- Several game studios have allegedly removed DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) support from their titles after securing sponsorship deals from AMD, according to Digital Foundry's John Linneman.
- Linneman clarified that his tweet about devs removing DLSS support was not specifically related to Bethesda's "Starfield" but rather a general observation.
- AMD stated that their partnership with studios prioritizes their FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology, but they are open to supporting DLSS if requested by the studios.
Starfield is not the only new big new release that lacks DLSS support at launch. As the GPU wars enter a new phase, three studios have allegedly removed Nvidia's upscaling tech after receiving exclusivity deals from AMD, opting for FSR and nothing else.
Digital Foundry's John Linneman added fuel to the already brewing AMD controversy of blocking Nvidia's tech last weekend. Linneman posted on X that he has spoken with three devs who removed DLSS support before release after receiving sponsorship deals from AMD. The tweet has subsequently been deleted with Linneman offering an explanation afterwards.
"I wouldn't put that label on what I do," he tweeted. "I'm not here investigating things and I don't want to. What I can say, because it was on DF Direct, is that I've personally spoken with three devs that implemented DLSS pre-release and had to remove it due to sponsorship."
He followed up the tweet, saying, "This tweet is not about Starfield. I deleted it because I was annoyed with people misreading it. We talked about this on DF Direct WEEKS ago. This is 100% not about Starfield. I have zero insight into that game."
This tweet is not about Starfield. I deleted it because I was annoyed with people misreading it. We talked about this on DF Direct WEEKS ago. This is 100% not about Starfield. I have zero insight into that game. pic.twitter.com/GjqXOQuftH
— John Linneman (@dark1x) September 3, 2023
There were no mentions of Starfield in Linneman's tweets, but fans assumed that Bethesda is one of the studios that removed support for DLSS prior to release. The Digital Foundry senior writer claims to have discussed the issue with DLSS support for Starfield in a previous podcast.
In DF Direct Weekly #118, Linneman gave his opinion on the controversy, saying that he thinks that AMD's deal with Bethesda is one of the bigger partnerships. He thinks that the AMD would not necessarily want to have competing technologies present in the game because of the sponsorship deal.
However, Linneman reiterated on X that the tweet was not related to Starfield. "This is pure speculation. Any comment made was unrelated to Starfield. I mentioned OTHER non-Starfield games. I have zero insight into this game."
There was early speculation that Starfield would not be supporting DLSS at launch. AMD confirmed that FSR will be in the new Bethesda space RPG and implied that Nvidia's upscaling tech will not be available at launch. However, the company clarified that its partnership with Bethesda does not prohibit the studio from adding support for DLSS.
"If they want to do DLSS, they have AMD's full support," AMD Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions Frank Azor said. He further adds that the partnership only requires studios to prioritize FSR. "When we do bundles, we ask them: 'Are you willing to prioritize FSR?' If they ask us for DLSS support, we always tell them yes," Azor revealed.
Starfield now has DLSS support thanks to modders who have taken up the challenge of adding Nvidia's tech to the game. The DLSS mod is one of the most popular add-ons found on Nexus Mods which is understandable as a majority of gaming computers use Nvidia GPUs.
We have tested the mods and found that while it does not improve framerates, it does smoothen out some graphical issues. However, the downside is that the mod isn't perfect and does misbehave sometimes during extended gameplay.
Whether or not we'll see more exclusivity maneuvering in the upscaling tech world as the GPU wars rage on is anyone's guess - but we're fairly certain it isn't the consumers who will be benefitting at the end of it all.