Alan Wake 2 is shaping up to be one of the most technically impressive releases of the year. With lifelike models, detailed environments, and a focus on atmosphere, Remedy believes the game’s graphics will challenge the best releases of 2023.
Earlier this week, the studio confirmed a 60FPS mode for Alan Wake 2 on the Xbox Series X and PS5, but it also announced a 30FPS cap for the Xbox Series S. Following this announcement, the team pointed to the Xbox Series S GPU as the main bottleneck.
Why it matters: The Xbox Series S was sold on the promise of parity apart from a lower resolution. Microsoft claimed it would deliver the exact same experiences as the Xbox Series X, albeit at a much lower price.
Speaking to IGN, Thomas Puha from Remedy discussed the implications of Alan Wake 2’s locked frame rate on the Xbox Series S.
The developer explained that Microsoft’s choice of a budget console, while good for the consumers, puts the studio in a difficult spot. While they are obligated to release new games for it, gamers also expect parity after Microsoft’s promises.
Diving deeper into the crux of the challenges associated with creating games for the Xbox Series S, Thomas Puha said:
The CPU is pretty much the same as on the Series X. But the GPU is an issue. It really is.”
He pointed out that memory is another major constraint for the Xbox Series S hardware. While many are often quick to bring up comparisons with scaling for lower-end PC hardware, Thomas Puha elaborated that memory is abundant on this platform.
The Xbox Series S ships with 10GB of unified memory, but 16GB is currently the standard for PC gaming. Therefore, Puha believes dropping the resolution does not immediately translate to a competent Xbox Series S port, as Microsoft initially suggested.
Nonetheless, Remedy has made several compromises, hoping to provide an acceptable version for fans of the studio using the Xbox Series S. Apart from a drop in resolution, the studio has made careful compromises to strike a balance between visuals and performance.
Thomas Puha concluded by saying that the Xbox Series S maintains a good visual quality, but you should pick the Xbox Series X version:
“If you want to see the game at its best in full next-gen glory.”
While Remedy is the latest studio to address the woes of developing for the Xbox Series S, teams like Larian Studios also struggled with the hardware, leading to the exclusion of split-screen co-op from the console at release.
However, Swen Vincke believes a cheaper console is not a bad idea, and developers should work with the tools provided. We agree with his statement, as every platform comes with its own challenges.
Recently, many studios have struggled to work with consoles like the Nintendo Switch, but competent ports like Doom highlight that a lot can be done with the more limited hardware.
Nonetheless, Alan Wake 2 will be released on October 27, taking players on a mysterious journey with protagonists Saga Anderson and Alan Wake.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.