Xbox One and Windows 10 PC exclusive Forza Horizon 4 will let you unlock cars by streaming the game on Microsoft's streaming service, Mixer. This goes against how progression usually occurs in racing games with most of them forcing you to play through specific events and challenges to get access to new rides or at the very worst, pay in-game currency for cars. According to Benjamin Penrose, art director at Forza Horizon 4 developer Playground Games, speaking to Ars Technica you can "progress in the game just by painting, or tuning, or streaming your gameplay on Mixer."
While the first two methods are not new to the Forza franchise, the last one is. It means that Forza Horizon 4 is the first Microsoft Studios game to be deeply integrated with Mixer and dole out bonuses for doing so. Usually, any sort of streaming service integration involves audience participating as we've seen games like Superfight and Darwin Project. This appears to be a way for Microsoft to get more content onto Mixer in the hopes to find its breakout content creator much like how YouTube has PewDiePie.
Keep in mind that Forza Horizon 4 progression is separate from Mixer's own XP system that rewards you for watching streams, voting, and interaction. Also of note is the fact that Forza Horizon 4 will be yet another game on the Xbox One X that is limited to 30fps at 4K. If you were expecting an improvement over last year's Forza Horizon 3 with 4K gameplay at 60fps, this won't be the case.
"Xbox One X players will have the option to play the game in native 4K at 30fps, or play in 60fps at a lower resolution," writes Xbox Wire Editor Mike Nelson. He didn't specify what this "lower resolution" is though if we were to hazard a guess, it would be 1080p.
Developers have struggled to hit 4K 60fps performance in most games this generation on iterative consoles, be it the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. One high profile casualty was Destiny 2 which ended up being 30fps on both PS4 and Xbox One X at 4K due to CPU limitations. It makes us wonder how the next Xbox could pan out and if frame rate becomes a bigger priority for developers and console makers going forward.
For now though, you'd have to be content making the compromise between 4K at 30fps in Forza Horizon 4 or 60fps at a lower resolution when the game is out on October 2.
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