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Forza Horizon 5 hands-on: a next-gen spectacle for Xbox Series consoles

Forza Horizon 5 has gone gold, the game arrives less than two weeks from now and recently, press had the chance to go hands-on with what is effectively the first hour of the game, featuring the introductory drive, a showcase event, a number of races and open world challenges and the player’s arrival at their very first home. Oli Welsh has already shared his first impressions but for Digital Foundry, the preview was a chance to get up close and personal with the technology, to get some idea of how the new Xbox consoles are put through their paces and crucially, to see how the game may scale across systems.

Scalability is key to Forza Horizon 5 for several reasons. First of all, it’s a Horizon game supports more platforms than it ever has before. In addition to PC (with scalability challenges of its own) and two quite different Xbox Series consoles, there’s Xbox One as well, not to mention Xbox One X. The preview code we had only worked on the new machines, so quite how Playground intends to run the game on Xbox One remains to be seen, but perhaps there are some clues when looking at Series code, principally because both quality and performance modes are included. Intriguingly, whether you’re running on Series X or its junior counterpart, both of them run at the same resolution: 3840×2160 or 1920×1080 respectively, albeit with potential hints of dynamic resolution scaling in play on the performance mode (truth is, it’s quite hard to tell).

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