AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X: what are the advantages?

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X: what are the advantages?

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X

During the unveiling of the new Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, AMD announced the imminent arrival of the highly anticipated FidelityFX Super Resolution technology. It is an equivalent of Nvidia's much-loved Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) for the PC market. The most important news is that soon this algorithm based on machine learning will also arrive on the next generation consoles, as well as on the entire line of AMD 6000 series video cards. According to the latest information released on the net, it would be Sony and Microsoft consoles. those responsible for the delay of the FidelityFX Super Resolution, as AMD wants to bring this function simultaneously on all RDNA2 platforms. Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X / S have a damn need for this technology in order to make the most of their custom AMD chips and achieve a perfect balance between visual quality, resolution and frame rate. So let's hypothesize what could be the advantages of the FidelityFX Super Resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X / S.

How FidelityFX Super Resolution works

Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 If activated, this algorithm based on machine learning allows you to render frames at a higher resolution, starting from a much lower resolution . Let's say you want to play in 4K, but don't have enough computing power to do so. The FidelityFX Super Resolution will use frames rendered in 720p or 1080p and through machine learning will perform an upscale in 4K. With the right optimization, the visual difference between a native 4K and that generated by the FidelityFX Super Resolution is really minimal and almost imperceptible. We don't want to go into too much detail on how FidelityFX Super Resolution works, because that's not the main purpose of this article. Explained its basic operation in fact, from now on we will treat this technology as "It works like magic", just as Steve Jobs said about the multi-touch screen of the very first iPhone. On the other hand, even if you do not know the complex algorithms and other functions used to give life to this intricate machine learning process, you can easily understand its enormous advantage both for the PC and console markets, mainly linked to the gaming world.

The resolution problem

The most popular and widespread resolutions for TVs and monitors During the presentation of Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, both Sony and Microsoft have highlighted how these two machines can reproduce video games with 4K resolution. After all, they could not give up the aforementioned goal, when the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles were already aiming to meet this particular need. Sadly though, both the mid-generation machines, Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X are struggling to maintain 4K resolution already with the very first games released at launch. With the advancement of development technologies and the use of computing resources to expand the video game in other technical aspects, this trend is likely to continue (or even worse) throughout the entire generation. In a nutshell: Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X do not have enough power to guarantee 4K resolution without necessarily having to give up other details or decrease the frame rate.

The keyword of every console generation has always been "optimization". Having all the machines the same hardware it has always been possible to dedicate sufficient resources to optimize the software in an optimal way, so that it can be reproduced at its best on every console. Contrary to what happens in the PC market, consoles have always had a better performance with the same PC power, thanks to the optimization carried out. This is how Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X already used dynamic resolution and upscale technologies to simulate a 4K resolution that they could hardly reach natively. The same techniques were then resumed with Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X to dedicate computing resources to other technologies such as Ray Tracing and increasing the frame rate. The sad truth that we all know by now is the following: high resolution consumes a disproportionate amount of computing power to give a relative advantage in visual terms. Wanting to keep 60 frames per second and Ray Tracing active, the resolution is the first to be decreased using the technologies mentioned above.

The help of FidelityFX Super Resolution

The advantages of FidelityFX technology We imagine that by now it is clear and evident the importance of a technology such as FidelityFX Super Resolution for next generation consoles. Thanks to it it is possible to obtain an image quality equal to that rendered in 4K, consuming a much lower amount of power. This would give developers more room for maneuver in the design and distribution of resources, without penalizing the final result of their product. By entrusting the FidelityFX Super Resolution with the task of rendering the frames in 4K, the rest of the resources can be used for many other purposes.

If now the standard is dynamic 2160p or even a 1440p resolution when you want to privilege the frame rate, with the arrival of this technology it will be possible to obtain a 4K resolution, without penalizing the other technical aspects such as Ray Tracing. The advantages of the FidelityFX Super Resolution will be so evident that in all likelihood its use will become the standard for every video game. Finally we will see more games run in 4K with 60 frames per second and active Ray Tracing, just as promised by Sony and Microsoft in the announcement of Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X. Or, in more particular cases such as for less demanding games from the point of technical point of view, you can really aim for 8K resolution (always with the use of FFXSR) or 120 frames per second. In the case of the Xbox Series S, a console that already has some difficulty in bearing the weight of the games currently available, it could easily lead it to support 1440p or 1080p with 60 frames per second for the rest of the generation.

Games for Playstation 5

Nintendo Switch

Speaking of the arrival of DLSS on consoles, we couldn't avoid mentioning Nintendo Switch. This gaming machine also requires the use of this technology enormously. For example, Nintendo could market a Switch dock station with an Nvidia chip capable of DLSS to bring the output resolution to 4K. The video output of only 1080p for the Nintendo hybrid console is getting a bit tight now, especially due to the huge spread of 4K TVs. Alternatively, with the arrival of the much talked about Switch Pro, Nintendo could implement a new custom Tegra chip, with a good part of the dedicated transistors for using DLSS in both portable and fixed mode.

Machine learning is the salvation for consoles

On paper, what has been said so far is all quite plausible. Bringing this technology to consoles and taking advantage of all its advantages will not be that simple, however. The custom chips used by the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X / S may not be able to get a distinct advantage with the use of the FidelityFX Super Resolution, precisely because of their custom architecture. Similarly, software support and developer use of this technology will likely not be immediate. We will therefore have to wait a few more months to see the real benefits of these techniques on new generation consoles, hoping that they can fill the current lack of power due to wanting to render games at a resolution at least close to 4K.

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