Is Activision Intentionally Holding Back Scorpio?

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I always find it funny that people’s memory becomes so selective that they tend to forget past history. Lately it seems that they forgot the whole idea of console parity, especially if it helps the Xbox One. Needless to say, a large number of people opposed the idea of parity, specifically those in both the PS4 and PC camps. Even when a game’s specs were lowered on the PS4, their kneejerk reaction was to blame developers catering “greedy Microsoft” for gimping their system.

Believe me I hear it all the time. It also happens in the PC world, when the PC version of a game comes out that is subpar in quality, such as the infamous Arkham Knight PC port, fanboys will immediately point the finger at how developers are catering to the “filthy console peasants.” It’s insulting.

Yes, I can understand how porting is an issue. I’ve played a lot of ports that were done by High Voltage, the same company that ported Arkham Knight to the PC, and I had issues with them, be it on PS4 or PC. And let’s not forget the way EA handled the PS3 port of The Orange Box. But even so it’s always the same old case of blame the other systems that are out.

But a few years ago, when there was an effort for parity so that games on the Xbox One and PS4 would run on the PC, everyone went nuts, and the whole idea was scrapped. Fanboys won their war and continued their insults and ad hominem: “Xbox Done, Xbox 720, Xbone,” and even insulting those who prefer to play on the Microsoft side, some of which I will not mention due to my finding it offensive as an ally in the LGBT community, but if you look on social media you’ll see it all over the place.

But let’s jump ahead to now. We are under three weeks away from E3. We know Project Scorpio, or whatever it’s going to be called (I have a feeling it will be named Xbox One X,) is on the horizon. We know about the reports that Digital Foundry posted. We know of the six teraflop GPU. We know of the 12 GB of GDDR5 memory. We know about the planned 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Microsoft just has to show it being done, although I’m sure that due to video compression reasons, there will be those who doubt it while watching streamed content.

Needless to say, Scorpio is sounding like a beast, and being able to do NATIVE 4K at 60 frames per second will be quite the impressive feat. I haven’t seen any game on my PS4 Pro, and its 4.2 teraflops graphics capability, perform that feat. Either it runs at 4K checkerboard rendering, but only at 30 frames per second, or it goes at 1080p 60 frames per second, which I’ve seen in Horizon Zero Dawn. Surprisingly when I tried out 4K mode in MLB 17: The Show, when it shows cutscenes, the frame rate is all over the place. It even chokes up a bit in the 1080p option. One has to wonder about the Pro’s performance come the launch of Scorpio.

And THAT’S where the whole Parity controversy comes back into play.

Last week, Activision and Bungie unveiled Destiny 2. While it is still coming to Xbox One/Scorpio and PS4/Pro, it is also coming to the PC for the first time in the series. However, the PC version will be capable of running at 4K and 60 frames per second. Surely the PS4 Pro version would be able to do the same thing, right?

Dr. Cox comes through again. Nope! The PS4 Pro version of Destiny 2 is going to only run at 30 frames per second! Their excuse is they don’t want to have PS4 Pro owners having an advantage over those who own a PS4 Slim. But when asked about if the Scorpio would run at 4K and 60 frames per second, of course there was no comment.
However, upon checking Twitter, I found out the truth, that the Scorpio version will also be capped at 30 frames per second. This eventually contradicts what Mike Ybarra of Xbox said on Twitter when asked about games being capped in order to cater to those who own an original Xbox One or an S: “Developers are free to choose how they use the power of Project Scorpio for games. We have no requirements limiting framerate or fidelity.

So, if developers are not limited by “Evil Microsoft” as fanboys like to call them, why is Destiny 2 capped to 30 frames per second? I go back to that tweet, and an old enemy of mine returns: marketing deals. It’s not Microsoft that is putting a 30 frames per second limit on the game, it’s SONY! Once again, Sony is doing all the marketing for Destiny 2, which means the usual, falsely advertising the game as a PS4/Pro exclusive, giving PS4 owners all the content while both the Xbox and PC owners (as well as Switch, if the game ever comes out for that platform) will be gimped, and now they are having Activision and Bungie intentionally gimp the Scorpio version just so the PS4 Pro gets all the perks. So yes, it looks like Sony wants parity after all. Add that to the hypocrisy list!

But at least not all developers are publishers are doing this. I have to give props to Andy Tudor of Slightly Mad Studios, who are working on Project Cars 2. When asked about Scorpio and if they will gimp Project Cars 2 in the name of parity, his response was:

“We may go higher resolution on Scorpio compared to Pro, or we may keep lower res but increase detail. Again, too early to say, and if we can do something extra on Scorpio easily we will do, we won’t hold it back due to Pro.” (quote courtesy of gamingbolt.com)

So I’m glad to see some companies do not cater to just one platform. Let’s hope others do too come E3.

Currently Playing: Shadow Warrior 2 (Xbox One)

Waiting For: Injustice 2, Tekken 7

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