Major Nelson speaks about Native 1080p 60fps...

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Chief Legend

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Don't know if this was posted before.

For the last few weeks, with little hesitation, game development sources have been telling Kotaku that the PlayStation 4 is more powerful and easier to develop for than the Xbox One. You may have heard this before. But our best sources don't expect that to have a huge impact on the graphics of games on both consoles.

"I think this is not going to be an issue in six months," one reliable game development source who is not affiliated with Microsoft or Sony told us. "It's just a bumpy time for launch is what it is."


This same source corroborated reports that multiple multiplatform launch games will launch running at a higher resolution on PS4 than Xbox One. Still, they don't expect any major, noticeable graphics differences to be long-term. They attribute this to gradual improvements made to the Xbox One hardware over the past year but more because they expect developers to overcome any headaches they're having developing for the new Xbox as they did with last generation's onerous PS3.

From what we've seen and heard about the graphics of games on both consoles, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are outputting impressive-looking games. The Xbox-only Ryse and the PlayStation-only Killzone: Shadow Fall both appear to be visual standouts.

Here's a video of each, though the comparison is imperfect. The Xbox game shows gameplay intercut with interviews. The PlayStation game is a story trailer. Both appear to have been shot and captured during the summer, ages ago in game development time

Nevertheless, for much of the past week, restless rumors have pegged the multiplatform Call of Duty: Ghosts as having an inferior performance on the Xbox One. While we've not seen the games in action on finished units, two development sources have both told us that the scuttlebutt is true and that Ghosts runs at 1080p resolution on the PS4 and at 720p on the Xbox One. That's due to the power differential favoring the PS4's graphics processing unit and the ease of development on the Sony platform, they say.

The resolution difference is not close to the whole story. It remains a challenge to get a clear picture on how meaningful any launch day graphical disparities will be. Are they more due to the ease of development issue and are they therefore resolvable? Will developers wind up having to program for the supposedly weaker system going forward? Or, perhaps most meaningfully for gamers, will players find the differences noticeable enough to care?

Over night we got a decent case study to consider the consoles in comparison: captured video of EA's Battlefield 4 running on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We had not seen the games running on either next gen platform, though we'd heard that that game too was running at a higher resolution on PS4.

One of our sources on the resolution disparity, disagreeing with the one quoted above about the significance of graphical outputs on both platforms, had warned us that we'd spot differences

Well, here's side-by-side video, captured by IGN

Some gamers may look at the comparison and see the same game or a game that looks impressive enough on both machines. But others will surely spot differences, subtle as they may be. It likely depends on the extent to which gamers care. For the moment, at least, it doesn't look like we're seeing as stark difference as we would between, say, a PC game and an PS3/360 game

Both Activision and EA reps did not comment to us on their games' performances on the two next-gen consoles (we tried!). We did ask Microsoft to share their thoughts on the graphical prowess of their machine in light of concern about lower resolutions. They shared this statement from a Microsoft spokesperson.

"Thousands of fans are currently playing Xbox One games via our Area One tour and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. With launch a couple weeks away we encourage media and fans alike to play final games and judge for themselves. We’ve created a new generation system that offers amazing games that will run at 1080p either natively or upscaled. It is up to individual developers to determine what resolution best fits their design goals at launch. There is no single metric that can accurately predict how games will look and perform and it’s much more than just pixel count. It’s about the entire experience including game fidelity, how you access your games, your friends, the multiplayer experience and other new generation experiences only available on Xbox One. We believe Xbox One will be the premier place to play the new generation of games."

In previous generations, the relative power of competing consoles has not been a deciding factor. The PlayStation 2, ostensibly weaker than the Xbox, easily crushed its competition. It had the advantage of being out a year earlier and not being a new brand, of course. Both of those advantages are not in play in this new generation, which features an Xbox and a PlayStation launching, for the first time, essentially simultaneously.

For now, we're all seeing different pieces of a the graphics comparison. Kotaku staffers, for example, have seen Assassin's Creed IV running on various iterations of PS4 hardware but never on Xbox One. Some Battlefield 4 reviewers have seen the game on PS4 and Xbox One, but, in the case of YouTuber JackFrags, we're left with more than four hours of next-gen footage that shows us PS4 multiplayer and Xbox One single-player. Not quite apples to oranges.

Further complicating these questions is that, although numbers tend not to lie, they can easily mislead. While Forza 5 on Xbox One, for example, runs at 1080p according to Microsoft officials, Ryse, running at a 900p resolution, is the game about which we're hearing visual raves. For those interested in going down a rabbit hole of comparisons, gamers on the NeoGAF message board have been assembling GIFs that flash between each version. Some differences pop; some don't.

We're interested in discerning the extent to which any architectural differences in the two consoles pose any long-term differences in how games will run on the systems and will let readers know what we find out about that in the weeks and months to come. We'll also be keeping our eyes wide open when we finally get our hands on these consoles and start playing the games.P

Also, remember the good news that no matter what games look like on day one of a console launch, games on that console five years from now will look wayyy better. Remember those launch 360 and PS3 games? GTA V they ain't.P


It is up to individual developers to determine what resolution best fits their design goals.
http://kotaku.com/about-those-xbox-one-vs-ps4-graphics-rumors-1454130634

I'll post a longer version of what I shared on Twitter:

Xbox One fully supports native 1080p output at 60 fps.

It is up to individual developers to determine what resolution best fits their design

http://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/1pk1az/codghosts_confirmed_720p_xbox_one_upscaled_to/cd3xspu?context=3
 
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Soda Jack

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My tv only outputs 720p so the 1080p resolution is a non issue to me. I do think as time goes on we will see more 1080p games for the X1. Until I get a 1080p tv I don't care.
 

satchgear

GT: MG Satch
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I don't even know why the guy bothers, no matter what he says there will be clowns doubting him. That's the gist of the internet these days.
 
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oo Yungstar oo

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Xbox One fully supports native 1080p output at 60 fps.

It is up to individual developers to determine what resolution best fits their design goals.
MS really need to knock this crap on the head.
 
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GordoSan

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How can Forza 5 be native 1080p @60fps looking and a whack looking game like COD Ghost be only 720p???
Different genres but still, good question. Guessing 1st party, only having to do a single platform, early access to tools, etc. This is why I'm holding out at launch. I want to see what these systems can really do.

What gets me, is Ryse (although 30 fps) has a HIGHER res and looks FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC! Ryse will be the only game that will probably make me regret waiting this out.
 

polishwonder

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Calling it now!! AC4 720p on xbox one, 1080p on Ps4 not looking good but Im still thinking 6 months from know this will not be a problem!!
 

SevenDead1ySinz

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How can Forza 5 be native 1080p @60fps looking superb graphicly and a whack looking game like COD Ghost be only 720p???
Not sure, someone on another side mentioned that drivers had been updated in august, so the constant changing of things by MS over the course of development may be cause. I say f*** comparing launch games, compare the games in a year or two when they aren't cross gen anymore.

Just look at it this way. PS4 is already 1080p..it's got no where to go, but X1 is only 720p..it can't only go up from there :p lol
 

Cody32599

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Calling it now!! AC4 720p on xbox one, 1080p on Ps4 not looking good but Im still thinking 6 months from know this will not be a problem!!
Whats it matter...apparently it doesn't matter what console/resolution/nothing...it will get the same review.
 

GordoSan

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Major Nelson should just shut the fuk up.
Actually, last week there was a rumor that XB1 couldn't output 1080p native. It's da intetnets, you know? Lots of informed gamers everywhere!
 

WaRz0r

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Maybe its possible developers found out making the game 720p on Xbox One they were able to make the game look better than having sony force developers on their system to be 1080p?

We'll found out obviously once launch hits.
 

Cody32599

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Actually, last week there was a rumor that XB1 couldn't output 1080p native. It's da intetnets, you know? Lots of informed gamers everywhere!
actually...2 months ago he said he couldn't wait for the truth to come out.....well the truth has come out and smacked all xbox fans in the face......way to troll Major...good job.
 
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Zcythe

I'd rather be playing Killer Instinct.
Sep 11, 2013
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He is not the only one. It seems everyone is coming out the woodwork to talk about 1080p 60fps.
 

Phuque

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polishwonder

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Whats it matter...apparently it doesn't matter what console/resolution/nothing...it will get the same review.
Im not saying it matters!! Not to me anyway!! Its upscaled so it will look fine but I think we need an explanation, not bull like its up to the devolopers because if its up to the developers then why is it 1080p on PS4!! Just tell the truth the drivers are not up to par and thats it!!
 

SevenDead1ySinz

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Perhaps MN could explain why some developers "chose" to make multiplatform games on MS' platform a lesser resolution than their competitor and why that was acceptable to them? I think that is a fair question and one he should have to answer. Their PR grows more insulting by the day.
Because not forcing resolutions is insulting?

Perhaps that is a question for the devs, as they are the ones who made the call...I don't think MS called them up and said hey...only do 720p...it'll get people in a right tizzy.
 
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starseeker

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How can Forza 5 be native 1080p @60fps looking superb graphically and a whack looking game like COD Ghost be only 720p???
They know the hardware better, beside that they are very different games, one is characters & all the bang & flashes focus, the other is car focus. each car is more details, but they are far less cars than characters on COD at their peak etc.

Now if Halo 5 runs butter smooth at 1080/60, & look fantastic, then we have a case. but its not apple with apple comparison between Forza & COD.
 

mb1025

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MS really need to knock this crap on the head.
The real question should be how could IW not get COD to 1080p when DICE is doing way more from a graphics stand point, vehicle stand point, and player and map size that they are the same 720p and 60FPS?

Like I said earlier. It has more to do with IW and ESRAM than it does with the power of the XB1. If this is still an issue next year then we have problems.
 

Kuu2

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Has anyone actually seen footage of COD? The BF4 footage I saw was aces compared to the PS4 footage which is in a higher resolution as well. This happened last generation as well with multiplats on 360 early on. The early games were not optimized for the different architecture of the 360 but games like Kameo, and PDZ had some of the best graphics on consoles for quite a while.

We will see what comes of all of this.

There are still reports that some of these resolutions might not be the same as the retail version. Either way I know I will be playing some seriously amazing games very soon.
 

starseeker

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Disappointed, I thought Major Nelson made a proper address to the hot topic that is on 720 vs 1080 on COD & BF4. The silence on the issue is not helping at all.

In the end it was a general information, quoted from one of his information to people, that most of us already know.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow we hear something.
 

yankeessuck

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They know the hardware better, beside that they are very different games, one is characters & all the bang & flashes focus, the other is car focus. each car is more details, but they are far less cars than characters on COD at their peak etc.

Now if Halo 5 runs butter smooth at 1080/60, & look fantastic, then we have a case. but its not apple with apple comparison between Forza & COD.
That isnt apple to apple either as Halo is a first party exclusive. It isnt really a shock that those games would look or perform better.
 

starseeker

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Has anyone actually seen footage of COD? The BF4 footage I saw was aces compared to the PS4 footage which is in a higher resolution as well. This happened last generation as well with multiplats on 360 early on. The early games were not optimized for the different architecture of the 360 but games like Kameo, and PDZ had some of the best graphics on consoles for quite a while.

We will see what comes of all of this.

There are still reports that some of these resolutions might not be the same as the retail version. Either way I know I will be playing some seriously amazing games very soon.
You can say the same about PS4, yet they run at about twice the pixel count, with the similar FPS. If both platforms runs at 720p, or Xbox version is miss a few birds & trees, then I do not think we even have a discussion. I hope its due to the drivers, since there are report that MS drivers have been late to developers. Not holding my breath though.
 

Rollins

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Well written editorial...

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/10/op-ed-why-im-not-too-worked-up-about-the-next-gen-console-resolution-wars/

Op-ed: Why I’m not too worked up about the next-gen console resolution wars

Pixel differences between Xbox One and PS4 are real, but you'll have to sit real close.
191

Enlarge
/ A comparison image from the PC version of Battlefield 4 shows just how little difference there is in upscaled images starting at 720p vs. 900p.
DualShockers
A certain corner of the game-focused Internet has been busy counting pixels this week, scrutinizing statements, screenshots, and videos for evidence that either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is providing a clearly superior graphical experience at launch. After examining all the available evidence, it seems clear that the PlayStation 4 versions of launch games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts enjoy a slight graphical advantage over their Xbox One cousins. It also seems equally clear, to me, that the difference just isn't that big a deal—unless you plan on playing games while looking through a magnifying glass.

The brouhaha really got going on Tuesday, when Digital Foundry posted an analysis of the footage it captured from the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions of Battlefield 4 during a recent review event. Their capture setup determined that the Xbox One version was running at 1280×720, compared to a 1600×900 resolution for the PS4 version, both at 60 frames per second. While these weren't the final release candidate versions of the game being tested, the resolutions are likely to be consistent in the final games despite an earlier promise by DICE to target "equal performance" on both consoles.

(Members of the PC master race will be happy to know that the Windows version of the game ran at 1920×1080 resolution on "Ultra" settings, besting both consoles handily. The console versions were most comparable to the PC game running at the PC's "High" graphics quality, Digital Foundry said.)

The next volley in the resolution wars came yesterday, when Infinity Ward's Mark Rubin confirmed over Twitter that the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will be running at "1080p upscaled from 720p," compared to a "native 1080p" resolution of the PlayStation 4. These tidbits seem to have a small but loud corner of the Internet convinced that Microsoft's system is overpriced and underpowered, incapable of keeping up with the PlayStation 4.

The reports certainly sound like a big deal, with Sony's system pushing 50 to 100+ percent more native pixels than Microsoft's on identical launch games. Try as I might, though, I can't get too worked up over what seems like an incredibly minor difference in practical graphical output.

Before we continue, you should probably watch the direct Battlefield 4 comparison video Digital Foundry posted (embedded above). Make sure you push it to full screen and full resolution to get an accurate comparison. It should be clear that you can make out differences in the two images if you're looking for them, especially if you get up close to your monitor and focus on the edges of certain objects.

Examining the video a foot or two away from a PC monitor doesn't really mimic the way console gamers play games, though. For that, you're going to have to back up from your monitor at least a couple of long paces. Watch the video again from this farther vantage point. Can you still make out the differences? Even if you can, are they as significant?

Whether a gain in output resolution is noticeable to the human eye depends on three things: the pixel count, the screen size, and, crucially, the distance from the screen. The value of an increase in raw pixels goes down as the screen size gets smaller and as you get farther from the display.

Digital Trends has calculated the distances and screen sizes where various resolutions actually matter. If your living room TV is 10 feet away from your seat, you need a TV a bit larger than 50 inches to notice the difference between 720p and 1080p. If you're 12 feet away, you need a screen larger than 60 inches.


Unless you sit really close to your really large TV, the difference between 720p and 1080p just isn't that noticeable.
Digital Trends
Viewing distances aside, we're reaching a point of somewhat diminishing returns when it comes to improving a gaming image just by throwing more pixels at it. Back in the '80s, the jump in resolution between the Atari 2600 and the NES was about the same pure pixel ratio as the jump from 720p to 1080p, but it provided a much more noticeable effect on image quality (even if you discount the NES' wider simultaneous color palette and larger character sprites). The jump from 720p to 1080p is much less noticeable, even up close, than the jump from 480p to 720p that made Wii games look like muddy, washed-out relics compared to their Xbox 360/PS3 brethren.

It's hard to look at the Xbox One's technically "inferior" 720p output with the same kind of practical concern as those inter-console resolution comparisons of the past. Resolution aside, the games look practically identical, with similar textures, apparent polygon counts, frame rates, and particle effects (like smoke). The small aliasing difference due to the resolution pales in comparison to the similarities in the overall look and feel of both versions.

That's not to say the differences aren't there; it's just that they're not all that significant to my eye. As Digital Foundry put it in its analysis, "the Microsoft console manages to hold up despite the undeniable, quantifiably worse metrics in terms of both resolution and frame rate."

You should be wary of reading too many long-term performance concerns into any resolution differences in launch titles, as well. The evolution of graphical quality on a system has at least as much to do with optimization and allocation of developer resources as it does with raw hardware specs (where the Xbox One and PS4 are quite similar). Furthermore, the overall look and feel of a game lies heavily on overall art direction and craft than raw numbers anyway. Games like Super Mario 64 and Shadow of the Colossus still hold up to this day, despite being in standard definition, thanks to the strong aesthetic sense behind them.

None of this is to ignore the actual differences in resolution between the PS4 and Xbox One versions of at least a couple high-profile, multiplatform launch games. If you're the kind of person who isn't happy unless his gaming rig generates the highest raw benchmark numbers, the PS4 seems to be your console of choice for the time being (though, really, a high-end PC still wins out on this score). If you're the kind of person who values actual gameplay, though, choose your next console based on the games. You can feel secure in the knowledge that, graphically, there doesn't seem to be much practical, noticeable difference in performance.
 

Hissatsu

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Devs are just CHOOSING to make their games 720p on the xb1 because it's cooler. Open your eyes guys! 1080p is just a fad.
 
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