People are pissed about the exclusive partnership with AMD Starfield | Digital Trends

AMD just announced an unexpected exclusive partnership with Bethesda and Starfieldand people are not happy. The partnership questions whether the game will support technologies like Nvidias DLSS and Intels XeSS, and we don’t have a clear answer right now.

Starfield is the most anticipated game of the year, it will probably use some of the best graphics cards currently available. This partnership bodes well for AMD, but Nvidia users will still be happy to play Starfield?


AMD broke the news in a short video showing a bit of Starfield gameplay along with commentary from Jack Huynh, senior vice president of AMD’s Computing and Graphics group, and Todd Howard, Bethesdas game director.

Bethesda and AMD have worked closely to bring Starfield to life, optimizing the game to the max. We know it will support AMD FSR 2 to boost the frames and make everything even better.

We worked hand in hand with Bethesda Game Studios to optimize Starfield for both Xbox and PC with Ryzen 7000-series processors and Radeon 7000-series graphics, Huynh said in the video. These optimizations speed up performance and improve the quality of your gameplay using multi-threaded code that both Xbox and PC gamers will be able to take advantage of.

Howard went on to add that AMD engineers are currently working on the Bethesdas code base, working on FSR2 image processing and upscaling to get everything right and running great.

So far, reactions to the announcement are mixed, mostly because not much has been revealed. Calling it an exclusive partnership implies that Starfield may not support Nvidias DLSS or Intels XeSS, and that in itself is controversial.

AMD’s FSR technology is open-source, which means that even gamers with Nvidia GPUs can enable it in games whenever they want to get a few extra frames per second (fps). Knowing this, the partnership is a good thing, because gamers will have access to the upscaling technology right from the start without having to wait for further optimizations.

However, the lack of access to DLSS and XeSS could be a concern. Especially for Nvidia, DLSS 3 still has the edge over FSR 2 and is a major selling point for Nvidia cards. Not being able to take advantage of it in a demanding title like Starfield could be a major blow to Nvidia gamers.

Many people are expressing concern about the possible lockdown. Digital Foundry’s John Linneman asked to make sure DLSS and XeSS are supported on Twitter. The Verges Tom Warren described the move as anti-consumer.

Eager players weren’t as balanced. One said the commentator this is a big thumbs up for PC gamers who block DLSS from gaming and aren’t alone. Dozens of gamers are expressing concern over the lack of clarity as to whether the game will support non-AMD technology.

Enabling DLSS and XeSS, once FSR 2 is already implemented, shouldn’t make much difference to Bethesda. The question is whether or not the partnership with AMD will allow this to happen. So far we don’t know if all three upscaling technologies will be supported. There’s also the matter of sheer hardware power. AMD doesn’t have the best graphics card in the market right now, that place belongs to Nvidia RTX 4090. It also doesn’t seem to have any plans to release a rival to Nvidia’s best GPU.

No wonder the response to the partnership has been lukewarm, even on the AMD subreddit. Hopefully Bethesda can clarify soon whether we can expect to see the full trio upscaled Starfield or if FSR 2 will be the only option. The game, which is scheduled to launch on September 6, is still a few months away.

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