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?