Turn 10 ported Forza's engine to Microsoft's 'monster' 4K ready Project Scorpio console in just two days time. Two days. That's pretty insane on its own. But what's even more unprecedented is the engine just worked...it worked just fine after only two days of porting. "Not only did it work, but it was fast. Brutally fast. Without the benefit of any platform-specific optimization."
In order to stress test the engine on early Project Scorpio hardware to see its limits, Turn 10 created a specific demo that matches Forza 6's performance on Xbox One to use on Project Scorpio, and jammed as many cars as possible in a specific level. Within the stress test conditions the game ran at 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution at 60FPS at only 66% GPU usage. UPDATE: Leadbetter confirms that Project Scorpio can hit native 4K 60FPS at Xbox One's "High" graphical preset with "substantial overhead" with 66% of the GPU used, and 4K 60FPS Ultra.
"I've seen Microsoft's new console running a Forza Motorsport 6-level experience locked to 4K60 on the equivalent to PC's ultra settings - cranking up the quality presets to obscene levels was one of the first things developer Turn 10 did when confronted with the sheer amount of headroom it had left after a straight Xbox One port," Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter said during the exclusive Scorpio reveal.
"Performance is remarkable. We saw a Forza Motorsport demo running on the machine at native 4K and Xbox One equivalent settings, and it hit 60 frames per second with a substantial performance overhead."
This means not only can Project Scorpio hit native 4K 60FPS in original Xbox One games, but it can do so with GPU power to spare. Furthermore the stress test apparently only used 66% of the early kit's 5GB of memory, and the final Project Scorpio hardware will have 12GB of unified GDDR5 memory with a 326GB/sec bandwidth.
Project Scorpio hardware managed to accelerate the performance natively without any actual specific optimizations. Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter affirms that this was just a "straight Xbox One port," and the only Scorpio enhanced features were the 4K resolution and the 4K assets, which were added in via patched content.
"I personally have seen this demo running on Scorpio hardware, and the utilization does vary," Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter said.
"I saw it drop as low as 55% with fewer cars on the screen, and it can go as high as 70%. But the point is this is a straight Xbox One port. The only Scorpio enhancements is the resolution and the inclusion of 4K art assets. This means that yes, we will see 1080p Xbox One games running at native 4K on Scorpio. But more than that...the fact that the hardware is kind of underutilized, that there's a ton of GPU power leftover for making the game look much better."
Leadbetter goes on to say that Project Scorpio hitting native 4K 30FPS at the PC's Ultra preset in games like Forza Horizon 3 may not be impossible.
"Based on what I saw here, the concept of the amazing-looking Forza Horizon 3 running at native 4K 30FPS at something approaching PC's Ultra settings doesn't seem outlandish. I can't wait to see what the team has come up with with the inevitable Forza Motorsport 7."
Also remember that Leadbetter wasn't shown any other games running on Scorpio--just Turn 10's port of Forza 6.
"Now I didn't see any other games running on Scorpio, but I'm told the scalability offered by the new hardware in terms of running 900p and 1080p games at 4K is there with other titles and other engines," Leadbetter said.
That's right: Microsoft wants to make sure ALL Xbox One games can run at 4K on Project Scorpio, including those that run at 900p at dynamic resolution.
What Microsoft has done with Polaris-derived GPU and Jaguar CPU hardware is nothing short of magic, and proves that you can do some amazing things if you have the right efficient synergy between the system itself.
Project Scorpio will release Holiday 2017, and Microsoft should unveil the system at their E3 2017 showcase in June.