Over the last week, it looks like Microsoft’s new Universal Windows Platform has claimed another PC game victim. Designed to unify the diverse Windows platforms and bring Xbox One exclusive to Windows 10, it’s turning out that UWP may only port over broken games. This is exactly what has happened with Quantum Break, with the developer Remedy claiming unresolvable problems with UWP and their Northlight engine.
So far, Quantum Break has been running like a dog, with inconsistent performance across all GPUs, especially Nvidia. Even the top end card are having trouble keeping above 30FPS and 60 seems impossible, even on 1080p. This is before you even consider the host of graphical and texture bugs which range from superficial to downright obnoxious. While Remedy promised to look into the issues, it seems like some are out of their hands.
According to PR rep Thomas Puha, texture pop-in are due to the quirks of the Northlight engine and graphical ghosting “just a result of the temporal reconstruction. Just the way we render things”. With the bugs baked into the engine, it begs the question how this game got approved to ship for PC. On the flip side, the game runs perfectly fine on the Xbox One. It seems like UWP just isn’t ready to port games over from the Xbox One over to PC just yet.
Hopefully, the issues that can be fixed will be resolved eventually and future UWP play titles won’t have as many issues. In the end, a console port still is a console port even if it uses the fancy new UWP.
Things aren’t looking that great for Warner Bros’ Batman Arkham Knight. According to a statement given by Arkham Community Manager CODA, Rocksteady had help from an unnamed external PC development partner. The main body of the statement given is as follows:
We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.
According to some sources, the external PC development partner is Iron Galaxy. The firm is noted in the credits for providing PC support and Iron Galaxy has done ports in the past as well as helping on the PC version of Bioshock Infinite. While out-sourcing development for ports isn’t anything new, quality PC ports have become a rare thing. Without knowing the details of the arrangement, it is hard to determine if Rocksteady, Iron Galaxy or Warner Bros is at fault though all likely share some blame.
Batman Arkham Knight so far has been plagued by a host of issues for the PC port. Standard PC settings are missing, the fps is capped at 30 and both Nvidia and AMD users are complaining about stutters and poor performance. Things are pretty serious when there is a day one 3.5GB patch set to fix a host of already known issues. The increasing reliance of day one patching and releasing buggy games is troubling to say the least. While delays might be hated, releasing games prematurely is worse. Taking the time to do something right should be the standard and not the exception, something large portions of the gaming industry seems to have forgotten.