Chief technical officer for 4A Games, Oles Shishkovstov says that the developer behind the Metro series is working on an open world title. In a rather long interview with Eurogamer, Oles talks in great detail about programming for both of the current gen consoles and further explains how ongoing improvements to their toolsets will contribute to their next game.
4A Games and publishers Deep Publisher recently came out with updated versions of both of their games–Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. The games are being sold separately and also in a bundle package called Metro Redux. These updates are a complete remaster and a sort of a director’s cut which had taken the Ukrainian studio more than a year to complete. Metro Redux is available on PC and the next gen consoles.
While both console versions of Metro Redux run consistently at 60 fps, the PS4 version runs with a higher resolution with the Xbox One. Shishkovstov openly talked about how the two consoles differ from each other.
“PS4 is just a bit more powerful. I’ve seen a lot of cases while profiling Xbox One when the GPU could perform fast enough but only when the CPU is basically idle. Unfortunately I’ve even seen the other way round, when the CPU does perform as expected but only under idle GPU, even if it [the CPU] is supposed to get prioritized memory access. That is why Microsoft’s decision to boost the clocks just before the launch was a sensible thing to do with the design set in stone.”
In June, Microsoft made a change to the Xbox One’s development kit, which saw the removal of the allotment of GPU resources given to the Kinect motion-sensing peripheral. Microsoft said it would return about 10 percent of the console’s potential GPU power but in reality the change wasn’t up to Shishkovstov’s expectations.
“It is not like ‘here, take that ten percent of performance we’ve stolen before’, actually it is variable,” he said. “Sometimes you can use 1.5 percent more, and sometimes seven percent and so on. We could possibly have aimed for a higher res [on Metro Redux], but we went for a 100 percent stable, vsync-locked frame-rate this time. That is not to say we could not have done more with more time, and per my earlier answer, the [Xbox One development tools] and system software continues to improve every month.”
He also quickly mentioned that raw power isn’t the only component that makes a console what it is. “Counting pixel output probably isn’t the best way to measure the difference between them though. There are plenty of other [and more important factors] that affect image quality besides resolution. We may push 40 percent more pixels per frame on PS4, but it’s not 40 percent better as a result … your own eyes can tell you that.”