While the Xbox One X represents an appreciable improvement over the base Xbox One, it also suffers, hypothetically, by Microsoft’s mandate that all games made for it also have to run on an Xbox One and Xbox One S- and vice versa.
I say hypothetically, because some developers don’t believe that the Xbox One X will be held back by this “compatibility mandate” at all. One of these developers is Haemimont, who developed Surviving Mars. Speaking to GamingBolt, CTO Ivan-Assen Ivanov noted that the Xbox One X’s increased power is accounted for by the necessary increase required for 4K visuals anyway, balancing things out.
I don’t think the Xbox One will hold back Xbox One X versions noticeably in many cases – certainly not with Surviving Mars,” he said. “The greatest differences between the two Xboxes are GPU power, which is eaten by the increased output resolution for 4K; and RAM, which, on most games, will probably be used mostly for textures. And textures are the easiest things in a game to scale down – you simply drop down the highest resolution versions, preferably in a smart, hard-to-notice way. I wouldn’t expect anyone to use the additional RAM on the Xbox One X for significantly improved gameplay, for example – although I’d be happy and curious to be proven wrong on that!”
I do think he is right in this regard, which is a shame, in the end- like him, I, too, would have loved to see Xbox One X’s increased power used for better and more sophisticated games over just the same games but prettier. Sadly, the industry’s emphasis on tech often holds us back from seeing true advances in gameplay. Stay tuned for our full interview with CTO Ivan-Assen Ivanov soon.