When Forza Horizon 5 releases on November 9 2021, it’ll be available across the Xbox family of consoles as well as PC and developer Playground Games promises it’ll look great regardless of where you play it.
Speaking in a recent interview (via GameSpot), the game’s creative director Mike Brown touched on the “slight differences” between platforms, saying that the power of both the Xbox Series X and Series S has allowed for improvements in quality across assets, shadow and lighting. Brown specifically highlighted the “unparalleled realism” that can be found in the Forzavista mode, which supports ray-tracing.
While Xbox Series X will play Forza Horizon 5 in 4K and the Series S is limited to 1080p, Brown says everything else “should be more or less the same. The visual fidelity should be the same. You'll still get ray-tracing in Forzavista. Everything else should look as detailed and as glossy as it does on the Series X.“
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When it comes to how the game plays on Xbox One, Brown didn't give any specific numbers or details with regards to graphics and performance but he expressed confidence in how the game will perform on the older platform, saying, “whichever platform you're playing on—whether it's a base Xbox One, the Xbox One X, or a high-spec PC—you will have a really great experience in the game. It looks great on every platform.”
Brown has previously shown a similar faith in the Xbox One version of the game during an interview with TechRadar earlier this year, when he pointed out that “Since Forza Horizon 3, we’ve been on PC, so we’ve been a multi-platform developer for quite some time. We’re already used to building a game that can work across a variety of different system specs."
Analysis: Looking back going forward
Since before the Xbox Series X launch, Microsoft has been pretty committed to supporting the Xbox One even as we progress into the latest generation and Forza Horizon 5’s cross-gen release is part of that.
It’s perhaps not entirely surprising that Brown is keen to reassure fans that Forza Horizon 5 will perform well on older consoles—following Cyberpunk 2077’s troubled launch on last-gen platforms the faith of many players has been shaken. From everything we’ve seen so far, Forza Horizon 5 appears to be visually fantastic but we haven’t actually seen it running on Xbox One yet. Forza Horizon 4 is still a great-looking game on that platform, which at least bodes well for what’s to come.
During Xbox’s Gamescom 2021 stream, Microsoft re-affirmed its commitment to the Xbox One by announcing that Cloud gaming is coming to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One this holiday. This means that going forward Xbox One owners who can’t access Xbox Series X/S only titles like Starfield will still be able to play those games using the power of the cloud. It's not native support, sure, but it is a way of keeping Xbox One players in the loop.
Forza Horizon 5 is slated to release on November 9 2021 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. It'll also be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. Only one month after that, on December 8, another highly-anticipated cross-gen Xbox exclusive is confirmed to be launching: Halo Infinite.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.