It's not that long ago when Forza Horizon 3 helped exemplify the problems with Microsoft's strategy for PC games. The open-world arcade racer had a torrid launch, with performance issues, broken cross-play and stuttering.
The developers kept toiling away, however, and the knowledge and experience of FH3 has been fed back into the upcoming release of Forza Horizon 4. And one of the surprise benefits of all that hard work is some staggeringly good optimisation.
Sequels typically improve upon their predecessors in all sorts of way: content, gameplay, better online infrastructure, and so on. But that usually comes at a cost - especially since visuals are one of the areas that gets tuned the most from game to game.
But in a closed door hands-off demo at Gamescom this year, creative direction Ralph Fulton said that the game's minimum spec would be lower than Forza Horizon 3's minimum spec. It wasn't specified precisely how much lower - those details are to come soon, we understand.
FH3, mind you, didn't require a whole lot. Here's the game's min spec, as listed on the Microsoft Store:
• CPU: i3-4170 @ 3.7Ghz
• GPU: AMD R7 250x or NVIDIA GT 740
• RAM: 8GB
The i3-4170 was a dual-core CPU; the latest generation of the i3 CPUs will have at least 4 cores, while running at the same clock speed. Having lower requirements should be no problems for AMD CPUs as well. The Vega 11 integrated graphics, which comes with the Ryzen 5 2400G APU that launched last year, is a fraction better than the R7 250x.
As an added bonus, Fulton outlined a range of other PC-specific features for FH4's launch. Along with 21:9 ultrawide support, the game would also ship with an automated benchmark, adjustable FOV, and a way to push graphical settings "beyond Ultra for the first time", although there was no detail on specifically what was meant by the latter.
Forza Horizon 4 launches on PC and Xbox One October 2.
The author travelled to Gamescom as a guest of Nvidia.