Who cares about console resolution, really?

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Well, well, well, who'd have thought console gamers would get so riled up over a game's resolution? While it was obvious that HD graphics were going to be a big selling point of the next-gen of consoles, it's amazing how much fuss has been kicked up by gamers who unless they've been playing on a PC for years, have likely never even considered the resolution of the games they're playing.

Those who have of course have been tweaking their resolution to the maximum possible for a long time now and they're taken the recent embarrassment of Call of Duty's inability to hit a decent frame rate at anything more than 720p and the PS4's similar problems at 900p, as a great opportunity to lampoon the platforms.

CoD isn't the only game to suffer this issue though. Dead Rising 3 is going to be locked at 30 frames per second and won't break the 720p barrier – for reference, 720p is 1280x720 pixels, a far shout from full 1080p HD, at 1920x1080 – RYSE: Son of Rome will run at 900p and be upscaled and Battlefield 4 also runs at 720p on the Xbox One and 900p on the PS4.

But not all games are being restricted like this to keep the frame rates up. Forza 5 is hitting the shelves with a native 1080p resolution, similarly so is Killzone: Shadow Fall.

And obviously people care. There's been a massive furore surrounding this with PS4 fans smashing Xbox fans for having a cut-rate console, PC gamers lording it over everyone for their custom resolution options and console makers defending their strategies while taking pot shots at their opposition.

This situation perhaps highlights a brilliant strategy on Nintendo's part. It's never pretended to have a graphical power house with the Wii U, or suggested that it had something that can stand up to the high-end PCs of the world. It does what it does and as long as you aren't a layman thinking that it's a Wii accessory, you know what the Wii U is capable of and it sticks to games that for the most part, are designed with it in mind.

By doing so, it avoids situations like this, where gamers are feeling let down because their next-gen system is unable to do 1080p out the gate, while the rest of the world is slowly beginning to talk about 4k, something that at this point, the Xbox One and PS4 seem unlikely to be able to handle any time soon.

But does any of that matter really?

Sure PC gamers are very unlikely to scoop up one of these consoles now because they know that with a mid-range GPU and an average CPU they can output better resolutions and graphical effects than either of these systems. But they were never going to buy one of these machines for their graphics anyway.

Sony fans certainly aren't going to go and buy an Xbox One now, they have a more graphically powerful console and they had already been sold on that system, so why switch allegiance? Similarly Xbox One fans have gone and pre-ordered one or plan to queue up for one at midnight on the 22nd, despite all the problems Microsoft had with its image earlier in the year. They're doing so despite the privacy concerns and all those faux pas the company made in the announcement of its new features.

Why would they jump ship now because their console of choice doesn't quite do the resolution of its biggest rival? They don't worry about resolution on their Xbox 360, so why start now?

The people getting most incensed by these stories are the people that get to use it as a chance to bash the opposition. I'd contend that almost no console sales have been lost because of these resolution issues.

Granted, they probably haven't sold very many either and these sorts of revelations aren't what you want just before the release of a next-gen system, where you have to build your install base again from scratch. But that said, these resolutions aren't set in stone. Sure the Xbox One might struggle with the concept of 1080p out the gate, but give it time.

Look at some of the earliest 360 games like Kameo or Call of Duty 2 and compare them to GTA V and Arkham Origins. Everyone knows this first batch of games isn't pushing these new machines even close to their full potential. We've also heard developers say that both next-gen consoles are easier to develop for than their pre-predecessors, so we should see improvements much quicker than with the 360 and PS3.

Ultimately, I don't think this resolution thing is something to worry about whether you're a console gamer or not. If you're going to buy one of these next-gen machines, I doubt you really care about the resolution – games like Ryse look great regardless – and you know it's only going to get better. If you're a PC gamer it's just reaffirmed that you've picked the right platform.

So what are we all yelling about?

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Comments

CRT for the WIN

Im not sure how advanced new monitors are or the new televisions in the market but I do know one thing for sure. An awesome CRT monitor will beat any four year old flat monitor or television, whatever the price of the second. I would know because of two reasons. One, its calibrated through another machine and numbers don't lie. Two, people with high end flat screens that see my old professional CRT love how it looks. Of course it also sports over 2000x resolution so, yeah. I used to play quake3 over 2000x and a lot of old games support those resolutions. Either way, if textures don't match the same resolution as the screen it doesn't really matter, you aren't exactly adding detail stretching textures? So, you are playing in 720p and then use 256x256 textures? If you ask me I would use those cycles and shaders on something else as practical effects or AI. I also suppose there are millions of people still playing on CRT televisions with consoles and most of them don't pass 1024x.

Resolution only matters if

Resolution only matters if the resolution you're using is significantly less than the native resolution of your screen, if you're playing a game that renders at 720p on a tv that displays 1080p natively then the upscaling IS obvious and it can most definitely be distracting, however if your screen only has 720p then a game running at 720p will look fine. This really is the problem with 720p where gaming is concerned, HDTVs are almost exclusively 1080p native displays (except HD ready tvs which can be almost any resolution and are rarely even 16x9 ratios) and these tvs have absolutely awful upscaling engines as anyone who's had to watch a SD DVD on one will be able to tell you, although the XboxOne and the PS4 have better upscaling it is still not the best way to do it. Personally I still use a 576i 16x9 CRT TV to play 360 games and being honest here I cannot see a difference between those games being downscaled from 720p to 576i (well 480i since it's PAL60 that is used) and the same game on a native 720p screen that my son uses for his xbox, Similarly games look the same on my PC monitor at it's native resolution as they do on my friend's PC monitor's native resolution even though his screen is 1600p and mine is only 1366x768 (hud scaling is obvious though in most games but other than that my point remains) native resolution is key (but downsampling doesn't hurt it's basically almost performance free supersample anti-aliasing) and the new console's apparent inability to display at the native resolution of most people's tvs is going to hurt them and it'll just get more obvious on 4k screens when (or if) they take off and become the defacto standard.

""Personally I still use a

""Personally I still use a 576i 16x9 CRT TV to play 360 games and being honest here I cannot see a difference between those games being downscaled from 720p to 576i (well 480i since it's PAL60 that is used)"" You made sense up until this point. If you can't see the difference between native 720p and a downscaled image to 480i then you need to get your eyes checked. Personally I can easily see the difference between native 720p and 1080p monitors. Also, downscaling isn't free super sampling. Super sampling makes it easier to see small details(see cel shaded games) on top of applying anti-aliasing, basically increase image quality overall. Downscaling blur the fine details of textures and special effects which not only look worse but it causes eye strain.

I did say "almost". Obviously

I did say "almost". Obviously downscaling from 720p to 480p or i isn't the same thing as a full 4x supersample (using an image 4 times the size of the display and then using 4 pixels to decide what colour the final pixel on the screen will be) but it does nobble some of the jaggies that the xbox's 4x multisampler misses (or more recently the crude implementation of FXAA). The biggest difference between a native 720p image and it's downscaled 480i end result is the feathering you get from the interlacing when you move the camera horizontally. And my eyesight is fine btw I just don't sit right ontop of the screen I sit at the manufacturer recommended distance which is something you should be doing with any tv or monitor (but probably aren't) doing so means that with even an old crt I'm not anything like close enough to see individual pixels or get eyestrain. The single solitary problem with this is that the subtitles (my eyes work but my ears don't) in some games are not scaled properly and they become hard to read. I grant you side by side screenshots give you an immediately obvious difference between 1080p, 720p and 480i but fast moving games on a screen the right distance from your eyes doesn't.

Fuck you you sad little rent

Fuck you you sad little rent boy. Im UK based so might be a fucking fucked up place but where still no third world. My latest piece of shit is the S4. Ive had the misfortune to also own a couple of Iphones and HTCs. The S4 looses calls , bombs out of web pages at random and sulks with the wifi regular in fact all of them are guilty for all this at some point or another. Both the HTC's used to get so warm you could fry a fucking egg on them. Its true phone games are simplistic because the control interface restricts the type of games playable, I mean fucking angry birds!!! oh please. Like I said, Simple games for simple fucking minds.

I know an engineer from

I know an engineer from samsung and he told me over a few beers how the s4 was a fucked up project because they rushed to launch it, he recommended me the s3 if I wanted a samsung phone. Every phone, console and PC gets hot, nothing new there, if you don't want to touch it then get a bluetooth controller. As for simple games, lol thats extremely funny coming from someone who plays consoles. Go on play your overly complex fifas, maddens, cods, battlefields etc... Lastly, immersion is a skill players have, if yours is so bad that you need a 50" screen to do it, well, thats your own fault and problem.

res counts

there fucking is a difference between 720p and 1080p, screen is alot sharper for one, at any distance , any true pc gamer will tell, stick skyrim on full hd 1080p with all the realistic hd textures on and there run it after 30mins on 720p res, and then tell me . some people must be blind , either that or too much console gay-ming.

There is a big difference,

There is a big difference, but not at any distance. Saying that only shows your ignorance regarding the human eye and physics. You can't compare PCs because us pc gamers sit really close to the screen, but I guess you did because you have no idea how resolution, distance and the human eye work.

Resolution matters with 4k

Resolution matters with 4k screens "reasonably" priced now I think looking even 2 years into the future the new consoles will never really be capable of handling decent games at this resolution. Consoles had been ahead of the curve on release up until now but at least the cost has come down so I wouldn't really put this gen consoles in the same category as any previous, I think people need to lower there expectations of this gen and I can certainly see a shorter life span.

I'm not yelling, just saying...

It does make a difference to me. For me visual quality is all about immersion. Crysis 2 was great, but with DX 11 and the ultra HD mod it was enthralling. Because you don't notice as many glitches that break that '4th' wall. Crummy low res textures, jagged edges on curvatures, etc are all things that are just eye sores to me and really pull me out of the game sometimes. Especially the more realistic a game is supposed to be. Some intense scenes in CoD are ruined when you look at a NPC's face and wonder where it all went wrong. I'm happy there's Steam Machine, 4k definition will catch on a good deal faster than HD did when we were leaving behind 480i tubes. Also I don't like spending money on a so called 'next gen' console when the essence of next gen is supposed to be cutting edge tech, while this time around the next gen is merely fulfilling the technical definition, thank you Nintendo for lowering the bar with the Wii. Now we can expect crap weak consoles for release cause with the Wii profiting like mad over the 360 and Ps3 corporations no longer have interest in cutting edge, remember a companies only goal is maximum profit, not best product. If you'll pay 400 to 500 for a less than awesome console then that's all you console gamers get.

There's no diff'.

WTF asshole? There's no diff between 1080p & 720p as far as a 20/20 set of eyes can tell sitting 10-15 feet away from a 40-50 inch TV. 4k is not going to catch on faster. From SD to HD there was a gigantically noticeable difference. Eventually there comes a point where your eye can't resolve any more pixels. A billion pixels on screen will look the same as a trillion unless it's a mile wide screen. 720p is all a typical TV needs. 4k may nullify the aliasing issue for good, but we have a shit ton of AA methods available for that which do the job just fine. Graphical innovation is hardly what's needed in this industry. Motion capture, AI, game play & diversity are where it lacks by far the most. No one really gives a shit about resolution except the nerdiest basement dwellers.

Sorry but - 10 to 15 foot

Sorry but - 10 to 15 foot away Roflao on a 40 to 50 tv. Fuck - when I play games I actually like to be immersed so on my 42 gaming TV I'm 6 ft away at most and at that distance YOU CAN TELL straight away. Now if your an at distance gamer lol, im sure 720 will be fine... 1080 is better than 720 its as simple as that, no matter how much shit is being spun to the contrary by M$bots and their fanboys it doesn't make it anymore true. Although the rest of your points I totally agree with wtf lol

uhhh huge difference I ve had

uhhh huge difference I ve had both 1080p,720p side by side and used for years same with 60hz to 120hz huge difference. also 4k will not nullify anti aliasing just make it less of a interesting feature given the extra load until the graphics cards get better. And having a look at 4k screens in detail trust me dont waste money on 1080p go the 4k.

console

Most of these games coming out at the beginning of the gen for the X1 and PS4 will be cross generational based games where their version will be alot like the Pc version where its a 360/PS3 limited game that's been tweaked. Now you cant really compare the early 360 and PS3 games and look at the end and say the graphical difference will be the same for the X1 and PS4. There is a big difference where the 360 was created when unified shaders was not the norm and the developers had to wait for the standard architecture to mature, and they to learn how to use the Cell on the PS3 to bypass the geforce 7's limits. These consoles are pretty much systems with low teir cpu's with medium ranged pc based gpus, the tools and features have been a standard since 2011. So dont expect massive leaps and bounds in true early gen games to the later games.

You're making the same

You're making the same mistake as the author of the article. This generation of consoles is very different from any other in that it uses off the shelf pc components. Devs don't need to learn how to code for the platform because it's very generic and pc-like, so the rate of improvement over time is going to b emuch slower because pc is a platform all devs are used to in the first place.

I think your been too

I think your been too optimistic mate. I dont think the ps4 will manage 'all games' let alone the xbox 1. Tiny amount of eSram is fucking the frame buffer. Even if within a year or so M$ make the eSram auto flush the size is too fucking small for 1080 with multiple render passes. Hence why Forza has prebaked lighting ;-)

Nahh not unless they are

Nahh not unless they are locked at 30fps which means you should not buy that shitty ass game. If you play on any less than 60fps your a subpar human and you are destroying your eyes. but 120fps ftw console suckers.

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