I have no idea what this is, but I know people use this to watch TV while gaming. So… I’m not sure if this is good news or if MS is going to anger some folks.
On the face of it, the in-depth discussion of techniques like this may be suggesting that Scorpio isn’t the ‘true 4K’ console that Microsoft marketed it as at E3 2016. But the practical reality is that the document confirms that at least one first-party 1080p title has transitioned relatively easily to native 4K (our best guess would be the Forza Motorsport engine is the technology in question here), and accepts the reality that GPU resources aren’t always best spent on precision pixel-work at ultra HD resolutions.
Of course, the reality is that the techniques outlined in the whitepaper have been battle-tested by PlayStation 4 Pro. Titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone have validated sparse/checkerboard rendering up to 2160p, while Call of Duty Infinite Warfare employs virtually all the techniques Microsoft discusses in some way, shape or form. Scorpio’s additional horsepower - combined with more developer experience by the time it launches - should also lead to fewer of the basic 1440p ports we’ve seen on PS4 Pro.
I’m no tech expert, but what I’ve gathered from this article and those more knowledgable on NeoGAF is that the Scorpio is going to be closer to the PS4 Pro than previously speculated as MS is encouraging up-res techniques for devs instead of native 4K graphics. Still more powerful, but not full “next-gen” powerful. Maybe to keep the cost down.