Watch Dogs. Infamous: Second Son. Ryse. Killzone. All of them share a similar story. Resolution.

Resolution matters. I won’t act like it doesn’t, but the fact that it’s literally deciding whether or not some gamers will purchase a certain game makes me want to pull my hair out and count the strands of hair that I pull out to see how many are there. That’s the best analogy I could come up with as to how people are treating the resolution debacle online. Obviously, those that don’t pay attention to gaming news will pick up the game, unaware of the controversy surrounding the games and their resolution/framerate.

Since when did this become a deciding factor in what makes you buy a game? Reading through forums all around the internet the past few weeks, including comment threads on NeoGAF, N4G, heck, even here at OnlySP has opened my eyes to just how overblown this issue is. I mean literally, people seem to not be enjoying their games due to the resolution not being what they had hoped. Again, I’m not trying to downplay the issue, but the resolution of a game should not be a deciding factor in whether or not you purchase a game. If you have lost your interest in the game due to its core concepts fine, but when I see comments that insult developers due to the resolution and framerate of a game not being a certain number, that’s where things cross the line.

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It’s OK to be disappointed that a game that you were looking forward to doesn’t meet your expectations specifications wise, but don’t go sending death threats to developers because of it. That’s absolutely ridiculous and needs to stop.

As a comment I read on NeoGAF aptly stated, “gameplay is getting lost in the conversation.” When you look for news stories online, the hottest topic is the resolution of a game. Not the gameplay details, not the storyline, not even the graphical look of the game, just the stinkin numbers. Personally, I feel sorry for anyone that skips over what might be a great game simply because they want to play it in 1080p 60fps. I do agree that with the new technology, those numbers should eventually become a standard, but you mustn’t forget that many of the games that are coming out this year, and maybe even early next year were being developed before the next-gen tech had arrived, as is the case with Watch Dogs.

But, don’t forget what gaming is all about. Are you REALLY going to remember a game like Transistor simply due to the fact that it runs at 1080p and 60fps on PS4? Or are you going to remember it because of the beautiful art, the majestic soundtrack and the deep storyline? More than likely you’ll choose the second option over the first, or at least, if you actually enjoy video games instead of arguing over resolution numbers you will.

ps4-hi-res-infamous-second-son-screenshots-mar1533

Resolution is important, developers need to start coming out and giving out those specs as soon as they have them finalized, and gamers need to go back to what really matters… games. But, as you know, these silly debates will continue, numbers will be important and of course, these debates get you talking about the game which the PR departments love and hate at the same time.

About The Author

Site Owner/PR/Lead News

Owner/Creator of Only Single Player - Nick strives to make OnlySP as professional as possible by hiring only the best of the best writers and keeping the site updated daily. His plan is to turn OnlySP into a game development company that creates games for the single players one day. His current plan is to attend the Business Department of Northwest Missouri State in the Fall of 2013

  • Grifter17

    Preach It, Preacher!!!

  • Resolution is only a bonus

    I’m more concerned as to why Sony keeps lying to us about resolutions and frame rates. If I were to send death threats it would be at Sony and I’m no Xbox fanboy either (my bro has a PS4 and I have a PC). They said Watch Dogs was 1080p at 60 fps but no 900p at 30 fps. For a game that can turn fast paced like Assassin’s Creed the extra 30 fps to make it 60 would have almost made me buy the game for PS4. Sony also promised a 1080p 60 fps for Killzone and we know how that turned out. Shame on Sony. In terms of resolution, as long as it’s above 720p, I’m okay with it because 720p is last gen.

    • Xtreme Derp

      You are spreading lies and an obvious fanboy.

      The Watch Dogs PSN store entry was a mistake by whatever low level marketer wrote it, not deliberate lies. The store page has made mistakes like listing Trials Fusion on PS4 at 720p when it actually runs 1080p. Obvious mistakes like these are usually corrected without notice.

      KZ multiplayer outputs in 1080p without upscaling. KZ devs explain it on their web site. It’s a 1080p native output and uses “temporal reprojection” from past, current, and predicted future frames to fill in half of the lines. So more performance intensive than 1080i, but not as much as 1080p. It’s somewhere in between and not an easy explanation.

  • Fábio Vieira

    1080p/60fps (or 4k/120fps or whatever) will probably be a thing only in the next next-gen consoles. I don’t know about you folks, but I don’t want developers playing safe on the design side for the sake of achieving 1080p/60fps and eye candy. In my biased opinion (since I love systemic games), we need more Watch Dogs and less Ryse: Son of Rome.

    • Hates bad writers.

      Watch Dogs isn’t exactly one of those games. We need more Mass Effect 1, Witcher 3, or Fallout games. The odd Eye candy like Ryse isn’t horrid, but it should be arcade game cheap. Gameplay needs to start taking the lead. When your selling point is that your game isn’t good enough to outweigh the importance of 1080p/60FPS, chances are the game is bad. You should lead with “our game is fun”, not this nonsense. I’ll agree to a degree, these machines can’t handle 1080p this generation, they’re far weaker than expected.

      • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

        There’s so many varying opinions on Ryse’s combat, I’m probably going to do a piece on that sooner or later. But in all honesty, coming off the combat from that game, it literally ruined the combat in Assassin’s Creed for me. QTE or not, Ryse’s combat, especially on Legendary took some skill to master, and if you turn off the button prompts it’s a whole other experience.

        Not to say that there aren’t improvements to be made there, but that combat system is going to turn into something really good once Crytek expands on it more, adding more dynamism to the combat and more contextual combo attacks over flashy QTE’s.

        • Hates bad writers.

          I’m willing to try it when it’s on sale, if people can bash it for combat while giving AC a good score, I’m in. AC is press Y to win, is it even possible to lose? Yet Ryse got a bad score for a slightly less easy style of combat, that makes me wonder. Then again, I’m just curious if Crytek is capable of making a good game again. I’m sure they’ll toss it on sale once they do some more sales on the One. $25 sounds about right for me.

  • Xtreme Derp

    Multiplatform games are basically the same game except they perform differently. People are going to focus on those differences. The sales numbers make it obvious what most console gamers want.

    Both PS4 and Xbox will have good exclusive games, high end PCs are best for multiplatform games if you have the time, money, and effort to build and maintain one.

    • jent

      1st paragraph ends with a blatant plug for your preferred console.

      2nd paragraph is actually reasonable.

      You are improving Derp! Keep it up.

      • Xtreme Derp

        Stating sales facts is not “a plug”.

  • AWT42

    It’s fine to be disappointed about this sort of thing but not buying a game you were otherwise interested in because of it is just ridiculous. Framerate does matter though but I doubt games like Watch Dogs will be a PS3 Skyrim lag style disaster.

    Watch Dogs might not be 1080p on PS4 & Xbox One but this situation is nothing like that. I do agree that 1080p should ideally be standard on PS4 and Xbox One. We had 720p the last time already.

  • Wookie

    Of course it’s a silly debate when you don’t have a proper high end system. At 125″ resolution matters. Being a PC gamer with both an PS4 and Xbox One I can definitively say that the PC and PS4 have never let me down. Resolution of next gen games has become an issue more so this generation because the Xbox One’s inability to keep up with todays standard level of graphics has made resolution a serious topic among gamers that care about the quality of their games not just simply how fun they are.

    If resolution doesn’t matter why bother buying a new console when even smart devices and media streamers are capable of 1080p graphics.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      As I said in the article, the quality of games matter. And your last statement isn’t really viable on why you would buy a new console. Most console gamers don’t buy it for the specifications, they buy a new console because that’s where the games will be. Ryse running at 900p doesn’t make it less of a game simply because of that.

      And the resolution of the Xbox One has really only been a talking point for PS4 players to nag people about on forums and other websites. Sure, there’s Xbox One owners who are questioning why they’re getting lower quality games in terms of specifications, but when you look around, a lot of the time it’s other platform holders shoving it down their throats that their console is less, like it actually matters.

      People will enjoy games no matter what, resolution or not. The fact that some people are simply pissing up on games due to a lower resolution is what’s baffling me.

      • Wookie

        Nothing wrong with defending your article, I get that. Still glossed over the fact that for people with high end 1080p displays, 125″ myself, resolution matters and effects my buying decisions. Nagging points are purely expressions of dissapointment.

    • Tyler Carraway

      I have never played a fun game on a smart device. Except for maybe when my family all got together and tried to play the same game of Bejeweled on an iPad…at the same time. That was fun.

      The only time I have EVER even noticed framerate was when I was trying to play games on a PC – and that’s not in a good way. There’s not a single game I own where I actually know the “number” for the resolution.

      The reason people would buy new systems would be to play new games. There’s plenty of new games coming out that I will enjoy playing. But resolution isn’t a thing that I’m even going to pay attention to when I’m figuring out what I want to play.
      Not when there’s so many great games from the past that would still be fun to play and discover, too. Resolution just doesn’t even begin to matter as a selling point.

    • Wookie

      Ignorance is bliss as they say. As one that has several options in which to game I will always choose the better of the bunch instead of the lowest common denominator which typically ends up being the Xbox One. That’s why I have them all so I don’t have to compromise my gaming experience.

  • Literary Gamer

    It’s just another byproduct of the “console wars” nonsense. The PS4 and Xbox One are so similar to each other that they’re nearly the same machine. Comparing the two is not like comparing apples to oranges, it’s more like comparing red apples to green apples.

    Fanboys needed something to argue over, though, and they didn’t need much of an excuse to take something, no matter how small a detail, and blow it WAY out of proportion so that they could have something to fight over. This “resolution” nonsense is only a thing now because people are zooming in on that in their console arguments, since there’s not much else they CAN argue over. It’s not about the resolution at all. It’s just another means through which fanboys can whip it out and see whose is bigger.

    To put it another way: a film enthusiast might have a lot to say about the technical aspects of a film (such as the lighting, camera work, and computer effects), but the average Joe who walks into a theater just wants to see a good movie.

    As much as some people make a huge deal about resolutions, the fact of the matter is that nobody cares except them. The internet echo chamber effect may make it seem as if every gamer on the planet is engaged in this “debate”, but the truth is, this kind of nonsense is only engaged in by a minority of people. This kind of stuff may matter to them, but their views have little influence over the industry as a whole.

    This kind of stuff is not what determines a console’s success. Case in point: there has never been a single console generation where the machine with the most power ended up becoming the dominant system for that generation. Seriously, look it up. It has been proven, time and again, that system specs don’t sell consoles; good games do. As much as some people argue specs and numbers until they’re blue in the face, the fact remains that your average gamer just wants to be entertained.

    TL;DR: What you’re seeing is just the vocal minority. They’re a relatively small group of people who are bickering about a topic that nobody but them cares about.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      I’d say the same thing about having little influence, but then again, advertisements are using those numbers, the developers have seen how much cruddy discussions resolve around it, so I think it might have just a little bit more influence than one would think. Then again, different perceptions and as someone who covers this stuff daily, and has to look for news it’s a little more apparent I would assume. Unless you manage to spend more time sitting at a desk than me lol ;)

  • Kamille

    I won’t buy a game on a certain platform if it performs inferior to another one because I have both consoles.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      Which makes perfect sense over not buying the game at all because it’s not 1080p :)

    • Dangerousjo 1985

      That’s the best and most smart move when one owns both console’s.. Now if a person only owns one console whichever one that maybe.. Then you get that game for that console only simple.. because at the end of the day none of the games that have came out so far on ps4 is that much better then what’s on xb1..

  • DLConspiracy//

    I wish that some developer would have a resolution test much like the Pepsi challenge and see if people actually knew the difference. All that these resolution people are doing is saying that PC is the best place to play games. Pretty sure I can enjoy the game on all platforms. It definitely doesn’t need to be the title of the games headline on EVERY article.

    • Hates bad writers.

      Killzone multiplayer, and Call of Duty already did this for a large chunk of people on the PS4, clearly a lot of them don’t know, if not a vast majority (as nobody brought it up before who? Digital Foundry figured it out?). And over on the Xbox I bet people have no idea that Forza is in 1080p while other games are in 900p or lower. Most people on these systems don’t even come on these websites to comment, just goes to show they don’t care, they just want a game to play. What I find horrifying is that people think 1080p should be the standard. That’s a lot of resources being taken away when things like character models, textures, lighting, gameplay is far more important, as these are objectively more noticeable.

      I would like that challenge though, I’m sure someone will do it soon enough. Great idea.

  • PC Elitist

    The amount of BS peasants need to deal on a daily basis , gotta give ‘em some credit. Life ain’t easy as a filthy peasant.

  • Hates bad writers.

    People will do this, it’s sad, but as soon as a monolith game comes out (like Elder Scrolls, Fallout. You know, big multiplat titles) and they’re in 720p to make up for resources being hogged, well look at that, all of the sudden 720p isn’t so bad. Even 900p isn’t so bad. People just want a reason to not like a different console, that’s all it is. If you’re a gamer, you’ll play games, and you’ll grab the multiplat for the system where your friends are.

    • Not_true

      PS4 is more powerful and has more 1080p 60 fps games.

  • Sheldon Prescott

    I never understood it either, but “resolutiongate” is a HOT-TOPIC among the Sony camp. I’ve seen them bring this up every time a game isn’t 1080p. Especially if ps4 does it, but X1 doesn’t. I asked them, name a game on both systems that looks WAY better on ps4 than X1. I got no response. BTW, pre-ordered Watch Dogs today.

    • Not_true

      Any Naughty Dog or top Sony 1st party game will look significantly better than Xbox One games.

      Just like The Last of Us took the crown last gen.

      PS4 is selling on price/performance, the best visuals on console multiplats, better PR, and the promise of Sony 1st party games (Naughty Dog, GoW, Gran Turismo, etc).

      PS4 being more powerful yet less expensive is part of the reason it’s selling so well to the early hardcore crowd.

  • Robert Mcdaniel

    I have to agree, the death threats GOT to Stop, it’s only going to hurt us gamers as a Whole!!! From what I can tell it’s the Want To Be Gamers that’s doing all this, they Never played the 8 bit days, if they did they would love games of today no matter what, I don’t care bout the looks I want the game play to be awesome!!!! Cause I did come from the 8 bit day n know how far games has came…
    I think if someone sends a death threat they should be Banned from online for Life!???

  • Dennis Crosby

    Resolution never mattered until mainstream media tried to make it a big deal over my 21 years of gaming I have never seen this. Mainstream media uses it as a way to get web page hits if you haven’t notice the first thing a website does when they do a interview is “what is the resolution?” then the title of said article is always the ps4 does ( ) resolution Xbox one does ( ) fanboys go running wild in the comment section argument and people trolling hard all over a number which doesn’t determine weather a game will have high res textures, smooth frame, or even if the game itself is enjoyable

  • Nick Bäsler Spires

    I don’t have a problem with resolution, but I do have a problem with false advertising. The number of devs that have claimed their game runs at 1080/60 and in the end it turns out the game does not is overwhelming, and I’m surprised anyone believes it anymore. Especially when the devs know full well how the game actually runs considering they made the damn thing and are constantly playing it before release.

    If your game runs at 900/30, just say that instead of lying about it because that’s where distrust and claims of graphical downgrade and such come from.

  • Gam3r

    just like to point out the fact that the only people who are complaining are Xbox fans considering PS4 has met the 1080P mark 90% of the time.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      Not true at all. When PS4 players heard the game was only going to run 900p they were angry too.

  • Thaek

    No. But I was a die hard XBox 360 user. (only played exclusives on PS3). Thanks to the under-powered XBONE I’m now playing all my games on PS4 (except for X1 exclusives). I think most of the hardcore console gamers are doing the very same. So a lot of lost revenue for Microsoft.

  • benbenkr

    People are having the wrong idea.

    The reason why resolution has became such a big thing is because publishers and devs don’t come clean when they are being interviewed. A producer would say one thing, but then the lead (insert position) would say another, then the director would say another.

    When people around gather enough proof to show they are a sack of lying shits, they deny it and do damage control in a way that baffles many.

    Trolls jump on the bandwagon in shooting any game that doesn’t suddenly look good otherwise. Then a truckload of smartasses who thinks they know the in and outs of development suddenly came and preach to everyone about “technical terms” and what goes on behind the scenes.

    So no, resolution as its own wasn’t the major issue at first. It was the publishers and devs who brought this on themselves. Everyone else follows after that.

    • http://www.onlysp.com/ Nick Calandra

      Yup – “Resolution is important, developers need to start coming out and giving out those specs as soon as they have them finalized, “

  • doom guy

    If someone doesn’t want to buy a game because it’s not 1080p [however dumb that is] it’s his/her choice. We have no right to tell them what they should do or not do with their time or money. But sending death threats, insulting the developers, that’s crossing the line.

  • Jerry Curlan

    This whole resolutiongate thing is clearly only something the kids are getting upset about. I have a whole stack of games next to my TV, and I have no idea what resolution any of them are, and I could care less. When you’ve played games since Space Invaders, and on most of the consoles ever released, you get some perspective on what’s important – and it isn’t resolution that makes a good game.

  • Alex Fischer

    it honestly wouldnt matter to me if i had a smaller TV… but i am using it on the 50in and it kind of stands out and makes me go ‘this is next gen..?’

  • Mr.Pink Bullets

    Yes. Resolution matters. However, if you don’t have the equipment or gaming setup to take advantage of resolution, then it doesn’t matter. For example, a large part of this argument stems from the fact that many non-PC gamers have never seen a game in 1080p at 60 FPS up close. I’ve been playing games since 1985 and up until 2013, I always played them in my living room on a tv because that is what I was trained to do. Hell, I didn’t even upgrade from a SDTV to a HDTV until Mass Effect 2 came out on Xbox 360 and I got frustrated because I couldn’t read the text on my SDTV! This began a cycle where I began to experiment with different types of HDTVs. I started with the cheapest Plasma I could find – a 47″ inch 720p Plasma from Panasonic. I got in on clearance sale back in 2011! I took it back the next day after learning why it was on clearance – it sucked balls! I later brought home a 47″ inch 1080p LCD from Samsung. I am proud to say I kept that tv up until three months when I changed states. That thing was a bitch to move around! But in 2012, my life changed forever when I read an article online about using computer monitors to play FPS. The concept seemed so strange to me but I decided to give it a try with a 19 inch monitor I had at the time. From the moment I plugged it in, the difference was immediately noticeable! I could see all types of details and nuances that I never saw on larger screens before! In COD, it immediately helped me gain an advantage because I could see player movements much easier than before. I bought a PC over labor day weekend 2013 and upgraded the video card and my monitor. It was a hefty purchase! I will not lie about that! But as a result, I now have a gaming appartus that can play games in full 1080p @ 60 FPS and the proper equipment to display it. I know I said a lot, but I think this is the problem right now. Most gamers have been “trained” to play games at far away distances – just enough where they can see something on screen and react to it. At the same time, they have no idea that they are missing a good portion of what they are seeing, especially if they still have a 720p television! For someone like myself, I had to change to way I think about gaming, and as a result, I want the most bang for my buck! I payed all of this money for expensive equipment, and as a result, I am going to buy a game on the platform that does the best job of displaying it. Call me a purist, or an enthusiast, but I want every detail. I compare it someone with the money to buy a Ferrari coming home with a Ford Focus. Now, don’t get me wrong…a Ford Focus is not a bad car (especially the 2013/14 models), but it is not the same. To conclude, if you don’t have the equipment to get the most out of 1080p, resolution doesn’t make that much of a difference. You won’t be able to see all of the details that exist in 1080p on a 720p television. If you are using a television, you are not seeing all the details you can see on a computer monitor. If the entire world used monitors for gaming, resolution wouldn’t be a question. A game in 720p looks like garbage on my setup. It is simply unacceptable when I know more is out there. Most other gamers in the world don’t know they have the right to demand better. Needless to say, the Xbox One is a huge disappointment for me – it broke my affiliation with Xbox products as I was a proud 360 and original Xbox owner. As a PS4 owner now, I’m in shock Ubisoft couldn’t pull out 1080p on Watchdogs. But, it makes me wonder if this is an issue with the console itself or the developer? I’m not sure. But, I don’t think developers need to be threatened. That is not the answer. If anything, gamers need to educate themselves more effectively about what they what and think about the ways they spend their money.

    • Nickolaidas

      I agree. I also don’t play half a room away, and as a result, I’m more susceptible to lack of anti-aliasing and blurry visuals. I haven’t yet seen a PS4 or X-Box One on my TV, and I’m really anxious to see how they perform.

  • Can’t b rsed

    Resolution matters in this day and age because the vast majority of homes have 1080p tv.

    Common sense should have dictated that the latest games consoles would have this display requirement as standard. I enjoy gaming and the gameplay should be the
    deciding factor on purchase. Unfortunately though I feel, as many do, dissapointed in the poor graphical fidelity of the next gen titles.

    The mind really does boggle that the latest consoles are actually geard towards old tv technology, of course gameplay matters but we are not back in the pac man days where the hardware was not capable of the visuals of today.

    I say shout loud and vote with your wallet wait till the price drops to play this sub par graphical experience, you will still get to enjoy the game, just at last gen prices.

    Gamers have the right to demand better quality

  • Anarky

    Agreed. It’s silly that some people’s deciding factor isn’t the gameplay, story or even the graphical look of the game, but whether it’s 1080p 60fps.

  • Nickolaidas

    Yes, resolution matters.
    When I bought my first 720p LCD TV (it cost about 1500 Euro) and saw how utterly horrible every PS2, Gamecube and X-BOX game were on it, I wanted to cry. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to throw away my TV or my consoles. After a week, I forced myself to switch TVs and get my old CRT once more, while my father shook his head at how easily I basically threw my money.
    Then came the PS3 / X360 gen. X360 games looked just fine on a new Sony 1080p HDTV I bought, which finally reassured me that HD was in my room, and it was good to the eye. Of course, it wasn’t 1080p, but thanks to the decent AA the X360 had, I wouldn’t experience aliasing except on games which stretched the console’s hardware (I’m looking at you, Halo 3).
    Then I saw some PS3 games, and once more I felt the ground threatening to swallow me whole. Most titles running at 720p. Most titles without even the BAREST Anti-Aliasing possible. Have you seen War For Cybertron on a PS3? Not a pretty sight.
    So once more, I choked it up, and patiently waited for the next console gen to experience true 1080p with solid AA. Once more I had to endure not getting my money’s worth in terms of 1080p visuals. Once more I had to refrain myself from choking my older brother every time he would gloat about his PC specs and visuals and mock how utterly horrible every PS3 game not made by Naughty Dog or Santa Monica looked. Or maybe even Capcom. I waited. I bid my time.
    Then the next gen came. PS4. X-Box One. This time I was sure. This time I would get the visuals I so much craved. This time my consoles would rival a PC in visuals and only lose in framerate (most of the time, anyway). But most of all, I would finally see this sharpness, this diamond like edges on my favourite console games and I would finally feel I got my money’s worth.
    Then I began to read articles. ‘X Game on 900p’. ‘Y game on 720p’. ‘X-Box One cannot handle 1080p on most games’.
    And I was like, what the fuck. Will I never see PC-quality visuals on a console before I’m 40? Do we really have to reach PS5 to consider 1080p a given (and then 4K will be all over the place)?
    So yeah, man. Resolution matters. When you play War for Cybertron on the PS3 and you can’t make out anything which is positioned farther than 5 feet from your character (because the aliasing transforms – no pun intended – everything to a distrorted, blurry piece of scrap, resolution matters. When 720p/30fps prevent the last of us from being a visual masterpiece, resolution matters. When I play Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 and the characters polygon edges look like staircases, resolution matters.