“Support for 1080p/60fps for Cinematic Realism” This is what is being said in the official ad for Xbox One. The question here is, will it truly reach this target resolution and frame rate? So far, every sign points to the exact opposite.
The matter of the fact is that the Xbox One has barely any 1080p confirmed resolution games compared to PlayStation 4, where almost every first party game is confirmed 1080p. Why is this happening? More importantly, if Xbox One can’t even reach native 1080p let alone 60 fps, why is Microsoft using this as bullet-point for their ad?
The evidence so far is overwhelming. Digital Foundry even went out of their usual articles to make one exclusively for 900p vs 1080p resolution difference after it was officially confirmed that Xbox One’s exclusive Ryse will run at native 900p.
Is 900p really the sweet spot for display resolution?
Even if Microsoft has the world’s best upscaler, there will be always slight loss of quality. Normal people might have no problem with it but those who pay more attention can find it distracting while PC Gamers, who are used to playing games on their native resolution, can easily spot the difference between a upscaled image and a native image.
Fact of the matter is that current displays are mostly native 1080p these days. If the resolution is a match pixel by pixel, the image will appear far more sharper and detailed on the screen than a upscaled image. It will also result in less jaggies. Hence Sony, who also manufactures TVs, are strongly focusing on 1080p resolution for their games. Microsoft, on the other hand, advertizes this resolution but fails to actually implement them in their games.
Xbox One is losing in the 1080p titles race
Let’s take a look at the resolution of Xbox One games so far (Thanks to GAF user artist for compiling them in one place)
- Killer Instinct = 1280×720 (60fps)
- Ryse: Son of Rome = 1600×900
- Forza 5 = 1920×1080 (60fps)
- Call of Duty: GHOSTS = 1920×1080
- Dead Rising 3 = ??? (30fps)
The only confirmed native 1080p first party game with 60 fps so far is Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One. This is pretty baffling situation for us. More so because of how it is advertized in Microsoft’s official Xbox One ad.
Compare this to PlayStation 4
- The Order: 1886 = 1920×800
- KillZone: Shadow Fall = 1920×1080 (MP=60fps, SP=30fps)
- Infamous: Second Son = 1920×1080
- DriveClub = 1920×1080
- Resogun = 1920×1080
- Knack = 1920×1080
- Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag = 1920×1080
- Thief = 1920×1080
- Blacklight: Retribution = 1920×1080
- Warframe = 1920×1080
- Call of Duty: GHOSTS = 1920×1080
Most titles are confirmed running at native 1080p and this situation doesn’t exactly favor Microsoft. The exception to the rule here is “The Order: 1886”, which won’t be native 1080p but won’t be upscaling the image as well. Which means it will look as sharp and clear as a native 1080p game. Although, there will be black border on the top and bottom, which might be distracting for some users. But the developers themselves have said that they wanted to focus on creating a cinematic like effect and hence their chosen resolution reflects it.
What lies ahead for Xbox One?
After the recent rumors, CBOAT from NeoGAF, who is a insider with ties to Microsoft has confirmed again that Xbox One won’t be able to pull native 1080p for most of its titles and we should expect 900p as the standard for most titles going forward. His latest message clearly said that Forza 5 being 1080p was just exception to the rule and going forward, 720p or 900p resolution will be the norm for Xbox One.
The resolution debacle doesn’t matter for most of the users but it sure gives PlayStation 4 an edge over Xbox One, when it comes to technical discussions on its titles. Considering 720p as the norm for previous generation, seeing someone stick to it on their latest hardware doesn’t really paint a positive picture of the hardware.
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