No Offense: Console Gamers Should Care About Graphics

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No Offense: Console Gamers Should Care About Graphics

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now less than a week away form the beginning of the next generation of console gaming. The PS4 shall arrive on shelves this Friday, November 15th, with the Xbox ONE following close behind on the 22nd.

With next generation consoles looming on the horizon, it’s about time we had an honest discussion about next generation graphics, and the differences seen between the PS4, Xbox ONE, and PC.

In a recent interview with IGN, Mark Rubin, executive producer of Infinity Ward, explained that Call of Duty: Ghosts runs natively at 1080p and 60 frames per second on the PS4. Whereas the Xbox ONE version of the game runs at 60fps and 720p upscaled to 1080p. So what exactly does this mean? It means that even though we are transitioning into a world that PC gamers have known for the past few years, we are still doing it wrong.

Mark Rubin, Executive Producer of Infinity Ward

Mark Rubin, Executive Producer of Infinity Ward

Apparently a similar problem was detected in the recently released Battlefield 4, but with Xbox ONE footage still under embargo it’s difficult to tell whether it’s true or not. But that is really neither here nor there, the bigger issue is what the discrepancy between 720p and 1080p and subsequently the Xbox ONE and PS4.

Right now, if one person owned both next gen consoles, and owned both versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts, there would be a visual difference between the games. Upscaling 720p to 1080p doesn’t really sound like that big a deal really, and admittedly it isn’t really. But, in the interest in trying to move the video game industry as a whole forward, something like this needs to be addressed.

Although I should have prefaced this issue with my own feelings about this “controversy” I’ll insert them in here now. I don’t have any strong feelings this way or that about the consoles, I will be buying both a PS4 and a Xbox ONE. I am simply a gamer who, shockingly, loves video games. I intend to play games that are exclusive to both systems, and as semantics would prove, exclusive entails that I would need the specific system to play said exclusive games. Finding out that some games might be of slightly lower quality is very disappointing. I admit that playing games on PC has left me slightly spoiled, and as a result I hold the graphical quality of games to a standard that console games have yet to really match. And though I’ve been disenchanted with the notion that console games may never be on even ground with PCs, I still believe that console video games should be held to a similar standard across all systems.

That's right, hide your shame!

That’s right, hide your shame!

In any case, Xbox ONE gamers will not actually get a next gen experience when playing Ghosts. Though the game will play perfectly well, it’s just not up to snuff graphically compared to the PS4 version. But before PS4 fanboys can begin bragging, you should know, Ghosts isn’t optimized for the PS4 all that well, it suffers from frequent frame rate drops when things on screen get hectic. Whereas the Xbox ONE version does not appear to have the same sort of problem.

Now before this turns into a “why CoD: Ghosts is the worst CoD”, I’ll leave you all with this to ponder. Since we’re moving into a new generation of consoles, are we immune to terrible launch titles? Should we really be expecting these launch titles to be as good as last generations games were at their peak? Is it really fair to judge these consoles over a few missteps at the beginning of their life cycles?

If you can see the theme in these questions, then you might know how I feel about said questions. And although I would like to jump into the utter stupidity of developers making bad ports of multi-platform games, I’ll leave that for a later discussion. But anyway, console gamers, you should care about next generation graphics if you’re going to get a next gen system. Because otherwise, you’re just being ridiculous. No offense.