Sony On HD Argument: "Yes, Resolution Does Make A Difference"
Yes, there is definitely a difference between 1080p and 720p, and Sony says it's a significant difference in the video game world.
Over the past few weeks, we've heard about high-definition resolution differences between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. Some, like Call of Duty: Ghosts, run in native 1080p on the PS4 while the Xbox One only achieves 1080p via upscaling. Others appear to simply be 1080p on Sony's machine while 720p on Microsoft's.
This has led to plenty of discussion and controversy, as Xbox fans are claiming that none of this really matters, and point to reported frame rate issues on the PS4. Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida attempted to shed some light on this argument during a PS4 review event in New York (as attended by GameSpot). He said he doesn't think any team is "fixated" on 1080p, but it does allow us to be "better gamers."
He cited the PS4 launch title, Killzone: Shadow Fall, which runs in 1080p. When comparing it to Killzone experiences on the PS3, for example (all of which ran at 720p), the differences are obvious. PS4 lead architect and Knack game director Mark Cerny added:
"Resolution does make a difference. One point of confusion is that people say, ‘Oh, you won’t notice the difference because you can’t resolve individual pixels unless you’re very close to the TV set.’ But even if you take a 1080p image and scale it down to 720p, it looks better. That’s called supersampling. It’s a very specific quality graphics technique."
Knack has no option to run in 720p; it runs natively in 1080p. We haven't heard about any frame rate issues with the game just yet, but there have been reports of frame rate drops in Ghosts on the PS4. And that's often the trade-off: Higher resolution, gameplay that isn't quite as smooth. In response to this, Cerny added:
"Every developer is doing a trade-off between framerate and resolution, and they do that based on the game experience they are trying to create. Typically the fighting games and the driving games want to be at 60 because of the twitch aspects of the gameplay, so they’re much more sensitive to framerate. The other genres then, tend to have a bit more freeform. Specifically looking at the launch titles for PlayStation 4, most of them are at 1080p. There are a variety of framerates."
11/13/2013 11:19:16 AM Ben Dutka