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Forza Horizon 3 demo looks great on the Xbox One, PC players have to wait

We’re less than two weeks away from the release of Forza Horizon 3, but eager drivers can already get a taste of what it’s like to race around the streets and open terrain of Australia. If you have an Xbox One, you can download the massive 18GB Horizon 3 demo, and go Down Under a little bit early.

It’s hard to believe the Forza franchise is over a decade old. Starting with the 2005 original Xbox release of Forza Motorsport, Microsoft and its partner studios have delivered the goods time and time again. The straight-laced Motorsport sub-series is perfect for traditional racing enthusiasts, but the freewheeling Horizon spin-offs allow for more exploration and open-world high jinks.

The first Horizon took place in Colorado, the second brought us to France and Italy, and this third installment is set in Australia. While it’s easy to assume that it’s little more than a massive desert, the outback is just a single aspect of this highly diverse mega-island. There’s plenty of lush greenery, gorgeous beaches, and city streets to keep this setting interesting.

If that sounds appealing, you can now try out the game for yourself. Head over to the Xbox Store, and click the blue “Get it now” button to attach the demo to your account. On your Xbox One, go to the “My games & apps” screen, and it should be waiting for you in the “Ready to install” section.

Sadly, PC gamers don’t have access to a demo just yet. The official Forza site promises that a PC demo is on the way, but it won’t make it out before the game’s September 27th release date. In the meantime, you can try out the free-to-play Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to get a feel for how the game is likely to run on your machine.

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry spent about an hour with the game on the Xbox One, and their first impression is very positive. Like previous Horizon releases, the game targets 30fps on the Xbox One, and it stays locked nearly all the time. There are a few rough spots where they found short drops into the high 20s, but that’s small potatoes. Based on the limited early exposure, the frame rate doesn’t seem to be a problem for console gamers.

Of course, you can throw a lot more horsepower at the PC version. If you’re dead set on a higher frame rate and 4K resolution, that will definitely be the version you’ll want to play. And since this game is part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere initiative, you won’t have to choose. Buy a digital copy of Forza Horizon 3, and you’ll be able to play on both the Xbox One and your Windows 10 PC. But as always, it’s best to wait to see how the game fairs in reviews before making your purchase.

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