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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."

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, ps4 game resolution, ps4 games

11/13/2013 11:19:16 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (45 posts)

Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 11:44:26 AM
Reply

There is a difference but it's significance is variable on a wide set of conditions.

When we think of sharp video game images we need to be thinking in terms of a ratio between screen size and pixel density and viewing distance.

On a ~40" HDTV from a viewing distance of about 10' the image will not appear all that different from 720 to 1080. But sit in closer, to like a 5' distance and the difference will be very significant.
This is one reason why PC games played from a office-like desk need to be running at higher-than-console resolutions to be enjoyed properly. Because the ratios change significantly.
On the other end of that spectrum we can observe that a Vita game running at ~480p on a smaller 5" screen, viewed from about 2-3 feet away can look razor sharp. Look at DOA5+ as an example of this. It's only running at sub-HD resolution but it still looks very sharp.

So basically 1080p will always appear better than 720p in most situations, like in color vibrance, but it's significance varies based on playing conditions.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/13/2013 11:47:21 AM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 4:49:39 PM

Yeah and don't forget it makes an even bigger difference when you display 720p on a 1080p tv. All those extra pixels are filled with approximation and blurriness. 1080p tvs have no options to lower their pixel count.

It will be the same or just a bit better when upscaled beforehand by the xbox... Still filling the gaps with blurriness.


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 11/13/2013 4:51:03 PM

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Harerazer
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 11:53:07 AM
Reply

I game on my 73 inch. Trust me, there is a definite difference when you have a big screen. If you're gaming on a 22 inch in your dorm then it probably won't matter but that's something I can't go back to.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:30:11 PM

similarly i'd like a second PS4, some day, for where my PC resides now that it often supports native 1080p. On my computer monitor PS3 games often looked muddy and more dull due to the usually 720p offering which made that setup unattractive. Now it seems like a great solution for an ultimate gaming center.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 11:55:20 AM
Reply

I read that the Ghosts issue concerns the multiplayer stuff. That tells me the problem isn't processing horse power related. The single player campaign will often do more to strain the hardware than a multiplayer session will. Word has it that there's a patch coming to fix this problem.

but really, for the PS4 to be able to produce comparable to XboxOne performance at double the resolution is amazing. THe PS4 smashes the XO in raw graphics processing.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 6:39:37 PM

THe problem is not with the PS4, it is with IW's code. There are reports that they are working on a patch to fix the framerate issue.

COD running at 60fps is a requirement, IW would not have used 1080p if they knew the framerate was going to be compromised.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:59:21 PM

Yeah about that Akuma. COD never ran at the full 60 fps on the PS3. I don't think it did on either console for that matter. But the 360 always had the advantage.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 10:09:56 PM

as it turns out some reports are suggesting the PS4 COD Ghosts campaign is running at 720p internally. A day one patch supposedly will up the native resolution to 1080p. So the verdict is out on how the campaign performs at 1080p. One way or another if the XO was pushing native 1080p in Ghost's case it'd be a slide show.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/13/2013 10:10:15 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:06:16 PM
Reply

Well of course people are going to make excuses for the choosing the lesser quality version, it's a self preservation thing. People would rather make things up than admit they could be wrong.

All I know is I can tell the difference both on resolution and frame rate. I just can, simple as that.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:15:39 PM

We're playing on lesser quality versions anyway since we're on console.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:26:29 PM

Apples and oranges man, being a PC gamer is a choice, console gamers are born.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 8:01:42 PM

Like right now with every 3rd party game on the PS3. They were all inferior, no matter how small the difference, it was still there, mocking us.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:13:54 PM
Reply

This guy is very informative on the subject...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyeYnmad5VM

Along with IGN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1htWT9eWJ_k


I don't really care about graphics on consoles like I used to.

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MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:29:49 PM
Reply

So Killzone and Knack are not getting some good review scores. :(

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:34:40 PM

holds head up high and looks down my nose at you.. "yes, those twitch based games are for the inferior masses. these artistic music and art games like Sound Shapes and Flower are vastly superior experiences only for those who have the intellectual capacity to enjoy them. They're such fine examples of exquisite beauty and simple sophistication"

yah, so if you're one of them types of snob gamer the PS4's launch lineup looks wonderful so have no fear =p

Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/13/2013 12:35:00 PM

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MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:39:02 PM

I mean they are great games but that's the thing "I've been there done that".

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 2:22:07 PM

looks like they are getting ripped for not surprising the hell out of anyone.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 2:33:26 PM

Killzone isn't receiving that bad scores (I'll admit right away that I've only read IGNs review)? But Knack on the other hand... But I never thought the videos from that game looked anything particular either.

IMO it's more surprising with the overly positive reception Flower and Soundshapes are receiving! Especially Flower, being such an old game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 3:10:01 PM

Polygon gave it a 5, ouch.

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MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 3:50:20 PM

I mean from what it looks like Killzone is going to average an 80 or so which is not bad I just hope it averages a 90 on my head lol Other than that that's basically the only game that I will own for the PS4 this year and probably half of next year. Thank god for Netflix lmao

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Akuma07
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 6:41:03 PM

Polygon is clearly favouring the XBox One.

They said the difference between COD versions was non existent and that the Xbox One version looked and ran better.

Considering I have seen video analysis of gameplay footage, with the PS4 the VERY clear winner, and the framerate issue is only minor and is an issue that IW is working on, then yeah, i'd say they are biased.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:01:41 PM

Just checked Metacritic.

Knack is getting the scores that everybody expected honestly. I think even Cerny expected that.

Killzone: SF is receiving mixed reviews, and the variety between them is interesting. The higher reviews are praising it for being different from the FPS pack, and trying new things, breaking away from the previous titles, while the lower reviews are condemning it for being too much like every other FPS, almost calling it a generic FPS. Game critics......
But it has a 74 on Metacritic. Which is the same as COD Ghosts.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:49:26 PM

PS4 CoD Ghosts based from 42 reviews is averaging a 78.
At least keep the platform of the game being compared the same dude man.

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akmdpc
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 12:32:33 PM
Reply

I definitely think it hurts MS to only have games in 720p. The PS4 Ghost framerate issues allows XBOne to make up some ground. I think once developers figure out how to better utilize the ESRam, multiplat games will be much more similar (although it's only 32MB and I'm not technical enough to know if it will make up for the weaker GPU).

At the end of the day, it will be the games that sell these systems and it doesn't help that launch games like Knack are getting poor reviews. I'm sure Dead Rising 3 will review much better, providing more ammo for Xbots to badmouth the PS4.

I truly am surprised at how much Sony's lead has shrunk since E3. I sometimes think MS is paying people to troll every gaming article and post how much better XBOne will be.

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Brighat
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:13:36 PM

Launch games do not make a console. These machines are investments for the future. Of the three Xbox One exclusive retail games, only Forza 5 would be purchased by me if I actually trusted Microsoft. Dead Rising 3 nor Ryse are anything special. Killer Instinct is a money pit. Crimson Dragon could be good.

There are a lot of Microsoft fanboys who have been in denial for years, believing that Microsoft "cares" about them. For years, they could say the Xbox 360 ran games with the Unreal Engine better and had the better online gaming and be correct. Now, they no longer have those advantages and are coming off as foolish little kids who refuse to realize they were taken for a ride but can't shake off their fix.

I'm thankful I'm not one of those people.

I expect Microsoft to end their 360 support very soon; regardless of any claim to the contrary. They shut the Xbox support off really quickly once the 360 arrived. The Xbox fanboys are selling their consoles and moving on up just like how I did with the PS3. They need to justify spending $100 more for a less powerful machine with a camera that most people will not want to use because they don't want others to see their basement furniture.

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Simcoe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:30:58 PM

I'm sure those developers would be able to get more out of their games (higher frame rates or higher resolution) if they just had more time and microsoft had more time to work on better graphic drivers. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those developers asked for more time - to delay a launch title - to get better results. So I think MS had to make a judgment call as to what would "hurt" more "games at 720p" or "delaying games until the spring". Some publishers/developers decided that delaying a game would be better.

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Brighat
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:43:54 PM

I agree, Simcoe. This next generation was rushed out the door. Usually, the successor is announced the year before but the PS4 and Xbox One were announced in the same year as they are being released. Understandably, both machines were in the planning stages for years and were built chiefly by AMD but it seems a bit of a hotshot release. Still, we need these new consoles. The PS3 and 360 are aging consoles that can't handle our new tech any longer. However, they did have to rush the games out. Just the way it has been since the 1980's.

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Simcoe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 9:16:24 PM

I will say the business has changed dramatically since the 90's. No longer could a hardware manufacturer do all this development work on the hardware and software side and make a "game machine" that did one thing and one thing only: play games. Once the machine launched, that was it, aside from some minor hardware refinements, their main goal was to begin work on the next machine. Now game consoles, have evolved into multi-function media and entertainment machines. They do so much more than just play games. So I don't think it's too surprising to see why this last generation has been the longest as development continued long after the consoles released (PS3 and X360). Time will tell how long this generation lasts.

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Brighat
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:03:29 PM
Reply

Not surprising that the trolls all got up early this morning when video game websites announced that the PS4 review embargo had been lifted and the little kids who don't hide their age when they type up their comments are trying to start something over graphics or reviews. Go to IGNorant to see for yourself. Nothing but lame 5 word sentences from these individuals.

I've never really cared about the graphics in games; only if the frame rate is smooth. I've learned that as a PC video gamer. A game with pretty graphics and a steady frame rate still isn't worth buying if the game isn't fun or not up your alley.

I love seeing the Microsoft apologetic try to tell people that having their games displayed in upscaled 1080p is better than a natural 1080p.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 1:19:16 PM
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My friend pre-ordered the PS4 and he has a standard Tv from back in the days and I told him... what's the point of getting the PS4 to see the game in crappy resolution? It's like getting a Nissan GTR with the engine of Prius >_<

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 2:22:17 PM

With some 20-30 inches LCD TV should be cheap nowadays so why won't he?

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 2:37:02 PM

Times are tough when you work a minimum wage job at a supermarket. I'm sure he would if he had more to spend on luxeries.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 6:42:15 PM

The PS4 only supports HDMI, so I hope you're not talking about a CRT TV, as they don't support HDMI.

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sobleck
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 3:00:56 PM
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I've recently been playing Mass Effect 3 on my ps3 and all I keep thinking is I wish this game wasn't so zoomed in.I then go and play it on a pc at 1080p and realised that mass effect was meant to be played in 1080p.

You can see more of the environment, You can make better combat decisions, and I don't feel like the entire screen is being blocked by the main character.

1080p makes a big difference in my opinion

Last edited by sobleck on 11/13/2013 3:03:12 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 3:13:33 PM

The resolution shouldn't change how close the character is to the screen or how much of the environment you can see, check your TV settings and change them from "Zoom" to "Full".

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AcHiLLiA
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 6:05:28 PM
Reply

With 1080p, no difference unless if u have a least a 37" HDTV w/ good contrast ratio, 40" is questionable. I mostly game on my 23" 1080p HDTV and at that size, 1080p is just a gimmick.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 11/13/2013 6:06:46 PM

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Akuma07
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 6:42:41 PM

It really isn't.

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Crabba
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:06:29 PM

That's not true, a 22" monitor is perfectly able to show a big difference between 720p -> 1080p, it's about what distance you sit from the set in that case, the ratio between size/distance.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:02:24 PM
Reply

well yeah each side is always saying that if something from one side is better or worse and that it doesn't matter it the thing is bad or good they just say to the concerned party (xbox fanboys particularly) that like nah the res doesn't matter or sony with these policy changes or they don't matter so much maybe they are a good thing well.

i say yes a better res is better anything between 30 and 60 FPS is good if it goes from 60 to say 55 FPS seriously do u need to complain it's still a great frame rate it play just cause on my laptop at average FPS of around 50FPS and yeah(45-55) it still looks fine i don't know what they are complaining about with frame rate unless it's below say 30 FPS

as for the policies I'm really annoying and angry and sad and hurt they sony would do this 2 or 3 days out from the US launch but i don't like them but i they want to listen to me and my friends taunting and/or laughing at awning noobs as he was saying them not so bad i guess it is unnerving yes end of the world not necessarily. as always

happy gaming =)

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 7:21:39 PM
Reply

I think these issues are less to do with the hardware and more to do with the programing. The Killzone and Knack teams can push great looking games at 1080p with with few framerate issues if any, but COD can't can't push a game that looks half as good at the same resolutions or framerates on one console or another?

Is that a surprise? Since when has the COD franchise been synonymous with quality?

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Simcoe
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 8:37:43 PM

Granted, first and second party titles are only dealing with one platform, whereas games like CoD have to try and use and adapt their engine on many different platforms (I think at least six), all which will have their strengths and weaknesses. So I think with finite resources and time, I don't think it's unreasonable to see these types of differences.

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Crabba
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:08:53 PM

Well it obviously has to do with both. That 50% faster GPU in the PS4 difference isn't just going to fade away...

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 9:29:59 PM
Reply

Indeed it does! Even the 1080p upscaling the Wii U does for Wii games makes a big difference. The native 1080p games on PS3 always looked slick!

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/13/2013 9:33:21 PM

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kraygen
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 11:23:37 PM
Reply

Resolution matters, the more 1080p I see the more 720p annoys me.

It's like saying why did they come out with DVD's, video cassettes in my vcr look just as good.

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monkeypunch
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 7:34:29 PM
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As one who converts high resolution graphics to lower resolution graphics as a job I concur. :)

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