by Paul Tassi

It seems a day can’t go by without some news breaking about which upcoming games will hit 1080p and 60 FPS, and which ones will miss that mark. Developers are constantly coming forward to try and get ahead of these stories so their games don’t launch and their native resolution becomes some kind of scandal, which is what we saw in the early days of the new console war between Xbox One and PS4.

And really, these resolution differences are one of the last major fighting points between the two consoles, now that the two are borderline indistinguishable from one another. Sony fans tout that their system hits the 1080p/60 FPS mark more often than Microsoft’s console, while Xbox fans seem content to shrug and say they don’t care, as it really isn’t a big deal.

But some people care. A Lot. Hence the reason for this post. I thought I’d compile all the recent resolution news in one spot so you can get a handle on which game will run at which resolution and FPS on which consoles. Here we go:


– Bioware says Dragon Age: Inquisition will run at 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One, “maximizing the potential of each system.”

– Ubisoft is targeting 1080p and 30 FPS for Far Cry 4 on PS4. No word on Xbox One yet.

– PES 2015 will run at 1080p/60 FPS on PS4, 720p/60 FPS on Xbox One.

– Mortal Kombat X runs at 1080p/60 FPS, and the implication is that it may hit that mark on both consoles.

– Assassin’s Creed: Unity will run at 900p/30 FPS on both PS4 and Xbox One. Originally Ubisoft said this was to “avoid all the debates and stuff,” but later clarified that they were not purposefully hamstringing the PS4 version to be on par with Xbox One.

Those are some of the more major games where resolution has been in the news, and some big fall titles have not yet addressed the issue like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. If you want to delve into the past, IGN has a great chart showing the native resolution and framerates of a lot of games on the PS4 and Xbox One, along with which system has the advantage. It’s the one you’re guessing.

The question has always been…does any of this really matter?

I’d argue yes, but not for the reasons many think.

The functional difference between 1080p and 900p or even 720p on home consoles is not nearly as noticeable as it is on PC, where you’re sitting two feet away from the screen. Most Xbox One players have probably played many 720p or 900p titles and then popped over to their friends’ to play the same game on PS4, and were probably none the wiser about the resolution difference. Framerate, however, is more noticeable, which is why sacrificing 1080p on occasion for 60 FPS seems worthwhile.

The problem is that even the resolution difference is functionally irrelevant across PS4 and Xbox One, the debate and all these news stories feed into the narrative that the Xbox is underpowered when compared to Sony’s system. Though the power difference is largely negligible, and hardly the difference between say, the Wii U and the PS4, if given two consoles with a practically identical games line-up, many consumers may make their decision based on the idea that yes, the Xbox One is less powerful. And that’s why this all matters, and has mattered from the beginning.

The problem is, the perception is already there, and Mucrosoft working overtime to try and get Xbox One up to the same FPS/resolution standards as Sony is admirable, but probably a lot more work than it’s worth in practice.

It’s not really a functionality problem that affects games in meaningful ways. Rather, consumers simply have expectations that of course new generation consoles would be able to hit 1080p/60 FPS consistently. I mean, TV is moving for 4K for crying out loud, right? Yes, but gaming is in a different place, and if resolution is your primary concern, I suggest you take up PC gaming, as has always been the case. The new console generation hasn’t changed that equation, though that realization has been something of a letdown for fans.

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