Hogwarts Legacy system requirements signify the march towards next-gen

Technology

Hogwarts Legacy is one of early 2023’s most anticipated games. Although it will support the last-gen consoles and the Nintendo Switch, its PC system requirements look closer to those of current-gen-only games. Even at 1080p, the still-popular GTX 1060 won’t cut it anymore.

This week, the PC system requirements for Hogwarts Legacy appeared on the game’s Steam page. Unlike some recent high-profile titles that provide multiple tiers of requirements for resolutions like 1440p and 4K, Hogwarts Legacy so far only lists “Minimum” and “Recommended” specs for 1080p gameplay. However, they are steep compared to other recent high-profile games at that resolution.

The open-world fantasy prequel to the Harry Potter franchise from Avalanche Software and Warner Bros studios requires at least a GTX 1070 or an RX Vega 56 to play at 1080p and 60fps with low graphics settings. Steam recommends a 1080 Ti for playing at the same resolution and frame rate with graphics set to high.

These specs are close to Ubisoft’s upcoming Skull & Bones, which will only launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC, raising questions about how Hogwarts will perform on the PS4, Xbox One, and especially the Nintendo Switch. So far, nothing indicates the Switch version will be a cloud-based release like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Resident Evil VII, which have much lower PC system requirements.

Furthermore, the specs for Hogwarts Legacy aren’t for native 1080p. The minimum requirement accounts for an “Upscale Performance Setting,” and the recommended spec includes an “Upscale Quality Setting.” The phrasing suggests the game uses an image-upscaling algorithm like AMD’s FSR (Nvidia’s DLSS wouldn’t work on any of the listed GPUs) or possibly a custom solution from Avalanche. Based on Nvidia’s and AMD’s algorithms, “Performance” might use an internal resolution of 540p while “Quality” could scale up from 720p.

Hogwarts Legacy launches on February 10, 2023, for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Although Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is not directly involved with the game, Warner Bros couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say whether she would see any royalties from its sales. That uncertainty could be concerning for those who took issue with Rowling’s recent comments about transgender people.