Xbox head Phil Spencer recently (opens in new tab) confirmed the Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) to have "more than eight times" the graphics processing might as the Xbox One, and now we have a better idea of how that kind of power translates to better-looking games. For one, we can expect to see hair that doesn't look like it just took a bath in hair gel.
In a conversation with IGN (opens in new tab), several next-gen developers spoke at length about how the increased capabilities of the Xbox Series X and PS5 (opens in new tab) will improve how games look and perform.
"It’s always been really difficult to make really good hair. And then hair responding to different environments – hair and water, hair and wind, hair and hair gel, are all reactions that can be processed," said former Naughty Dog creative director Bruce Straley.
So it's not just that hair will look more realistic in a static image, it's also the way it interacts with different elements that will benefit from a stronger GPU. Likewise, effects like "smoke, fog, and clouds" will look and behave more naturally, according to Virtuos VP of Games Elijah Freeman.
"Yes, improved smoke effects will be great to look at, but the ability to just barely glimpse an enemy if the light catches them right after you’ve thrown a smoke grenade adds a new level of nuance to playstyles," Freeman said.
One anonymous developer expressed how developers might incorporate improved effects physics into the gameplay experience. "[There are] ways where we can cast light of varying colors, and combine colors of light to open a door, or cast your shadow with other combinations of light to open something or activate something," the developer said.
The wait for next-gen becomes harder to endure with every passing day, but it's nice to hear about tangible improvements we can expect rather than numbers. We recently learned the Xbox Series X will be able to suspend and resume games (opens in new tab), even after reboots and changing discs.
For more reasons to get hyped, here are 7 unexpected PS5 and Xbox Series X features (opens in new tab) that could define next-gen.