While Microsoft was quick to tout 4K video support and upscaling for the new version of the Xbox One announced at this year's E3 and available in August, the company also announced support for high dynamic range color on the console. While that in and of itself will provide subtle visual improvements to Gears of War 4 — The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson talks in particular about improved surface detail on things like metal and armor — it will also provide a more consistent level of technical performance as well, Fergusson told Polygon in an interview following Microsoft's press briefing today.
Gears of War 4 employs a dynamic resolution system that tweaks the game's rendering resolution in both single-player and multiplayer to maintain its target frame rate in each mode (30 frames per second and 60 fps, respectively). According to Fergusson, the Xbox One S has additional raw GPU and CPU power compared to the Xbox One, and The Coalition's engineers have been able to take advantage of that to reduce the frequency of frame rate or resolution penalties in more demanding sections of the game.
While Gears 4 will take immediate advantage of the Xbox One S, that change does not automatically ensure a native 4K version of the game is ready for the newly announced Project Scorpio, Microsoft's 6 teraflop console upgrade currently slated for release in holiday 2017.
"We have to look at what the engine can do with the power that Scorpio has," said Fergusson. "Because we're mastering at 4K, it's not about assets or art. It's about getting the milliseconds down in terms of getting the game to 4K at 60 or 30 [fps] depending on single-player or multiplayer."
The Xbox One S will debut in August. Gears of War 4 will launch with Xbox One S specific support on Oct. 11, 2016. For more on the Xbox One S, check out the video below.