With New Zealand-based Grinding Gear Games' popular action-RPG Path of Exile
making its console debut on Xbox One later this week, we had the chance to speak to the development team about the process. Look for the full interview later in the week, but one of the cool things we learned was how bringing the game to Xbox One improved the performance of the PC version.
And it all comes down to CPU cores and the multi-threading capabilities of the Xbox One. For those that might not know what all that means, here's a basic idea. Currently most games developed primarily for PC utilise a single-core in a CPU. This is something that can affect performance whilst rendering multi-core CPUs more useful for other applications outside of PC gaming for the past decade.
In speaking with Jonathan Rogers, Technical Director over at Grinding Gear Games, he explained. "Consoles have much slower individual CPU cores, but they make up for it by having a lot more of them than a typical desktop PC. In the past, Path of Exile was basically a single-core game. Moving to Xbox meant multi-threading the engine and that took a serious engineering effort".
The second change thanks to the Xbox One version was the move to DirectX 11. These two changes, have resulted in not only Path of Exile looking incredible on the console, but has also benefitted the PC version. "The great thing is that both of those changes have had a massive improvement on performance for the PC game," Jonathan tells me. "We improved frame-rates by insane multiples, like eight times or more in heavy combat".
Check back later in the week for our full interview with Jonathan and Lead Designer Chris Wilson.