The big picture: We've seen several game developers impressed with Microsoft and Sony's upcoming consoles. Whether its raw horsepower or blazingly fast SSD speeds, smart delivery mechanisms or advanced audio tech, there's a lot of excitement around next-gen hardware from both companies and the gaming experiences they will enable. Of course, higher resolutions and frame rates remain at the forefront of these experiences, and racing games developer Codemasters recently revealed that its upcoming DiRT 5 off-road game was able to achieve 120fps on Microsoft's Xbox Series X.
Codemasters' long-running DiRT series has never been super demanding in terms of graphics despite its impressive visuals, though it certainly helps to have more pixels and frames thrown at the screen as you go about attempting the perfect Scandinavian flick in your rally car.
In an interview with Xbox Wire, the studio's technical director David Springate revealed that its latest DiRT game was able to hit 120fps on the Xbox Series X. "I was shocked at how quickly we could hit 120fps! We hadn’t done any optimization for it at this stage but the game was frequently hitting 120fps," he said.
David also highlighted the game engine's ability to fully utilize the Series X CPU's 16 hardware threads, and that such high performance was critical in feeding the GPU that's able to "render beautiful visuals at 4K at 120fps."
He added that DiRT 5 will look incredible at 60fps on the Series X and will still look gorgeous at 120fps, though corresponding resolutions for those frame rates were not mentioned, indicating that the game could utilize checkerboarding rendering or dynamic resolution scaling to preserve gameplay responsiveness at 4K and beyond.
It's worth mentioning here that Microsoft has left it to developers on how they utilize the console's power, which is why highly demanding titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla would likely support at least 4k@30fps and not the magic 4k@60fps mark. The console's backward compatibility, however, will be a boon for older titles, doubling their fps count in some cases.
DiRT 5 is set to have the franchise's biggest career mode yet, featuring vocal talents of Troy Baker and Nolan North, alongside local split-screen for up to four players in offline mode, a full day/night cycle with dynamic weather, and a detailed photo mode.
The game is set to release on PC and current-gen consoles in October this year and is expected to land just in time for next-gen consoles during the holiday season. There's also a Google Stadia port which will arrive in early 2021.