Xbox One Resolution Brouhaha: When Graphics Matter, and When They Don’t

Tune-out the technophile chest-beating.

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Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

Attendees walk between signs for Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox on the first day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California, June 11, 2013.

My favorite game from the last generation of set-top game systems was Xenoblade Chronicles. It arrived early last year, though late to the U.S., after a successful fan campaign petitioning Nintendo to have it translated from the original Japanese and released stateside. It happens to be one of the most beautiful roleplaying games I’ve ever played, this generation or any, and it ran at a resolution that’s been common since the Dreamcast tapped EDTV at the close of the 20th century, becoming the first games console to output a VGA signal.

Think about that. The bestselling current-generation games console in the world today — still Nintendo’s Wii, by install base numbers — tops out at the same resolution: 720 by 480 pixels, or 480p. I realize some of you think the Wii’s a glorified doorstop, but the numbers are what they are. All the gnashing-of-teeth in the world about screen resolutions or under-the-hood horsepower won’t change sales figures.

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are capable of both rendering and outputting at up to 1080p, or 1920 by 1080 pixels. A handful of games actually do this, of course, because neither system’s powerful enough, say, to give us a Grand Theft Auto V in native 1080p glory. Most games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 run at 720p, or 1280 x 720 pixels, and upscale if your television is 1080p native. Occasionally, games run at lower-than-720p resolutions internally — more in the PS3 and Xbox 360’s early days — as developers grappled with optimizing multi-platform versions of their game engines. “Frame rate” was the watch-phrase. If a game wasn’t hitting something like 30 frames per second consistently, dropping the resolution was the simplest way to bolster performance.

Given the architectural disparities between the PS3 and Xbox 360, this led to sometimes noticeable differences between multi-platform games. But those differences don’t align with generalizations about either system’s raw performance. Take Rockstar’s RAGE engine, powering all of its games (Table Tennis aside) from Grand Theft Auto IV forward. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) looked a little sharper and cleaner on the Xbox 360 (rendered natively at 720p), though some preferred the PS3’s softer visual filtering (upscaled from 640p). Red Dead Redemption (2010), by contrast, looked markedly better on the Xbox 360 (again, rendered natively at 720p) compared to the interpolated fuzziness of the PS3 version (again, upscaled from 640p).

By Max Payne 3 (2012), Rockstar had RAGE in hand, and both systems could output that game at native 720p, with slight visual edges awardable to either system (otherwise, the two versions looked identical). Grand Theft Auto V put paid to the assumption that earlier visual disparities had more to do with developers coming to grips with crafting identical versions of ridiculously complex game worlds on profoundly different platforms. GTA V is one of the best-looking sandbox games ever made — one of these “apotheosis of world-building” exercises — and it’s rendered identically on either system.

The point, if it’s not obvious, is that early assumptions about rendering disparities and performance capabilities weren’t just off target, they were head-screwed-on-backwards wrong. Remember all the “PS3 is significantly more powerful than the Xbox 360″ pet theories scrambling around game forums in 2006? Sound like any of the pet theories scrambling around said forums today? Theory and execution rarely align in the messy world of high-turnover studios, ever-evolving SDKs, grappling with multi-platform versions of games and delivering finished products on strict timescales.

With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we seem to be time-warping backwards, regressing to rote bickering over rumor and innuendo. The lazy story that emerged mid-September about the PS4 being “50% faster” than Xbox One, sourcing anonymous developers from who-knows-where, was nebulous link bait, crafted to grab the attention of partisan gamers and professional trolls. They emerged, dutifully, to graffiti up the place and wag the conversation off a cliff. You can’t have a meaningful conversation about a contextually incomprehensible abstract percentile.

This more recent controversy involving Call of Duty: Ghosts, by contrast, involves a thoughtful visual analysis by a respected game site, as well as tweets from official studio reps. The informational difference is stark: Here, at last, are metrics to dig into.

I’ll summarize: Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One renders natively at 720p, whereas it renders natively at 1080p on the PlayStation 4. Assuming you have a 1080p-native television, that’s a difference worth talking about. The Xbox One version upscales to 1080p, of course, and Infinity Ward claims the visual differences between the versions running on 1080p TVs are all but indiscernible, but Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry effectively says that’s too dismissive — that there are differences, and in some cases those differences are substantial.

This is all moot, by the way, if your TV tops out at 720p, a point not to be overlooked (I don’t have install figures for TVs by native resolution, but I’d wager 720p sets still top 1080p ones). Furthermore, the PlayStation 4 isn’t a lock on native 1080p gaming — even it winds up dropping to 1600 by 900, or 900p, when outputting a game like EA’s Battlefield 4 (though here again, the Xbox One renders that game natively at 720p). But yes, as Digital Foundry puts it, the Xbox One, at least at launch, comes off looking like “the more expensive console offering the sub-optimal experience in key titles.”

As I said at the outset, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the most beautiful roleplaying games I’ve ever played (I include Skyrim when I say this). The visual downshift, pixel-wise, didn’t bother me. After playing for a few minutes, I’m in Monolith Soft and Tetsuya Takahashi’s world and 480p be damned. “This is what it feels like to crawl around on the cosmic bodies of gods,” says my brain, ignoring the world’s slightly unfocused look. I’ll take a thoughtful, artful 480p game like that over a generic 4K Ultra HD one any day of the week.

If you’re a videophile, on the other hand, you have my sympathies. Most gamers probably haven’t owned a device capable of outputting at native 480p for years. 480p games on a 720p or 1080p TV are interpolated, the 720 by 480 output stretched to accommodate the TV’s native 1280 by 720 or 1920 by 1080 pixels. It’s a shortcoming of LCDs we skipped over in our haste to adopt flatter, lighter televisions — this inability to shift native resolutions on-the-fly the way CRTs could. With fixed-pixel displays, you have one optimal resolution and one optimal resolution alone. If you value display clarity — and who could blame you for doing so — there’s a reasonable argument for going with a system that meets your display’s criteria. If you’re a videophile, you despise scaling, so a system that doesn’t (scale), all other things being equal, is more desirable. It’s not what drives me, but as a sometimes-audiophile who cares deeply about the differences between compressed and uncompressed audio, I can understand why it drives you.

If, on the other hand, you just want to play “my system’s more powerful than yours,” what can I say? The 20th century called and wants its juvenile worldview back? Armchair presumptions about platform power are no way to justify a purchase. Power might make a game more architecturally complex in terms of abstract pixel-triangle-vertice-texel metrics, but it can’t make that game beautiful or the gameplay artful. And if you think you’re buying headroom, think again — today’s high-end PCs are already vastly more powerful than the PS4 and Xbox One, but that hasn’t brought a game like Grand Theft Auto V to the PC any faster (Rockstar has yet to confirm a PC port). Power won’t buy you much, in the end: bragging rights in a forum or social circle, and snarky posts or comments that feel cathartic now, but that you’ll probably look back at in a decade or so with embarrassment.

In any event, it’s too soon to say — much less know — whether one system trumps another performance-wise, or whether such an advantage ought to guide your decision-making process. You’re investing in a platform, of which a power differential is one slice. Think bigger. Think about interface innovation and software creativity and the ecosystem in which those things live. The latter’s already likely defining who buys what or goes where. If your friends live on Xbox Live, shifting to the PlayStation 4 is like sailing off to terra incognita. Unless your friends come with, you’re abandoning your social network, and vice versa if you’ve been living on the PlayStation Network and shift to the Xbox One.

Platforms are so much more than mere hardware. Let that principle be your guide as you consider a system this holiday, be it the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, a new or upgraded PC — whatever. Unless you have to have native 1080p gaming, day one, tune out this very old, very boring, utterly predictable strain of technophile chest-beating. That’s not me defending one system’s hypothetical technical deficiencies, it’s a defense of gaming as much more than the sum of one part.

108 comments
Frag1le
Frag1le

Matt the Failure left PCWORLD and is here still being a fanboy after so many years. Y didn't you apply at M$? Did they throw away your resume?

Amaranthium
Amaranthium

Strange argument. So you would say that most people bought a Wii because they prefer bad graphics rather than because they wanted to believe that the cheapest one was the best choice, despite of it being a pittance of gaming power, with it's then shiny  gimmick of motion control (now widely acknowledged as a mere wink at motion control)?

Full HD is now a most common resolution in tv's, monitors, phones, tablets etc. It's crazy that the newest media center/pro gaming console has to upscale to accomodate. I find it disturbing to say the least and an ominous sign that the next generation of consoles might be affected by the recent economic crisis as well.

Gol1ath
Gol1ath

Warning if you are going to buy an XBOX One in a few minutes.  It can only run games at 720p resolution.  It is maxed out at 720p.  Again, no matter how much optimization developers do, games will never get any "better looking" then the PS4 version, never.  Don't say I didn't warn ya! ;D

RoperSeiler
RoperSeiler

I love this article. Well worded and written. Great work.

Zoneii
Zoneii

It's simple. 1080p is nearly 8 years old now. Archaic, considering I was gaming on my Voodoo 2, in 1997, at 4:3 900p resolutions e.g. 1152x900 and prior to that, back in 1996, 1024x768 (768p).  In 2001-2003, I was gaming at 1280x1024 (1024p), and 1600x1200.  These have been PC standards for years, on PC's running single-core processors running at 233mhz-1.2ghz, containing memory from 32mb RAM, to 512mb.  PC gamers often sacrifice effects over breaking native resolution.  Yes, I know, the graphics in games have gotten so good, as to keep the entire industry locked in at sub 720p/ 1080p resolution because we rather trade off clean, jaggy-free picture, for more special effects and lighting, until the retinas burn out of eyes...but, hey, at least we can play an aliased mess, with awesome shadows!  This is the thing that ruined it for me with the Xbox Original.  I was like, "are you serious? What good is Splinter Cell's lighting/ shadowing if the entire things is a pixellated mess? In terms of overall picture, it looked like freakin Goldeneye, on the N64, running in split-screen..."I see you Phil, you a$$hole! You're dead! Oh, that's pixellation on a banister...never mind. Wait, no, that's more aliasing, wait! Nope that's a tree." I still suffer this problem in games like Battlefield;  "is that someone crawling in the brush? No, that's the aliasing of a rock/ leaf...wait, is it? It''s moving weird."

trey34234
trey34234

Does anyone else here think Smartguy loves himself some GPU?!?!

hanndontarius
hanndontarius

Lol didnt this happen b4? Wasnt the PS3 more powerful than the XBOX 360? yet the XBOX 360 dominated for 8 years Fanboys so stop your whining buy your systems and have fun and stfu..


P.S most 3rd party games in the future will be P.C port downs and not to mention that XBOX ONE USES DX11 which runs better than a modified version  PS4 Linux 

TimothyCollins
TimothyCollins

Personally, I don't care. The 360's graphics are fine for me - I enjoy then just fine... I want the XBox One because I enjoy working out with my 360 using the Kinect and I want the upgraded power of the Kinect 2.

hanndontarius
hanndontarius

lol idiots have been doing it for yrs the xbox 360 was 50% weaker than the ps3 with its cell processors yet they both sold nearly the same amount over their 8 yr span

hanndontarius
hanndontarius

Lol didnt this happen b4? Wasnt the PS3 more powerful than the XBOX 360? yet the XBOX 360 dominated for 8 years Fanboys so your whining buy your systems and stfu..

sixsence
sixsence

I'm so sick of the "Why pay $100 more for a less powerful system" argument. If all you want to do in life is play games, and all you care about gaming-wise is resolution, then sure go buy a ps4 that literally offers nothing innovative from last generation, just better hardware specs. If you want a complete entertainment system that offers innovative things we have never seen before, that will transform all of your tv experiences (tv, movies, gaming, apps) into one seamless multitasking experience, including the kinect and smartglass that in years to come will provide experiences that we haven't even thought of yet, cloud computing on microsoft's extensive infrastructure, oh and play games (arguably better games) at a slightly worse level than the ps3, i think $100 more to get great gaming plus all of the features that gamers don't care about, works for me.

What's amazing is that everyone is sitting here bashing the xbox one saying it isn't truly "next-gen" just because one metric (resolution) is behind on day-one releases. What blows my mind is that noone expects more than just games, good graphics, and a control in your hand for what's supposed to be "next-gen".  This absolutely makes no sense to me.

HalfBlackCanadian
HalfBlackCanadian

@Smartguy is really doing everything possible to not understand the article isn't he?

@ksefton22  funny you bring up the retina display. you are aware that the reason they call it that is to be able to scale what the ppi actually is dependent on device, right? the smaller the screen the less ppi needed to achieve the same resolution. that said, the physical distance from your eyes to your screen is small enough for you to notice, drastically. depending on screen size and distance from the screen a users perception of the difference between 720p and 1080p can be insignificant. I use a 1080p 55" plasma from 10'. I am at the cusp of what is generally considered the point at which there is a benefit to see 1080p native. I also have great eyesight so generally its noticeable when I see a movie at 720p. I played Halo 4 yesterday. Still looks amazing. Could it look sharper? Sure it can. am I worried about that? not really, it wouldn't make the game more fun to play.

ultimately, that's the argument above. we are so caught up in this 1080p 60fps thing that sites feel the need to announce things like Sound Shapes running at the "optimum". ask yourself if that game really has the need to be at 1080p, and even then ask how difficult it would be for someone to actually make a big deal out of it. if people applied this "Xbox One can only do 720p because example A" to last gen, PS3 would still be running games that looked like Resistance. 

JensWeissflog
JensWeissflog

The writer makes the wrong argument here. If you could choose your quirky Japanese RPG with either better graphics or worse graphics, which one would you choose?

For most games, this generation of consoles issues that very question. The basic architectures are very similar, but the PS4 is just more powerful and a little easier to develop for. It also happens to be the cheaper of the two choises.

I understand that there may be some Halo fans out there who need to buy an Xbox, but most popular games will come out on both platforms and there is already graphical disparity. Do you want the prettier game or the uglier game?

(Oh, and the PS4 offers no headroom in the future, because GTA V is not out on PC. Got it.)

Smartguy
Smartguy

"If, on the other hand, you just want to play “my system’s more powerful than yours,” what can I say? The 20th century called and wants its juvenile worldview back? Armchair presumptions about platform power are no way to justify a purchase"

Excusatory and just plain silly, really.  Why would anyone pay $100 more for a console with a third less GPU power?  (GPU power is responsible for resolution.  Hence, 720p.)  More power, less money.  Less power, more money, forced peripheral with what many seem to think is some sort of spy camera (I'm not one of them, but honestly, who knows). :)

"Armchair presumptions"

Simple mathematics aren't "presumptions."  One console has 50% more shaders than the other.  It's quite simple, really.  You can't "optimize" your way out of  a 50% GPU disparity (actually 56%, thanks to One's clock advantage (6%) - Kinect reserve (10%).

Smartguy
Smartguy

Here's what gamers really want: the most horsepower for the money.  Microsoft's advantage is that the majority of folks who games on consoles don't even know what GPU means.  Correct me if mistaken.  Thanks.

Smartguy
Smartguy

There are precisely zero televisions on the market, at 50" or larger, that are 720p native, as of November 2013.  Ok...there's one or two.  Out of hundreds.  I stand corrected.  1080p always matters, if you're at the appropriate distance from your television.  If you're a mile away from it, then sure, don't worry about the "resolution difference."  That said, worry about the "GPU difference" that caused this problem, as no one said that only resolution would be reduced down the road to run games on One.  What's to keep texture quality, polys, etc. from being reduced?  Something has to be...signed, Physics and Simple Mathematics.

Smartguy
Smartguy

It's quite simple:  PS4 has 56% more GPU power than XBOX One (including the 10% held for Kinect, which will likely never be freed).  Not only is this an enormous disparity, but it is *permanent*.  It cannot be fixed down the road.  Every game that is designed to "max out" PS4's GPU power (we're already there, with both BF4 and Ghosts) will, thanks to mathematics and physics, look noticeably "worse" than the PS4 version.  Resolution, textures, polygon counts, frame rates...at least one of these will always need to be reduced.  It isn't a matter of simple resolution unless each developer makes that decision during the "optimization" process (another buzzword that means little to nothing, yet is tossed around aimlessly without discretion by people who know next to nothing about game development), and to try to minimize this vast difference in processing power is simply irresponsible journalism, plain and simple.

Further, MSFT recently stated that this console will last "conservatively a decade."  If it's running third-party games at 720p now, a game can't "look better" than it does now unless resolution is dropped even lower (or unless frame rate is cut to 30, as it typically has been with console games [30 fps is cheating, as far as I'm concerned...run it at 60, or don't run it at all]).  Games will not magically be "coded better" ("optimized," again...) to permit for vastly better graphics down the road, unless significant GPU processing power is somehow added to the console(s) (both consoles' GPUs are already being maxed out, for those who remain unsure...there is nothing left to offer; what you see on day one is what you get, I'm sorry to inform you).


Then, we have the other buzzword of the moment: "ESRAM."  ESRAM is something that *additionally limits* the already weak GPU in this console...it is not an enabler.  It will not magically make anything better down the road.  Ghosts was running at 1080p, proving that sufficient ESRAM was present to do so.  It had to be reduced because the GPU wasn't powerful to run the game at the same "settings" as the PS4 version at 1080p without the frame rate consistently dropping below 60.

The disparity between XBOX 360's GPU, a.k.a. Xenos, and PS3's GPU, a 7800 straight off the shelves of NewEgg, was 20%.  Not 56%.  I hope this is clear.  What I'm saying, in other words, is that a major disparity on day one will be a major disparity ten years from now, and that this is absolutely unprecedented in the history of gaming.  Again, this cannot be compared to prior generations (don't even think about mentioning Wii...Wii was a fad, not a gaming system, that inevitably led to Nintendo's death in the console market).

In short, buy whichever console you prefer, but know that this disparity in power is both major and permanent.  It is significant, will be noticeable in all third-party games (unless they're designed to max out One's GPU, then simply shifted to PS4...which is not the case with BF4 and Ghosts), and will, in my opinion, lead to One's failure during this generation (perhaps even literally, given that they overclocked the GPU 6% in a recent PR move).

DarthPaul404
DarthPaul404

@Gol1ath Halo 5 at 60FPS/1080p confirmed. Forza 5, already out, 60FPS/1080p.


Don't be like this guy and just read the article above. This guy fits in the aforementioned console partisan/professional troll category. More like amateur troll, really.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@sixsence News flash:  Most people buy a games console to play games.  If you really think a voice controlled remote control for your cable TV (assuming you even have cable and it'll work with your provider) is worth $150 then good for you.  Most people don't, that's why the PS4 has a lot more pre-orders and public interest.  Reality exists...

rwwarwick1
rwwarwick1

@sixsence you are absolutely correct.  I'm paying the extra $100 for a console that is truly trying to be "next gen".  Not just your typical "well let's make the graphics prettier and call that next gen".

Xbox One, in my opinion is the only true attempt at a "next gen" console.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@sixsence It ain't necessarily just "resolution."  It's either going to be "resolution," textures, poly counts, lighting, or anything else that a GPU is responsible for.  A significantly weaker GPU equals, one way or the other, an uglier visual experience.  Visuals mater, and we all know if.  Don't rationalize.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@HalfBlackCanadian @Smartguy @ksefton22 Sorry, but you're wrong.  The reason they call it retina display is because it has exactly 300 ppi.  That stays the same regardless of screen size.   You're talking about resolution.  720p is the signal, but it's visual fidelity is also dependent on screen size which determines pixels per inch.  Even at 10 inches you can see the difference between 720p and 1080p.  You can definitely tell the difference at 32 inches or 40 inches.  There are plenty of games that will look A LOT better at 1080p.  Stop trying to downplay the difference.  It exists and it's a pretty big difference.  Arguing otherwise is just blatant denial.

pavanshahm
pavanshahm

@JensWeissflog The writer makes it clear that he believes that the 480p rpg game looks better than competing rpgs that ran in 720 and 1080p. 

While resolution and power can create better graphics, those two factors aren't as important as the creativity of the developers themselves. Not to mention that every resolution and power shift requires even more artists and programmers to make the game work, you might not even be getting a better looking game due to time constraints. 

One only has to look at the shortcomings of FF13's world to see the flipside of beautiful graphics. 

YaqootKeyani
YaqootKeyani

@JensWeissflog People are acting like graphics are the ONLY reason to choose one console over the other. I am personally still unsure about what console to get, but I'm leaning towards the Xbox One, for the sole reason that I've enjoyed being on Xbox Live a lot more than the Playstation Network. And when it comes to graphics, does it really matter THAT much? The stats seem more like bragging rights than actual differences. If it's going to be running games smoothly at 60fps at 1080p, which just so happens to be upscaled from 720p, I'm happy. I play on a 22" gaming monitor, so I doubt the differences are going to be that discernible.

BrentBlevins
BrentBlevins

@Smartguy Because of the overall experience. Why would people pay thousands more for a less powerful product. Who knows why don't you ask the company that's sitting at the top of the stocks? I'm sure apple can do that for you? 

Regardless, why should I even pay $400 for a device that can't do anything except game, but the irony of it all is that the majority of its release games are going PS3, or have been on the PC for the past year. There isn't a SINGLE reason to make the jump to the ps4. Killzone is another Generic FPS title which is pointless if  you haven't played the series( which has jumped backed and Forth just like COD). There is Knack, but " all the so-called hardcore gamers buy Consoles so that won't sell.  What's the point of paying for more Power if they'll never use it.... It's just going to be a continuation of last generation.. We can't sell anything other than Generic FPS with better graphics with the Occasional RPG such as Assassins Creed 10,000 or ElderScroll Infinite. IF there is anything ANYONE should have learned in the past 5-6 years it should be its all about the experience. The gaming industry No longer has the luxury on focusing on pure gaming... it needs to focus on more than one thing and have an overall pleasing experience. 

NathanRnada
NathanRnada

@Smartguy Not quite. That's what fat kids on their computers locked in their parents basements want. 


By the way, the most played online video game on PC? World of Warcraft. Hmm created in 2005. You can play it on a netbook. Go Figure "Smartguy"

Gol1ath
Gol1ath

@Smartguy Thanks.  I'm not going to buy an XBOX One.  I'll stick with my Super PS4.

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

"SmartGuy", you could not be more wrong about optimization. Ever witnessed Nvidia optimize their drivers to improve the performance of their GPUs? Of course you have, they do it all the time! Some driver improvements benefit certain specific games and others improve GPU performance overall. If hardware was locked in and had rigidly fixed performance from the start, as you claim, Nvidia and ATI (AMD) would issue one driver with each new GPU and be done with it.

The reality is that these are highly programmable systems that are as dependent on software as on hardware for performance. Driver and game code optimizations can and do make a difference over time. As an owner of a number of Nvidia graphics cards over the years I can tell you authoritatively that I have seen GPU driver revisions frequently result in HUGE gains in performance without adding so much as one additional transistor to the hardware.

You are just wrong.

sixsence
sixsence

@MatthewBryant @sixsence Ya exactly. If all you want is a traditional "game console" that just plays games like the million consoles before it, go ahead and get the ps4. Maybe we shouldn't belittle the xbox one by limiting it to a "gaming console." Oh and you can go ahead and try to reduce the xbox one's features to simply voice controlling a tv guide, that's cool. I wouldn't expect someone who's caught up in resolution and pixels to understand much else or to be a forward thinker.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@rwwarwick1 @sixsence Except that it really doesn't do much more than the PS4, and it plays games considerably worse.  Far be it from me to convince you to change your pre-order, but you can't honestly believe that the Xbox One will revolutionize your living room.  It's marketing crap.  It's a game console.  It plays games and does a couple other things.  Just like the PS4.  They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day their main purpose is to play games.  Remember all of that cool stuff that the Kinect was supposed to do?  Remember how much of it actually came true?  Remember how many people used it for more than a month?  Yeah.  I'm not holding my breath here.  No offense, but until I see something useful come from Kinect I'll hold off on my purchase.  Feel free to follow them to the future.  I don't think they know exactly what that future is right now, but they're full of vague promises without any details.  ^^

sixsence
sixsence

@Smartguy That's great... keep pointing out all the technical reasons why the ps4 "should" look so much better.Both GPU's use exactly the same architecture, and even though the ps4 GPU has more bandwidth, it still matters how you use that bandwidth. And even if the ps4's graphics look better it's a negligible difference to the human eye, and this resolution advantage the ps4 has is only for day one releases. The ps4 can't even hold up to 1080p on some day one releases. The point is, the xbox 360 and ps3 had good graphics, and the xbox one blows both of them out of the water and offers a truly next-gen experience unlike the ps4.

rwwarwick1
rwwarwick1

@Smartguy @sixsence show me your evidence that the xbox one is an "uglier visual experience".  So far we have bf 4 comparisons.....and truth be told, you have to be a total audio/videophile to pick out the differences between the 2.  And the same with CoD comparisons.

So far, BOTH consoles are struggling to meet native 1080p/60fps, admittedly, the XB1 seems to be having a little bit more trouble, but, these are launch games......sheesh....give MS and Sony some time.  I'm sure they both will be spitting out native 1080p/60fps games left and right in no time.

jason61498
jason61498

@YaqootKeyani I will agree that the whole thing is blown out of proportion between the two.  I am switching from the 360 to a ps4 but it is not because of the resolution and all that stuff, but how much different Sony and Microsoft dealt with the end of this generation with their current consoles which really frustrated and was the decisive factor for me.

Sony has been releasing a lot of exclusive solid games this past year leading up to the PS4, and I doubt they are going to stop just because the ps4 is out, where Microsoft.. well haven't really brought anything exciting and new to the table seems for a real long time... If you count Gears of War 4 I guess you can say they had one decent exclusive in a year.  I just feel that MS gave up on the 360, where Sony is constantly pushing more games (new IPs even) on their PS3.

The other deciding factor for me was that the games that the PSplus store is releasing is by far killing whatever gold has sent out.  I was excited when I heard MS was going to start doing it, until every month when they announced a game that is ancient (Halo 3 and assassins creed 2? really?), where Sony has had so many good titles in their list.

So anyways, those are my reasons on switching over.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@YaqootKeyani @JensWeissflog I'd lean toward the console that will have a significant lead in market share next year as a result of One's permanently weaker hardware and the obvious visual differences it is directly responsible for.  That's me.  It also costs less.  (I'd ultimately recommend going PC, but we know that isn't happening.)

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@BrentBlevins @Smartguy One huge red herring fallacy, and Assassin's Creed isn't a RPG.  You're special.  I already have devices that can do everything the Xbox One can do.  I'm buying a game console to play games on.  That's why it's called a game console.  Since the core gamer is by far the most lucrative demographic for console developers I can assure you that Microsoft is concerned with people who "just wanted a game console to play games".  Keep pushing the ridiculous notion that Xbox One can do so much more than PS4 though.  Not only is it absolutely not true with a few pretty minor exceptions, but it's also ridiculous to buy a game console when gaming isn't your primary purpose.  Yes, I'll definitely spend $400 on a device that just plays games.  I love gaming.  Always have, always will.  I have my own life, you have yours.   Don't presume that your life is somehow better than mine.  That just makes you a hypocrite.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@BrentBlevins @Smartguy The only validity presented here would pertain to discussion of your first-party games.  Great...but most games worth playing will be available on both consoles, and the experience will *always* be significantly lesser on a console with 40% less GPU power.  If first-party games comprise 90% of your gaming experience, then great.  I sincerely doubt that that will be the case.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@NathanRnada @Smartguy You definitely can't play it on a netbook anymore.  They've improved the graphic quality of the game twice since it released.  Regardless, if I could play a version of WoW that looked better instead of the ordinary version would I?  Of course.  Your argument is ridiculous.  Not to mention that your first sentence pretends that graphic quality doesn't matter, and that's just nonsense.  Of course it matters.  Smartguy is overgeneralizing.  Graphics aren't the only thing that matters, and there are many different types of gamers in the world.  You can't argue that everyone cares about graphics as much as he does.  That being said, virtually everyone can agree that playing a version of the same game that has better graphics than another version is a good thing.  You're pretending that people don't want better graphics.  That's just illogical garbage.  Of course they do.  Some people want it more than others, but 99% of gamers like better graphics.  It will make a difference for most people when they choose a console.  It might not be enough of a difference for some people, but it will factor into the equation.  Reality exists.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@NathanRnada @Smartguy Let's try this again.  People who play video games want the best experience they can get for the money.  A console with 56% more GPU than the other will make games look *significantly* better than the other, assuming said game is designed to "max out" that console's GPU (believe me, we're already there).  Unfortunately for MSFT, the obvious differences in visual quality between the two consoles will quickly become known, people will begin to question their purchase of a more expensive console for what is obviously a lesser experience, and they'll trade in for the better unit.  It's just that simple.  Watch it fold out over the next six months to a year.

p.s. when I bought my third console, an NES, in 1985 (on its release date, incidentally), I remember thinking "wow...this really does blow away my 7800 visually.  What a difference it makes while playing games."  Nothing changed.  If console gamers understood that their console is a PC (albeit a cheap, inexpensive one), and understood that hardware cannot be modified down the road, and that "optimization" means next to nothing, they simply would not spend more on a significantly weaker console, as they'd know how to identify its obvious weaknesses as I have.  Consider yourself lucky that I've clued you in...now take that knowledge and make the best choice you can.  You're welcome.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@NathanRnada @Smartguy I like those stereotypes.  I game on a 60" 1080p television in my living room.  Using a PC that I built that has 25X the GPU power of XBOX 360.  Using whatever peripheral I want (it ain't a mouse and keyboard).  Believe me when I tell you that there is absolutely no comparison between your console (even your new one) and my PC.  1080p is 1080p.  720p is 720p.  On a 1080p at the appropriate seating distance, 1080p is revelatory in comparison to your (it would seem) resolution.

p.s. the application of stereotypes is your loss, and yours alone...much like denying reality by paying more for a significantly weaker system.  Go to it, and good luck with it.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@MikeMcKee I can't see how your argument matters.  It appears that you're arguing the Xbox One will see an increase in performance and graphic quality over it's life span.  Of course it will.  So will the PS4.  Unless you're honestly arguing that the Xbox One will see a huge increase while the PS4 will see a minimal increase (which there's absolutely no reason to believe) your argument makes no logical sense.  The PS4 will still have better performance and graphic quality in the end unless things change dramatically.  Give me valid logical reasons why the Xbox One will be able to match the PS4 in the future, or just admit that graphics are not the Xbox One's strong suit.

This shouldn't be surprising.  The PS4 DOES have better hardware.  It's not like this should have been a shock to anyone.  We all knew that games would probably look better on the PS4.  I have no idea why everyone is making such a big deal about this.  Just buy the system you want to buy.  The PS4 will have better looking games.  That will probably not change.  The Xbox One might get closer to parity with the PS4 over its life span, but it will probably never match it.  There will probably always be a noticeable difference between the two consoles (more so than this generation).  So if you're okay with that and you love Kinect then go for the Xbox One.  If you aren't then buy a PS4.  Life goes on.  I'm not about to tell Xbox One fans that they shouldn't like their console.  What you need to do is make sure that you aren't telling people that they're wrong for wanting a console that plays better looking games.  Everyone makes their own choice for their own reasons.  This does matter a lot to some people.  Don't downplay it.  Just admit it and tell people why you think the Xbox One is a better purchase.  Enjoy your console of choice.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee So, in essence, then, you're effectively arguing that a "driver" advantage will help overcome the 56% disparity in GPU power.  Unfortunately, both consoles use the same (identical, I believe, save for clock and shader count) GPU (identical brand and architecture), and would therefore utilize the same "drivers."  Goodbye, Mike.

sixsence
sixsence

@MatthewBryant Dude it has a camera on it that can read your heartbeat, has nightvision, can track your skeletal movements with extreme precision, in addition to taking regular video and allowing skype calls, etc. In addition to the control you have voice, gestures, and smart glass with your tablets and phones to use to navigate and play games with. You no longer have to use remotes to turn on your tv and switch inputs, or find movies/channels. If none of this sounds cool to you, then I'm sorry, it's all lost on you. Stop trying to convince everyone else this is nothing special and that just cause xbox's amazing graphics may not be as amazing as the ps4 that $100 isn't worth it. Just stop for christ sake, and enjoy your higher poly-count and less upscaled resolution that u claim to be able to tell the difference in.

BrentBlevins
BrentBlevins

@MatthewBryant @BrentBlevins @Smartguy Let's get something straight here.. an RPG is nothing more than you assuming the role of a character in a fictional Setting. Don't come lecture me about SUB-CLASSES of RPGs. 

I don't know where you have gotten your Information about X1 DLNA, but MS has confirmed to support it at launch. How this may change I don't know, but I trust MS over Sony in regarded feature support in the future.  

In addition, why are you using past examples as a guarantee that you'll get the same amount of exclusives? Why are we not considering Sony's financial status in this decision? Sony more than likely pushed the large amount of exclusives toward the end of the PS3 life cycle to gain sales which really never happened.  Make matters worse, they are probably showing strong Indie support simply for the fact they don't have money to throw at exclusives. Hell, they're electronic division ( gaming, TV, and Camera)  are tanking the company. Until they see a large success with the ps4 I highly doubt I'll see decent Exclusives for the ps4 for quite some time.

MS is more than likely hurting for one thing only. I highly doubt its because of the Kinect or because their multimedia Disposition. You and I both know it's more than likely due to the public's ignorance and believing that the X1 has DRM. Hell, even I wasn't going to order the X1 because of that especially since I didn't know how it functioned.


I also game on my PC(8350/7970) and quite frankly higher settings doesn't do it for me anymore. In the generation of  Pre-Ps1 or PS2/ Xbox Devs were willing to tackle large amounts of single player games that were fun(something I know the majority aren't buying KZ for). Killzone does offer a few new things I admit, but it's nothing to make me awe over. I've played each KZ now. and Minor changes like that aren't going to make me budge. If anything I would like to play KZ to see if this Story Finally ends...  Lastly, Am I the only one finding the fact KZ 2 outselling KZ 3?

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@BrentBlevins @MatthewBryant @Smartguy Do you mean action RPGs?  First off, there's a reason why they're called action RPGs instead of just RPGs.  Second, Assassin's Creed isn't even a action RPG.  You don't level up skills or attributes.  That, right there, makes it fail to qualify to be any type of RPG.  Zelda isn't even a RPG (and I don't think Nintendo has ever given it the name), but it qualifies more than Assassin's Creed.  Assassin's Creed is an action/adventure with elements of stealth.  Games like Baldur's Gate are RPGs.  Games like Skyrim and Diablo are action RPGs.  Games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy are JRPGs.  Game like Assassin's Creed are open world action/adventure titles.

I never listen to music on my PS3.  I have a computer with a decent sound system.  I'll admit that it would be nice if the feature existed, but Sony have made it clear that the feature is likely to be added, just like stripped HDCP for gaming purposes.  Keep in mind that DLNA will not be available on the Xbox One at launch either.  So the only difference we see between the two options at this point in time is that Microsoft have stated that they definitely will add it in instead of Sony saying it's likely.  It'll probably exist on both consoles within a short period of time after launch.  I'm not too worried.

I'm aware how Microsoft advertised the console.  It's probably one of the main reasons why the PS4 is out pre-ordering the Xbox One 2:1 right now.  They can call it anything they'd like, but it's a game console.  That's what it is.  Most people who buy it are interested in playing games before anything else.  Sony is focusing on games.  Microsoft is focusing on everything.  They're trying to get the casual audience before they've hooked the core gamers in.  That's a terrible strategy.  It won't work.  It isn't working.  It doesn't help that Microsoft all but ignored core gamers for the last 3 years either while Sony was still pumping out AAA exclusives.  Microsoft is in a bad position right now and no amount of talking around it will change that.  Xbox One might be a better choice for you, but it isn't for most people.  Poll data, pre-order numbers, and bestseller retail lists all but prove that.  So I hope you're happy with your Xbox One, but arguing that Microsoft isn't hurting because of their multimedia position is most likely untrue.

When did I tell you to jump to PS4?  Sony has great exclusives.  That will obviously continue to happen.  Why shouldn't I buy a console now to enjoy a few games and then enjoy a lot more later?  I still have my PS3.  I can obviously still play it.  I'd rather enjoy AC4 at higher settings.  Infamous Second Son looks amazing and Killzone Shadowfall has me genuinely interested as well.  3 games that I want to play close to the purchase of my console isn't bad at all.  It's far better than it was this generation.

Killzone is the best selling next generation exclusive right now.  It's already sold about half a million copies.  That's pretty decent for a game that hasn't released for a console with a userbase of about 1.5 million.  Killzone is probably going to sell pretty well.  Hate to burst your bubble...  It's open world and has many new features.  It's nothing like Killzones from the past.  Do you even know anything about it?  Besides Killzone 2 sold 3 million copies.  That's a pretty strong seller.  That's better than 90% of games.

BrentBlevins
BrentBlevins

@MatthewBryant @BrentBlevins @Smartguy There are games that classify as RPG that shouldnt.. I'll classify it as an RPG as it's a loosely thrown around Genre. Granted the x1 doesn't do leaps and bound more, BUT nor should it do less than what the ps3/360  could on numerous fronts. No DLNA means a lot to me, but I cant say that for everyone. MS never advertised the console as pure gaming machine, but a multimedia Center. Hence, just like last year why would I want to downgrade? No Mp3 is permissible, but I'm not willing to lose more than that. Also, when did I presume your life was better than Mines? I don't care about you. I never replied to you! In addition, all your rambling, and you never honestly gave a response to jump to PS4. What to play AC? PS3.. That long list of so called release F2P games? PS3 or by god whip out a pc. What KZ? Again, the game was never a strong seller compared to the rest and once a few more FPS titles come it will quickly go back to where it was. 

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

There's a big difference between last generation and this generation.  You can't argue that the Xbox One will do well just because the Xbox 360 did well.  I'm not saying that the Xbox One will completely bomb.  I can see it selling 40 to 50 million in its lifespan.  You need a better argument than how well it predecessor did though.  There's no logic in that argument.

MatthewBryant
MatthewBryant

@BrentBlevins @Smartguy I think you need to look up the definition of better.  Just because the game is or isn't good on either console has nothing to do with the fact that the game will be more enjoyable for most people on the console that has better graphic quality.  This isn't rocket science.  Enough with the red herring fallacies.  Just admit the PS4 has an advantage in that area and move on.  It isn't the only reason to buy a console, and the Xbox One might still be a better choice for you, but you're trying to pretend that better visual quality is completely irrelevant and that's just 100% BS.  Yes, it does matter.  Does it matter less to you than some people?  Sure.  Does it still matter to you?  Whether you're honest with yourself or not, of course it does.  Buy what you want, but stop arguing that people shouldn't care about graphical differences.  Yes, they should.  Some people will care more than others, and that's fine.  You don't get to decide why people enjoy gaming and what parts of gaming they enjoy more than others.  Everyone is different.  Just let people enjoy what they enjoy and get over it.  Graphical differences matter.  Stop downplaying it into irrelevancy.  The only one you're deluding here is yourself.

BrentBlevins
BrentBlevins

@Smartguy @BrentBlevins  Again what do you have to provide proof of a better experience? 1080p at 60 FPS is all fine and dandy, but that isn't going to make a game good. Nor will that make User interface experience any better. I mentioned Apple, because it's well known in the power department they are always underwhelming. Yet, that hasn't stopped their apps from performing notably better on Android(mostly due to  optimization issues),or  from becoming the highest grossing company in the world. The UI and Dev team will determine your experience at the end of the day, and if they have a certain goal to reach they will reach it. Yet, if they are lazy in and incapable of using the hardware they are given (which does happen) then expect a lousy experience. Hell, why am I making this long rant... the 360 was behind last gen Hardly anyone cared.. won't be any different this Gen

BrentBlevins
BrentBlevins

@MatthewBryant @NathanRnada @Smartguy Pretty sure his point is graphics aren't everything and that you don't need 1080p and 60fps to enjoy a game. I think 99% of gamers just want a Fun, Innovative game... But what would I know?! Sales are slacking and the game industry is going strong as always.

Gol1ath
Gol1ath

@Smartguy I understand what you are saying.  If you have 4 legs, those are the 4 legs you could ever use to go faster.  XBOX One is already using it's 4 legs for most of the games, thus cannot run any faster in the future no matter how much tweaking developers tries to do as most games are tweaked and optimized to "perfection".  As for the PS4, it is running with it's 4 legs and has 4 more legs not being used right now, like a spider.  In the future, developers can enable those 4 additional legs and we will be awed at the game we play.

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

I notice you love to place words in my mouth, then when I pin you down on it you attempt to skitter away to another point, using my LATER words that were only used because you brought another issue up.

Let's be specific and deliberate here: You said that I used the phrase "closing the gap" in my original post. Find it or admit that you made a false statement. Then we can move o n to the next point. See how this works?

And you don't get to answer a question with a question, by the way.

Smartguy
Smartguy

...and speaking of "straws," that is what you're clutching at by arguing that "optimization" will someone boost the console's effective GPU power by a factor of two so that resolution can be returned to 1080p. :)

Smartguy
Smartguy

Actually, you began this by disputing what I'd stated.  Are you finished yet?  Ready to start denying and retracting?  I've seen it all before, Mike.

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

Don't know where "O&M" sneaked in. Should have been "dragged."

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee" but there will be a point of diminishing returns that should cause the two consoles to get closer in performance"

I'm waiting.  What did you mean?

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

Are you ready to admit that it was you, not I, that O&M us down this long road regarding "disparity?" You just claimed otherwise, including a false quote. That's delusional.

I know you wanted to argue something else, but my only point until you dragged the conversation elsewhere (and claimed I was the one responsible) was that the XBOX ONE's performance certainly can be I proved through software.

Smartguy
Smartguy

" but there will be a point of diminishing returns that should cause the two consoles to get closer in performance"

Go on, Mike...explain what you meant.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee any other names, Mike?  Or shall we simply continue invalidating your silly arguments one by one?  Let me know.

Smartguy
Smartguy

...and I am saying that you are wrong.  See?  These consoles will not receive "driver upates" down the road that will magically make things better.  It will not happen.  What you see today is what you get, both in terms of potential visual appeal and disparity.  Anything else?

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

Now you're just delusional. That phrase is nowhere in my initial reply to you. Look again.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee "closing the gap."  That is what you stated.  This is wrong.  See ya, Mike.

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

Your characterization of my original argument is still erroneous (strawman). In your original post, you made an absolute statement that the Xbox's performance could not be I proved by optimizing software. I refuted that without referring to the PS4 or any disparity in any way. I was only referring to your assertion about Xbox performance. It was you who put words in my mouth about disparities between the two consoles.

Go back to my initial post to you and show me where I said anything about PS4 or any disparity. Good luck.

Smartguy
Smartguy

The problem here is that "resolution differences" is being used in place of "GPU processing power differences."  It's silly to assume that only resolution will be cut in future games to make up for the vast disparity between the two consoles' GPU power.  Would you agree, Mike?

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee For God's sake.  I mean, really.  It's the same architecture.  One has 50% more shaders than the other.  This will never, ever, be closed by "optimization."  Mike!  Listen, and try to understand.  Pay attention this time:

If "optimization" results in equal gains for both consoles (which it would, since these are effectively the same GPUs minus shader count), why would devs not use the available power on PS4 to make the game look *even better*?  Why would it simply go to waste?  Your comments here are flat-out ludicrous.  There will *always* be a major disparity.  Period.  Your arguments are invalid.  Anything else?

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

By the way, just as a side note: Though both rely on the same APU core, both have certain proprietary architectural features. I don't think we know enough right now to know if these will make a difference, one way or the other, but they may. It will take time for developers to maximize the potential of both systems, but I think it is simplistic to assume that adding up the relative number of GPU components means that there is a fixed 56% advantage for PS4. At least where resolution is concerned, in cases where PS4 outputs today at 1080p there is no further improvement to be had, while if XBOX ONE runs the same game at lower rez, there it at least the potential to run it at or closer to 1080p. Thus reducing or eliminating that specific disparity.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee

Ok, Mike.  Now that we've concluded (for everyone reading) that the gap will never be closed (as you argued against above), we'll move on from that argument.

What you're discussing is something with little to no significance that you'd like us to believe will bring about some sort of revelatory increase in visual fidelity, at some unknown point down the road.  I am saying that this is ridiculous.  See?  What you're talking about are 5-10% gains, here and there.  Further, this argument that you've made *does not apply to consoles*..  There will not be "driver revisions" that are released for these consoles down the road.  It is what it is.  Your argument has zero bearing on console gaming, and thus, it is invalid. 

Mike...again...who told you that only resolution would suffer on One?  Who told you that, because a specific resolution had been met, that that GPU power wouldn't be applied elsewhere?  Please...proceed.

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

I already told you I was not referring to the disparity in performance between the two until you brought it up. Of course there are additional GPU resources in the PS4, the use of which can and probably will be improved through software. But when it comes to resolution, in particular, there is a built-in upper practical limit of 1080p due to the installed base of 1080p (and lower) TVs. To the extent that the XBOX ONE's current resolution limitations can be reduced or eliminated via driver or game code improvements, that discrepancy may indeed be entirely eliminated (though certainly PS4 would be able to apply additional power to other graphical aspects).

Clear enough?

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee Mike, let's try again.  From the beginning.


Both consoles use the same architecture

One has a 56% GPU advantage over the other

You were absolutely arguing that the gap would be closed.  You are wrong.  What can be "optimized" for one will be "optimzed" for the other.  When more GPU power is available for the more powerful console, it won't go unused.  That additonal power will make the game even better (relatively speaking, of course) than it already was.  Again, the disparity will remain.  So, again...why are you spending more money for significantly less power?  ?? :)


Now, to what appears to be your "argument."  What, precisely, will be improved by way of "drivers?"  What do you even mean, here..."patches?"  AMD will not be releasing "driver" updates for these consoles' GPUs.  Magically boosting resolution of "old" games?  This has never happened...ever...in the history of console gaming, to my knowledge.  Consoles will not get "driver updates" that will magically double the resolution of old (or even current) games.  Are you serious?

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

What you did was build what is known in debate as a "strawman", an argument your opponent never made but which you think you can easily refute. You can keep beating that strawman to death if you wish, but my point was only in response to your clear claim that the XBOX ONE cannot be improved, and you are flat wrong about that. Period.

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee Mike, "optimization" is a joke.  It's an excuse that console gamers use to rationalize weak hardware.  As a fellow PC gamer, you know this.  You can talk about "driver optimization" all day, but "disparity" is "disparity.'  It will always remain.

Who at AMD told you that devs will only reduce resolution going foward?  How do we know that the addional power available for PS4 wouldn't cause things like texture quality to be improved?  This is where your argument fails.  The additional power will always be taken advantage of.  See?

Smartguy
Smartguy

@MikeMcKee Mike,you've proven nothing except that you want to make excuses and rationalize.  There will always be precisely the same disparity between the two consoles; what can be "optimzed" on one will be "optimzed" on the other.  It is the same architecture.  You think that this gap will somehow "narrow" thanks to diminishing returns.  That is ridiculous.  These two consoles' GPUs are already maxed out; every bit of additional "optimization" would be a huge help, be it resolution, textures, or anything else.  That is the point of my argument.  What, again, was the point of yours?  That things like double present output with the same hardware will magically be possible in a couple years, thanks to more efficient drivers?  Give me a break.  Anything else, Mike?

MikeMcKee
MikeMcKee

That wasn't my point. You simply said that the XBOX ONE can't be improved because the hardware is already what it is and can't change. You ridiculed optimization as an avenue to improve its performance. My example conclusively proves that you are wrong. Optimization happens all the time with GPU drivers as well as with the game code itself.

Of course the same optimizations can, and probably will be applied to PS4 but there will be a point of diminishing returns that should cause the two consoles to get closer in performance. Let's just use the issue of the day, resolution as an example: If a driver or other code optimization makes it possible for the Xbox to run previously 720p games at 1080p, and a similar optimization is applied to PS4, where is the PS4 to go from there? Do you really think that we will then see PS4 games run at 4K or something? Of course not! They will still run at 1080p as well, but perhaps with more effects or other detail.

You're not thinking this through very well.