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In comparing PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, it makes sense to use the quality setting on both systems. Subtle as it may be, it's evident that Microsoft's machine gets even better draw distance settings overall on mountain-side geometry and small objects, over and above PS4 Pro's existing enhancements. It's a small improvement and nothing like the scale of the texture upgrades - but another advantage that shows Xbox One X veering close to PC's best presets.
On top of the quality and resolution modes shared with Sony's 'supercharged' console, Xbox One X adds another toggle that can be deployed on either preset: dynamic resolution. It's hard-set on PS4 Pro, but Xbox One X users can disable it if they want to take their chances with a less stable performance level. Assuming that toggle is disabled, what you get in quality mode is a native resolution of 3520x1980. That's 1980p fixed on Xbox One X - or very close to it - bringing a leap in image quality over the PS4 Pro's ballpark 2880x1620 output.
As thing stand, Shadow of War gives us a prime, early example of why Microsoft targeted Xbox One X's specific specs. The sense is that a higher pixel count alone isn't enough; more importantly, this console has the extra memory resources to give those pixels more to show off - better textures, and improved LODs, for example. Additional visual options such as the ability to toggle dynamic resolution scaling are also welcome. Those who want their true 4K can have it, while those looking for more consistent performance are also catered for.
It's the radically improved art that most obviously sets Xbox One X apart from PS4 Pro, but Monolith's approach to 4K textures likely won't apply to every game. At the start of the generation, 8GB of GDDR5 seemed almost overkill - a mammoth 16x increase over last-gen. That's still a hefty chunk of memory to work with and as such, the difference in other titles may not be so pronounced. However, based on the evidence presented by Shadow of War and Rise of the Tomb Raider in particular, it's possible that Xbox One X's 12GB provision is a good case of forward-thinking on Microsoft's part. We'll report back on final code just as soon as we can.