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Could console games be made forward-compatible?

Elysion

Member
For example, let‘s say Sony and MS required that all new games on PS5/SeriesX have to include an optional (internal) 8k mode that‘s not accessible to players, and can only be unlocked by Sony/MS at the system level. Obviously, if you tried to run most games at 8k on current consoles they‘d probably run at 6fps or something. But if, a couple years in the future, you put the same game in a next-gen console like a PS6, the system would recognize the game‘s internal 8k mode and would automatically display the game at that resolution. That’s just an example of course, since we don’t know if 8k will be viable for most consumers by the time next-gen starts. But even if it isn’t, it surely will be for the generation after the next.

And the same could theoretically be done for framerates – 60fps or 120fps (or even 240fps) modes @4k won‘t be possible for all games on current gen of course, but they might be on next gen. All developers would have to do is include a mode where the framerate is capped at 60 or 120 instead of 30 or 60 (even if the game never actually reaches those higher numbers on current consoles). That way, when the next generation of consoles comes around, we wouldn’t have to wait for developers to release next-gen patches, but could immediately play our older games at higher resolutions and framerates. It wouldn’t be perfect of course, since only resolution and/or framerate would be raised, while things like lighting or textures remain unchanged, but it would certainly be better than not having any improvements at all. And developers who want improvements beyond just resolution and fps can still release next-gen patches if they want.

Would something like this be possible for consoles? I know that, unlike PCs, console games have always been developed ‚closer to the metal‘ so to speak, so there‘s probably never going to be the same kind of flexibility and forward-compatibility as on PC. But, starting with PS4/XBox One, consoles have not only adopted very PC-like architectures, but have also carried this architecture over into the current gen, and will likely continue to do the same with future generations. In that case, why not force developers to future-proof their games by including 8k and 60/120fps modes from day one, even if they‘re not possible on current hardware?
 
We're kind of accidentally seeing some of that on 360 era games. The ones with uncapped framerates are getting a free boost now, two gens later.

I thought Ghostwire recently did it perfectly from what I read. Something crazy like 6 graphics modes: 4K mode, 60 fps mode, or uncapped mode that will be useful in the far future. I think there's even a ray tracing mode as well.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
We're kind of accidentally seeing some of that on 360 era games. The ones with uncapped framerates are getting a free boost now, two gens later.

I thought Ghostwire recently did it perfectly from what I read. Something crazy like 6 graphics modes: 4K mode, 60 fps mode, or uncapped mode that will be useful in the far future. I think there's even a ray tracing mode as well.

It still annoys me that the last guardian unpatched can get 60 FPS on PS5, however due to a patch they implemented to try and improve the stability on Pro, it caps it to 30 once patched.

I think all games should come with an uncapped preformance and uncapped graphics mode in red that are there for future generations of hardware.
 
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reksveks

Member
With DRS and uncapped frame rate modes, you might get there in weird ways, no?

You 'just' need to edit the resolution scale to be wider.

I guess you could build a 'future platform' toggle into the build to expand the drs range.
 

KungFucius

Member
Why the fuck would you pour resources into a game now to make it future proof? With AI upscaling the system should be able to do something similar by itself. But also who the fuck cares about 8K? If we see that in the mainstream that will be a market manipulation "win" by someone with a vested interest in 8k. Games are expensive enough to develop at 4K. If new features need to be added to take full advantage of next gen systems it would have to be titles where this could increase sales, not a free service to people that keep buying the next system regardless.

To be fair, I have never seen 8K anything. Maybe you can actually see a significant difference. Or maybe only 20 somethings with 20/20 vision and 100 inch screens can tell. I just see the path forward as improving the quality of 4K.
 

deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
Microsoft is kinda doing this, with "for Xbox" and works for One, S and X. Of course the games are made with a middle ground in mind, but it's the only way to work in multiple hardware

Still, I don't that will change more than this, and I'm fine with it. I know that we are in a age that graphics are great in any console, but generations are a thing because we always have a step foward, like RayTracing now and who knows whats next
 

The_Mike

Member
Yes, but they won't.

For one, it would mean you could set up higher resolution etc than the current gen can.

That would let people fiddle with options their console won't could do. Of course, you could sacrifice texture quality for a better framerate, as an example, but isn't the idea with a console that you just download the game and don't have to do anything?

Second, how are they gonna sell you the remaster if they give you options?

My GPU is in a critical condition, which msfe me turn on my xbox lately. Mwr looks like dog shit on my one x, and it really sucks you just can up the graphics if you have a better and beefier console.

I was thinking getting a series x instead of overpaying for a GPU, but I'm afraid of games limited to 30 fps as I hate it. And I know 30 fps becomes more standard the further we get i to this gen just like that last one.

Microsoft is doing a great job with fps boost, where even 360 games gets a 60 fps boost, but you still need to rely the devs or Microsoft to make it possible.

Edit - we are even seeing more games supporting keyboard and mouse so there is hope.
 
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Games with dynamic resolution and uncapped framerate can benefit from future hardware.

The console manufactures should advise devs to consider that as an option.
 
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Pagusas

Elden Member
one of the benefits of dynamic res and unlocked frame rates. I hope more dev's make sure such things are in their releases.
 
Xbox is already doing this. That is why Xbox ones games work on series X and S and most automatically upscale or increase frame rate. They have already stated that their goal is to have their games are going to be forward compatible and they have already successfully done that from Xone to series and honestly, for the most part they did it from Xbox 360 to xbox one. Hopefully Nintendo and Sony catch up in this regard.
 

01011001

Member
yes of course they can.

you could make dynamic resolutions more clever and detect how much overhead they have and simple shoot above a certain limit.

you can have dynamically adjusting settings, which is what Forza is already doing for example.
Forza 7 dynamically adjusts settings like Car LOD, Antialiasing and post processing depending on GPU load, meaning if you play it on Series X it should run at higher settings than on One X, at least in demanding scenes.
in those scenes you might have 2xMSAA on One X but on Series X it will stay at the maximum 4xMSAA, stuff like that

then of course options to manually change framerate caps is something easily implemented as seen in many PC games.

of course, you could do WHAT I THINK DEVELOPERS SHOULD DO and implement a full, PC Like, options menu.
maybe not front and center but hidden away and only accessible using cheats or buried deep in the options with warnings and stuff.
 
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GametimeUK

Member
It's a bit weird that some games were in fact accidently made "forwards compat" by simply playing PS4 games on PS5. It might not be to the extent you're suggesting, but still.

I think just as with anything it can be quite confusing for customers if you had a PS6 mode on a PS5 game, but I think at least having an uncapped framerate mode at "fidelity" settings you could appease VRR players and future PS6 players at the same time.
 

Magic Carpet

Gold Member
Nintendo wouldnt be able to resell me Mario Galaxy for every console they make If they do this crazy forward compatibility idea.
This is crazy talk. /s
 
This isn't necessary.

All PS4/5 games will run on PS6 and a simple patch for the game post-PS6 release will allow for running at higher res/framerate on newer hardware.

They don't have to start building in hidden modes/perf presets long before they even know what next-gen hardware will be. That's just a waste of current precious time and resources.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
That's a good idea. We're already seeing bits and pieces of that, if I understand correctly.

But it would be beneficial to the consumer.
 
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