Has Bethesda agreed with AMD not to include DLSS in Starfield?

Daniel Sims

Posts: 1,288   +43
Staff
Why it matters: As AMD adds Starfield to its stable of sponsored PC games, Nvidia RTX graphics card owners fear the game will never implement DLSS tech. Many have noted a pattern of AMD-promoted titles omitting DLSS but not viceversa.

When Wccftech asked AMD why almost none of the games the company promotes support DLSS, Team Red didn't deny the trend. The response has raised suspicions that most AMD marketing deals deliberately block DLSS, while Nvidia-sponsored games usually include AMD's FSR upscaling.

The outlet compiled a list of recent major releases, indicating which GPU manufacturer promoted a title and when they implemented either upscaling solution. Most titles under AMD partnerships like Far Cry 6, Resident Evil 4, or Dead Island 2 only support FSR. Conversely, both methods are supported by Nvidia-sponsored games like Redfall, Diablo IV, Ghostwire Tokyo, and Death Stranding.

Except for Square Enix's Forspoken, the only recent AMD sponsored games that include DLSS are all published by Sony. If Team Red's promotions indeed stipulate FSR exclusivity, perhaps Sony has more bargaining power to allow DLSS in titles like The Last of Us Part 1, Uncharted, and God of War.

Release Date Title Sponsor FSR Implementation DLSS Implementation
June 6, 2023 Diablo IV Nvidia On Release On Release
March 2, 2023 Redfall Nvidia On Release On Release
April 28, 2023 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor AMD On Release Not Supported
April 21, 2023 Dead Island 2 AMD On Release Not Supported
March 28, 2023 The Last of Us Part 1 AMD On Release On Release
March 23, 2023 Resident Evil 4 (2023) AMD On Release Not Supported
January 24, 2023 Forspoken AMD On Release On Release
December 2, 2022 The Callisto Protocol AMD On Release Not Supported
December 1, 2022 Marvel's Midnight Suns Nvidia Not Supported On Release
November 30, 2022 Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Nvidia On Release On Release
October 19, 2022 Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection AMD On Release On Release
August 23, 2022 Saints Row AMD November 29, 2022 Not Supported
August 12, 2022 Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered Nvidia On Release On Release
May 25, 2022 Snipe Elite 5 AMD On Release Not Supported
March 30, 2022 Death Stranding: Director's Cut Nvidia September 28, 2022 On Release
March 24, 2022 Ghostwire: Tokyo Nvidia On Release On Release
November 15, 2021 Halo Infinite AMD Not Supported Not Supported
October 26, 2021 Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Nvidia February 11, 2022 On Release
October 7, 2021 Far Cry 6 AMD On Release Not Supported
October 6, 2021 Battlefield 2042 Nvidia Not Supported On Release
May 7, 2021 Resident Evil Village AMD July 19, 2021 Not Supported
November 23, 2020 World of Warcraft: Shadowlands AMD Not Supported Not Supported

In response to the accusations, AMD cited PCGamingWiki's comprehensive list of games that use advanced upscaling, noting that many only use DLSS. While the number of DLSS exclusive games from small and independent developers isn't insignificant, most significant releases that exclude FSR – Like Rainbow Six Siege or Fortnite – initially launched before AMD introduced the technology in 2021. Some games from 2020 or earlier, like Doom Eternal, added DLSS relatively recently while ignoring FSR.

The only recent high-profile titles that omit FSR are Marvel's Midnight Suns, Sackboy, and A Plague Tale: Requiem. Since the introduction of FSR 2 last year, more games have supported both upscaling technologies than exclude AMD's.

Furthermore, Nvidia has explicitly stated that its marketing deals don't include clauses to lock out FSR. "Nvidia does not and will not block, restrict, discourage, or hinder developers from implementing competitor technologies in any way," said Nvidia developer relations VP Keita Lida.

The primary advantage of FSR is that it works on all modern graphics cards regardless of make, while DLSS requires Nvidia hardware. Most comparisons give DLSS the advantage concerning image quality, while both solutions significantly improve game performance.

However, the technologies aren't mutually exclusive. It's unclear what, if anything, is stopping well-funded game studios from including both, especially since modders have filled in the gaps multiple times. Virtually every game that exclusively supports DLSS or FSR 2 has received a mod adding the other.

Prolific modder "PureDark" famously added DLSS 3 into Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Fallout 4. There's a good chance that him or someone else will develop an unofficial DLSS plugin for Starfield if this trend of AMD sponsored games excluding the rival tech continues, especially since Bethesda confirmed the game will support FSR 2.

Permalink to story.

 
To be honest, if AMD is putting up money for a title, then I don't have a problem with AMD specifying what can and can't be done with it. Assuming this is actually going on, it's not as if they're preventing Nvidia owners from playing the game - they're just trying to make the experience better on an AMD card than on an Nvidia card. It will be interesting to see what happens with FSR 3 and whether that continues to work on Nvidia cards.
 
When I heard about Nvidia, I think about vendor that will gladly lock feature in their older GPU just to sale the next one... From G-Sync, Ray Tracing, DLSS and now DLSS3 they all have the same pattern of leaving out owner of older GPU from the equation.
Weirdly consumer will believe anything their marketing said why that feature omitted, thankfully other manufacturer proved that some feature didnt need anything special, AMD with Freesync proved that any card actually support VRR standard on compatible monitor without certain module like when Nvidia make us believe first time they launched G-Sync.Then come intel with XeSS that proved upscaling tech can be engineered to support both their card that have own specialized hardware and other card that didnt.
Let see if FSR 3 proved Nvidia Frame Gen also just another feature locking just to sell their next GPU
 
This is not what about Nvidia, this is about AMD being just as jerks to the customer. Spare me with the defense of big corporations, poor AMD, they're fighting all they can. If you are just a guy buying cards, this should upset you.
 
Last edited:
That Wccftech article is one of the best examples of asking a question in the wrong way.
But if they started this trend, I challenge any major tech website editors to ask Nvidia why they did not make DLSS 1,2 available for GTX1 xxx cards, why Nvidia did not make available DLSS 3 for RTX 3xxx cards and if this trend of artificial market segmentation will continue with DLSS 4, 5 etc.
And another golden question: how many games and studio games did Nvidia paid, supported to implement DLSS1-2, or DLSS 3, PT? Battlefiled xxxx ring a bell? There are more.

As many pointed out in this forum before me, both MS and Sony consoles run on AMD hardware, Starfield is exclusively for Xbox and PC due to MS choice, so is expected to run better or to be better optimized for AMD hardware. And now we got an official MS-Bethesda-AMD "confirmation", though barely playing 30FPS on Xbox consoles, I can hardly call it "optimization", but this is another next story to address in the future.

As a noisy counter example to AMD-Starfield we can look at Nvidia-Cyberpunk2077 toxic exclusivity which still is CD ProjectRed great resounding fiasco for gamers.

CDProjectRed focused almost exclusively to support or optimize CP2077 for Nvidia hardware and brought all sorts of Nvidia gimmicks forced updates instead of patching the game and resolving the bugs first. MS and Sony console players, which have AMD hardware, were afftected the most.
FSR was implemented long time after DLSS, ond only after community made mods which implemented FSR very easy, and many months before CDProjectRed.
One of the latest CP2077 forced updates brought Nvidia PT barely playing 30FPS and only on a 4090 cards while breaking the game for more players than Nvidia 4090 owners. They could easily made it as an OPTIONAL MOD instead of a forced update. Or better for CDProjectRed, make it for future gen videocards which should run it on more videocards than 4090.
Even in 2023, CDProject Red did not patched or optimized the game to properly run on AMD processors, while one of the last mod from community brought up to 27% more FPS for Ryzen processors with 8 cores or more, like or especially 7xxx3D.
https://wccftech.com/amd-ryzen-cpus...ance-boost-cyberpunk-2077-unofficial-smt-fix/
Thus, more interesting questions rise: Nowadays CDProjectRed is rather an Nvidia gaming subsidiary hiding in the shades than an independent gaming studio? Did CP2077 overall managed to keep his bad reputation, by focusing only on Nvidia "gimmicks and optimizations" hardware which barely run on 30FPS, instead of making the game to run better on both AMD and Nvidia hardware?

Comparing these 2 examples, I understand more AMD direct approach. AMD announced that they support and endorse Starfield, players knows how things are, in contrast with Nvidia which are paying or "support" many gaming studios, CP2077 included, behind the scenes and in secret, only to make lame commercials about RT, PT or DLSS2,3 soon will be DLSS 4,5 6. But guess what? DLSS 4,5,6 will run only on Nvidia next gen cards, and the owners of current Nvidia 3-4xxx cards will be left on the dust as owner of GTX 1xxx card were with DLSS and RTX2-3xxx with DLSS3. Come back again, after 2 years, and tell me how great DLSS 4 will be.

Until than, it is better to apply the same standards for both AMD and Nvidia, not double standards like when Nvidia is paying and sponsoring a lot of games for exclusivity and implementing only DLSS, RT, PT, is OK for Nvidia, but when AMD is sponsoring Starfield, we see some Nvidia tech media starting to whine. This hypocrisy I am pointing out.

And from the most important point of view, if a game is full of bugs on day launch instead of being an enjoyable gameplay, does not matter anymore for players if it is Nvidia or AMD exclusive, optimized, sponsored etc. It is a bad game, and for Nvidia or AMD, bad publicity.

P.S. I hope that Starfield will be a great game, though I have low expectations from Bethesda and Todd Howard gaming director after Fallout 76 fiasco.
 
Last edited:
Weird accusation since FSR works on pretty much all cards and DLSS depends on which card you have.
Nevermind the fact Nvidia sponsored games gimps AMD card performance.
The accusation is AMD prevents DLSS from being an option for gamers. Gamers that primarily run Nvidia hardware. Nvidia DOESN'T do it. It also doesn't help AMD's case when in every head to head, DLSS is the victor. Doesn't help that AMD is about open source, but is okay with blocking proprietary options. AMD making the bad guy look good!

Your comment doesn't make sense.
 
Considering that Micrsoft owns Bethesda now, why aren't they making Bethesda put DLSS in its games?
 
The accusation is AMD prevents DLSS from being an option for gamers. Gamers that primarily run Nvidia hardware. Nvidia DOESN'T do it. It also doesn't help AMD's case when in every head to head, DLSS is the victor. Doesn't help that AMD is about open source, but is okay with blocking proprietary options. AMD making the bad guy look good!

Your comment doesn't make sense.
Nvidia does it too. And Nvidia whine more.
I bet that if DLSS would be an open technology at least as FSR is, most games will have both.
Until than, Goliat-Nvidia is whining that David-AMD is doing like him, and Goliat-Nividia is somehow "discriminated".

This is more funny to watch than playing many games with DLSS "support".
I did not mention which DLSS number exactly, because this expose how Nvidia is discriminating it's own users, DLSS1-2 only for RTX 2-3xxx owners, DLSS 3 only for RTX 4xxx and so on. GTX owners are already screwed by Nvidia, but hey AMD FSR is saving you, while Nvidia refused to do as any genuine anticonsumer corporation does.

I think that with so many artificial market segmentation from Nvidia, for game devs it is quite hard and not worth to implement DLSS anymore. 'Cause the first question will be: Which DLSS number to implement? Only DLSS 1-2, only DLSS 3? What we will do when DLSS 4 will come out?
Gaming studios already begin to have headaches. :laughing:

So, is Nvidia digging it's own gaming grave faster?
 
Last edited:
DLSS is a proprietary technology. It is not up to AMD nor Bethesda to include its implementation - and would be legally risky to do so, since a poor implementation of it would leave themselves open to lawsuits from Nvidia.
FSR does the job just as well anyhow.
 
DLSS is a proprietary technology. It is not up to AMD nor Bethesda to include its implementation - and would be legally risky to do so, since a poor implementation of it would leave themselves open to lawsuits from Nvidia.
Given that Nvidia freely provides the tools required for anyone to integrate DLSS into a game, it's highly unlikely that it would take legal action against anyone doing a poor job of it.
 
Given that Nvidia freely provides the tools required for anyone to integrate DLSS into a game, it's highly unlikely that it would take legal action against anyone doing a poor job of it.
Can you share more info about this? I mean regarding both DLSS and FSR implementation.
Even if Nvidia or AMD provides the tools freely, game devs have to allocate some resources and personell to implement them. How "costly" are DLSS and FSR for game devs, and which is more friendly or cost efficient to implement? Without any of Nvidia or AMD personnel support.

And even if it is UNLIKELY for Nvidia to take legal action against anyone doing a poor job of implementing DLSS, can Nvidia do it if they CHOOSE to? I mean better to take measure from the start than being sued after. If I'll be a game dev, certainly I do not want this kind of troubles and headaches from Nvidia.
For example Nvidia CHOSE to blackmail HUB when they exposed DLSS1 and DLSS2 early implementations poor quality, even when HUB argumented with proofs and evidences about DLSS bad quality.
Nvidia has a bad reputation regarding how they react when they are exposed.
 
Last edited:
Can you share more about this? I mean regarding both DLSS and FSR. Even Nvidia or AMD provides the tools freely, game devs has to allocate some resources and personell to implement them. How "costly" are DLSS and FSR for game devs, and which is more friendly or cost efficient to implement? Without any of Nvidia or AMD personnel support.

All one needs is a standard developer account, which anyone can create. As for how difficult it is to implement, it will depend on how well the rendering engine complies with the requirements for DLSS:

For DLSS to function with a high image quality, the rendering engine must be DirectX11, DirectX 12, or Vulkan based, and on each evaluate call (I.e. each frame), provide:
> The raw color buffer for the frame (in HDR or LDR/SDR space).
> Screen space motion vectors that are: accurate and calculated at 16 or 32 bits per-pixel;
and updated each frame.
> The depth buffer for the frame.
> The exposure value (if processing in HDR space).
The engine must also allow for sub-pixel viewport jitter, have good pixel coverage with at least 16 jitter phases (32 or more is preferred), and it needs to have the ability to negatively bias the LOD for textures and geometry.


Any programmer familiar with TAA and the like shouldn't have any trouble implementing it, as the SDK provides a comprehensive guide.
 

All one needs is a standard developer account, which anyone can create. As for how difficult it is to implement, it will depend on how well the rendering engine complies with the requirements for DLSS:

For DLSS to function with a high image quality, the rendering engine must be DirectX11, DirectX 12, or Vulkan based, and on each evaluate call (I.e. each frame), provide:
> The raw color buffer for the frame (in HDR or LDR/SDR space).
> Screen space motion vectors that are: accurate and calculated at 16 or 32 bits per-pixel;
and updated each frame.
> The depth buffer for the frame.
> The exposure value (if processing in HDR space).
The engine must also allow for sub-pixel viewport jitter, have good pixel coverage with at least 16 jitter phases (32 or more is preferred), and it needs to have the ability to negatively bias the LOD for textures and geometry.


Any programmer familiar with TAA and the like shouldn't have any trouble implementing it, as the SDK provides a comprehensive guide.
Thank you.
Similar situation for FSR implementation tools?
From what you shared, I think that if a game dev cannot implement DLSS due to some lack of the game engine DLSS requirements, will rather harm it's own reputation than Nvidia's, so better to not implement it at all.
 
Similar situation for FSR implementation tools?
Yep -- https://gpuopen.com/fidelityfx-superresolution-2/

From what you shared, I think that if a game dev cannot implement DLSS due to some lack of the game engine DLSS requirements, will rather harm it's own reputation than Nvidia's, so better to not implement it at all.
Perhaps. Adding something like FSR2 is no easier than adding DLSS (if anything it's a tad more fiddly) and if one's engine does provide the necessary buffers for the latter, then it's not going to handle FSR2 either (though the original FSR should be fine).

Despite what Nvidia has said, I should imagine that there is some incentive for a developer to implement DLSS, even if it just comes in the form of additional development support.
 
That Wccftech article is one of the best examples of asking a question in the wrong way.
But if they started this trend, I challenge any major tech website editors to ask Nvidia why they did not make DLSS 1,2 available for GTX1 xxx cards, why Nvidia did not make available DLSS 3 for RTX 3xxx cards and if this trend of artificial market segmentation will continue with DLSS 4, 5 etc.
And another golden question: how many games and studio games did Nvidia paid, supported to implement DLSS1-2, or DLSS 3, PT? Battlefiled xxxx ring a bell? There are more...
I got lost in the 17 different points you seem to be trying to make, but I'll answer your first one: of course it is artificial market segmentation. Nvidia wants to sell hardware and exclusive software features help them do that. As they are making the software it's their right to do so, just as it is your right to not buy their products if you dislike the practice.
(Note: AMD doesn't create locked in software because it would lock out too many potential customers due to market share, not because it's more virtuous then Nvidia)
 
Yep -- https://gpuopen.com/fidelityfx-superresolution-2/


Perhaps. Adding something like FSR2 is no easier than adding DLSS (if anything it's a tad more fiddly) and if one's engine does provide the necessary buffers for the latter, then it's not going to handle FSR2 either (though the original FSR should be fine).

Despite what Nvidia has said, I should imagine that there is some incentive for a developer to implement DLSS, even if it just comes in the form of additional development support.
Thank you again, from what I understand now, the cost of implementing DLSS2 or FSR2 may be quite similar for game devs, maybe slightly higher for DLSS2. But, especially for PC games, will worth to implement DLSS2 due to higher market share of Nvidia videocards and also "better" quality. For games made for MS, Sony consoles and PC, FSR it is clearly worth to implement it and it is perhaps the 1st choice.
Even there is an irony, and sometimes funny to watch how this drama is unveiling, for the long term, these kind of exclusivity for one Hardware manufacturer or another, like Nvidia vs AMD, MS vs Sony, it is, or is becoming quite annoying for most gamers.
 
Back