During the presentation of Amdemand AMD’s new RDNA 3 graphics cards, the company tried to explain some of the nuances of agreements with game developers. It was about Bethesda and adding DLSS to Starfield, but there is still no clarity on this issue, writes Techspot.
AMD’s chief gaming solutions architect Frank Azor said that if Bethesda wanted to implement NVIDIA’s DLSS supersampling technology in Starfield, AMD would not have stood in their way.
This comment was related to the suspicion that AMD prevents DLSS from appearing in most games with which it has marketing agreements, such as Bethesda. Indeed, Starfield will not officially support this feature at launch.
At the same time, most major games whose developers have marketing agreements with NVIDIA support the competing AMD FSR technology. However, many games with AMD ads do not support DLSS.
AMD’s previous attempt to clarify the situation did not help, and the company still failed to disclose all the details of its contracts. Frank Azor admitted that such agreements provide for money in exchange for technical support (roughly speaking, AMD, like NVIDIA, pays developers for the appearance of a corresponding die at the beginning of the game), and that AMD expects partners to prioritize its technologies over competitors, but stressed that this does not prohibit the implementation of DLSS in such games.
According to user observation, there is no hint of DLSS support in Starfield’s preload files. At the same time, if the game engine supports one of the supersampling technologies, adding another is not a problem.
So after combing through Starfield preload files on PC, I don’t see any sign of it supporting DLSS/XeSS. If true I think this would generate a lot of backlash for Bethesda & AMD (due to their refusal to confirm whether they block rival GPU vendor techs in their sponsored games). pic.twitter.com/U67On3x6Kt
— Sebastian Castellanos (@Sebasti66855537) August 18, 2023
Several recent cases confirm this statement. Several ports of Sony games include both scaling tools regardless of the sponsor, and Deathloop, despite its partnership with AMD, had DLSS added in a post-launch update. Unfortunately, current data analysis shows no sign of DLSS or Intel’s XeSS in Starfield, but the game will support FSR 2.
Frank Azor speculated that Bethesda may have focused on FSR 2 for Starfield because Xbox and all the latest PC graphics cards have access to this technology, while DLSS requires an NVIDIA GPU from the GeForce RTX 2000 series or later. Despite FSR’s wider range of compatibility, comparisons generally give DLSS the edge in terms of image quality.
The key proof that implementing DLSS, FRS2, and XeSS is not a very difficult process, especially for a company with Bethesda’s resources, is that DLSS-enabled Starfield mods are now being prepared by some enthusiastic modders. This is how a mod from PureDark, which recently added DLSS to several old games, including Skyrim and Bethesda’s Fallout 4, is expected. But… PureDark creates paid mods, and you need to pay at least $5 on Patreon to get them.
Players hope that DLSS mods from other enthusiastic developers will be free. Or maybe Bethesda will add DLSS support in a future patch, despite AMD’s “not blocking”.