming brand. THAT is where the real money is.