Microsoft's E3 expo went as expected this year. That means the company launched the Xbox One S and discussed its Xbox One Scorpio console, which will land in 2017 with the ability to play 4K games. However, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has confirmed that hitting the 4K benchmark will not be a requirement for developers when making games.
Scorpio will allow developers to make 4K games which gamers can play on 4K TV displays, but according to Spencer, it will not be a requirement. The company said that E3 that it will not restrict developers or gamers, so any game developed for the platform will function on the existing Xbox One, the coming Xbox One S, and the Scorpio.
Spencer confirmed that fact, which means developers can create a game running natively 1080p Full HD and then upscale to 4K. It is worth noting that the current Xbox One does not even play games in Full HD 1080p resolution.
We'll talk more about this later but we never said we'd mandate 4K framebuffer, we won't.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) June 20, 2016
Spencer first confirmed Microsoft's plans in a brief Twitter exchange and then elaborated on the situation when participating in a live streaming chat on Giant Bomb:
“We're going to talk more specifics about Project Scorpio so we'll get into more of the details,” he said, “but I think creative freedom and how you want to use the power of the box is something that I would support. I came from first-party as you guys know, so putting the right tools in the hands of the best creators is our job as the platform.”
4K gaming is hardly a novelty on PC, where gamers have been enjoying the sharp resolution for a few years. However, no current games console hosts 4K capabilities. Microsoft will not be the first to the punch, with Sony expected to launch its PlayStation 4 NEO with 4K support before the end of this year.