Microsoft on Xbox One: 1080p Isn't Some "Mythical, Perfect Resolution"

Xbox boss Phil Spencer says frame rate is "significantly more important" to gameplay than resolution.

Getting Xbox One games to run at the same resolution as PlayStation 4 games is important to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, but it's not the only thing that matters. Speaking with CVG, Spencer said frame rate can often be more important to gameplay. He also mentioned that Microsoft works closely with development partners and is always looking to evolve development tools for better results. In fact, Spencer confirmed that Bungie's ambitious upcoming shooter Destiny will run in 1080p on Xbox One, just like the PS4 version.

"Reaching parity with our partners has been important," Spencer said. "But in the end I don't want it to be about a number, because 1080p isn't some mythical, perfect resolution. Frame rate to me is significantly more important to gameplay than resolution and the mix of those two which brings the right art style and freedom, whether it's on PlayStation or our platform."

Spencer went on to say that every game is different, and ideal resolution will vary by title. He praised the "filmic" look of Sony's PS4 game The Order: 1886, and said he wants to give developers the best tools to make games. But he doesn't want to dictate resolution or frame rate.

"Clearly some genres like with racing sims like Forza, hitting 1080p/60fps is important," he added. "So there are certain genres where there's an expectation, but there are also other genres where I'd rather use the cycles to put more effects on screen or better lighting. I've got to put the tools in the hands of developers."

Finally, Spencer said he thinks the entire debate around 1080p and Xbox One is dying down of late. The question CVG asked him about resolution was the first he had received on the subject in "months," he said. "I always take how many times I get asked something as to how interesting it is to your readers," he said.

In June, Microsoft released a new Xbox One SDK that boosts console GPU power, and since then, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed that Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will run in 1080p (after a day-one patch). Last month, a Microsoft marketing executive acknowledged that the widely held belief that the PS4 is a more powerful console than the Xbox One is a challenge that Microsoft needs to overcome.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

1587 comments
troller83
troller83

Yep... he is totaly right why not go to 320x240 at 2000 fps ?

moesuir
moesuir

Just keep showing incredible 8 minute demos like Quantum Break, and hopefully a Crackdown demo soon :) ........and people will get the message that "games" matter most, not just hardware.

jammdawg71
jammdawg71

Frame rate matters more to me than 1080P, i hate when a game stutters and stops or feels less responsive Xbox should pursue and advertise frame rate its all that really matters on a FPS or racing game the original Wii outsold Microsoft and Sony and it wasn't the graphics it was the games and the game play i think when you get hung up on pixels you lose what is most important " is this a fun game or not?" should really be the question you should ask and if it is fun which games runs at a rock solid 60 frames per second

skiggy34
skiggy34

I own both next gen consoles and always have owned both xbox and playstation consoles.  The one thing I have to say about Xbox One is right now the executives consider it to be the "under dog" in the console war.  I'm fine with that as personally I like xbox exclusives better than sony but it means MS is going to do whatever they can to kill it this gen and I believe its going to come in the form of games...  MS has money to burn on xbox and this gen they will. 

RevLux
RevLux

I agree that 1080p isn't a requirement for a game to be great and that frame rate can be much more important depending on the title. That said, comments like this don't really help the situation imo. Just like the "you can't even tell the difference" remarks. The best form of damage control, as far as I'm concerned, is to put out lots of incredible games. I'm hopeful that Sunset Overdrive will be one of many such games coming out for each of the main gaming platforms.



ohara1974
ohara1974

A powerful GPU and fast memory should have been the starting line.....the kinect is the albtross that destroyed the Xbox brand.....Frame rates are important.....but something else is just as important "perception" perception in the competitive market place, is an extremely important factor....

sometimes perception is not reality. In the case of the console wars perception is reality.....

perception being, the PS4 is a more powerful capable console compared to the xbox one at the same price......

sony came out with the more powerful hardware to compete.... xbox needs the best, must have exclusives to compete....

after E3 and gamescon the xbox one still has nothing to offer as far as games and capability goes.....and that is an extremely bad position to be in this holiday shopping season.....PS4 still has the "we are the most powerful console" (same price) Xbox one we have "TV and snap"

I own both systems.....the xbox needs some AAA exclusives ASAP and PS4 just needs more games.....

Boondha
Boondha

I dont think that PS4 being more powerful is a widely held belief. It is more or less so, technically.

Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

Spencer is right that 1080p doesn't define a game; however, he is also deflecting the fact that Xbox One probably lacks the power to run most games in 1080p. In fact, I'll settle for a lower resolution if I'm getting 60 FPS.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

now shall rise the 1080p 30fps vs 900p 60fps debate. I kinda prefer the second one

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

Graphics dont matter. I got PS4 for the games i love not because its 1080p. Xbox never appealed to me so therefor i never owned any of them.

btbrotherton
btbrotherton

I have a 1080 monitor and a 720 TV hooked up to my PC and some games actually look better on the TV. Sometimes 1080 is too crisp.

9cyph
9cyph

Not that it doesn't mean anything but this whole 1080p thing has been completely over-rated.  We are focusing completely on the wrong thing.  Videos have shown games side by side of Xbox360, Xbox One, PS3 & PS4 games, and there has only been a slight jump on many of them.  So the main thing that matters is things like framerate.  IMO we started going down this wrong route with companies like Apple where its all about numbers and image.  For example, it was one thing when phones were really large.  But after a certain point a thin phone is a thin phone.  So if the phone is .3mm thin, and someone else argues that their phone is .2999mm thin, does it really matter?  Same thing when the phone gets so light that its 1.2 ounces in weight and another phone comes out that is 1.19 ounces in weight.  Is it THAT much of a difference?  Did you even know the difference?  A perfect example of this is how Sony ended up getting sued for the last Killzone game to not even really be 1080p.  People didn't even noticed till someone actually checked and told them.


What would matter more would be a phone that had more memory to hold more of my music, apps, & games.  What would matter more would be if the phone had longer battery life.  These are tangible things that make a noticeable difference.


IMO what matters most with these new systems would have been exclusives and features.  With Xbox One having Kinect there are a LOT of features Microsoft could have focused on that were NOT available on the PS4.  Instead, they have all but abandoned there only true advantage and now only have a system slightly less powerful than the PS4 where people can only focus on the fact that theirs games don't hit 1080p as much as their PS4 counterpart.

johnlewis107
johnlewis107

Maybe if the Xbox One had some interesting games, we would be talking about them instead of minor technical details. :)

jc3bull
jc3bull

Basically he's stating that the XBOX ONE can't handle 1080p at a high frame rater with a lot of special effects. That's all he had to say to begin with.

jtb_pred
jtb_pred

example ryse won the best looking game of 2014 so far.

tod_bently
tod_bently

Funny how Gamespot posted an article about a month ago stating that game developers were having difficulty with some games on the xbox one but not with the ps4. The biggest problem being the xbox one's inability keep up 1080p. But your right Phil... not a problem at all. 

tr4newreck
tr4newreck

lol its funny watching MS downplay the stuff they used to boast about in the last generation....


mmm...humble pie

godfather830
godfather830

He's right. The difference between 900p and 1080p for example is very negligible and imperceptible to 99% of people. It's nothing like the leap from 480p to 720p.


But still, they screwed up big time by letting their console be slower. Whether it matters or not, Sony has been extremely successful at playing this 1080p business to sell its console. So.. even if it doesn't matter, it actually matters.

Sjalasvalten
Sjalasvalten

Since the massive buying public seems to think that aesthetics are more important than game play, immersion or control, this article reeks of the state of modern gaming.  Go play the original System Shock and tell me how much graphics matter.

xboxalwayswin
xboxalwayswin

Games Looks great on both the ps4 and xbox one. And honestly you can't tell the difference unless you have a good eye and pay attention closely. Its not like the ps4 graphics are way better than the xbox ones.  Xbox one and Ps4 games look pretty much the same. And Slightly Better graphics shouldn't be the reason for buying a console. You should look into the features, exclusive games, multiplayer community, and the future of the consoles to determine which console is best for you.

ReadingRainbow4
ReadingRainbow4

Why can't you get the framerate right then either Microsoft?

pnw_206
pnw_206

If Graphics and resolution are the reason you play/buy a game, you are missing the point. I would bet a million dollars that if you put two screens side by side of the same game on both systems and played it at game speed, none of you complainers would be able to tell the difference or be able to say which was which. This stupid propaganda website click mongering these sites do by posting a single frame side by side is stupid and you're all sheep. Baahhhhhh. 


For the recored, because some dummy here will call me an Xbox apologist, I own both systems and I don't give two craps about pixel counting on either one. I play games that are fun. End of story. 

coolguyhero
coolguyhero

If Bungie pulled 1080p on xbox1 then it is proved that 3rd party developers are not using ps4 power fully otherwise xbox1 will be staying behind in the competition.check all ps4 first party games you will see the differnce.

m0nk3ysp4nk
m0nk3ysp4nk

Is anyone arguing that you would prefer a lower refresh rate to anything?  I'm eating lunch right now.  That's like me saying i prefer the pointy end of my fork to the handle.  That's like saying i prefer cold AC in my car to the horn.  When journalists ask the guy questions about issues they already know the answer to, what do you want him to say?  The guy makes six figures for a reason and he is not going to bad mouth his product.  He's going to redirect the question and tell you what his product does do well instead.  Multiple developers have gone on record explaining why they have issues with native 1080p on the xbox one.  Those are the guys you should be listening to, not Spencer.

ParanoidPaal
ParanoidPaal

This is so obvious it doesn't even have to be said...but it has to be said because people have rocks (or some other unintelligent thing) for brains.


60 FPS >>>> 1080p.


However you don't want to go below 720p as it kind of starts to look poopy.

My laptop isn't exactly the biggest powerhouse, so I usually don't go for 1080p in games, however going for 720p with high settings requires so much less of your system than it does just running something at full HD. IIRC LinusTechTips made a pretty good video about this, let's see if I can find it.


*looks through videos*


Yeah, ok I give up. But he made a good video where he compared looks, and performance between 720 @high settings and 1080 @low settings. They were pretty equal in how much power needed to run IIRC, and he kind of had to go pixel hunting to notice the lower resolution. I guess the points where it's most noticeable are text and far away objects. Distance and size from the screen obviously also has a lot to say.

nolgeo
nolgeo

Do I really need to bring up Killzone? None of you even knew that Killzone multilayer wasn't running 1080p. 1080p is not important as most of you claim it is.

nolgeo
nolgeo

All I have to say is he is right. I want good frame rate first and 1080p second. Soon it will all be about 4k anyway.

moesuir
moesuir

@RevLux saying "you can't even tell the difference" is not really damage control, it's somewhat truthful. There are even cases where a 900p game looks better. Look at the Digital Foundry side by side comparisons of games like Thief, and Destiny.


Now of course with a 720p game you CAN tell the difference, there is a slight blur effect with 720p. But most games coming out for X1 are 900p where you would have to use binoculars to tell the difference.

skiggy34
skiggy34

@ohara1974 I own both consoles also and I find the xbox one being the better console right now.  From games to features, pound for pound its the better console...  I love my ps4 but I rarely play it.  Ive had to buy multi plats for it to justify its purchase...  I'm still playing Titanfall and DR3 on Xbox One and loving it...

ohara1974
ohara1974

its the hardware....PS4 GPU and Memory is faster than the Xbox one....

allowing for 1080p w/60 FPS on the PS4 with room to spare...xbox has hit the mark w/some games but most are 900p....

the only game ive spent time playing on both consoles is watch dogs.....

it is better on the PS4 something happens on the xbox when there is a lot of fast movement it blurs out almost appears that the pixels are tearing it loses fluidity.....

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

This is the dumbest comment I've read today

RevLux
RevLux

@jtb_pred  Ryse looked great but it came out in 2013 and there are already games that look better than it this year imo.  Infamous S.S., Divinity: Original Sin, and Sunset Overdrive to name a few. Obviously this is entirely subjective and not everyone will agree.

Cochleadoc
Cochleadoc

@godfather830


Well said.

Sometimes being technically right does mean in the end you're still correct. 

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

@godfather830 I played both beta's of Destiny. PS4 was 1080p and X1 was 900p. I saw no difference in picture quality, and if I say there is a difference then it's like 5% better on PS4. By better I mean more light. It really was nothing

Bowser05
Bowser05

@godfather830 I'm not sure I agree with you. I play Titanfall regularly on the PC. I recently picked it up for really cheap on the X1 to play with some friends. The first thing I noticed was the drop in resolution. I noticed the same in Destiny when I played the beta on PS4 then tried it on the X1. I'm running on a 24" monitor too. Most people I know can easily tell the difference. I do agree with Phil that overall fidelity is a bit more important than resolution normally (take Destiny for example. While it wasn't 1080p on X1...I didn't notice any drop in effect quality or anything else. The game looked just as detailed and beautiful...just lower resolution)...but I definitely don't agree that most people won't notice it.

tr4newreck
tr4newreck

@godfather830 at some point your peepers cant tell the diff, or the diff itself is so negligible that its not worth sacrificing loads of FPS

RevLux
RevLux

@Sjalasvalten  Graphical fidelity matters. It just does. The issue is that graphics don't matter nearly as much as many seem to believe. Game mechanics are still, in my view, the most important aspect in most games. It's much easier to forgive a game for having weaker graphics if it is incredibly fun to play. The opposite...not so much.

Zzshock
Zzshock

Not really. 1080p / 60 fps is the standard set by the resolution on 90% of the tv's for the foreseeable future...Therefore, if both systems can achieve that criteria, the ps4's extra power is moot. Kind of like driving a ferrari vs a fiat; It doesn't matter if the car can go 150 mph if the speed limit is 55 mph.

pnw_206
pnw_206

@coolguyhero Really? I challenge you to compare NBA2K14 to MLB 14 The Show. While The Show looks good, NBA2K14 blows its doors off.  I love both games, but graphically, The Show is inferior to many games. It's still a ton of fun to play though, so I play it a lot. Thus the point of, who really cares about 1080p. 

Zzshock
Zzshock

Not likely soon. These $400 machines struggle with 1080p...4k has 4 times as many pixels. With console requirements of: affordability, low noise, low heat, small for factor etc. The specs required for 4k would be too expensive for the average consumer, would be too loud for the living room, and probably run hot enough to heat up a small room...

gllamas
gllamas

@nolgeo not this generation of consoles, that is for sure

jtb_pred
jtb_pred

@RevLux @jtb_pred

eh maybe i dunno ryse was so fucking impressive it wasn't even funny it looked beautiful. but played shit. infamous doesn't look better(it looks nice don't get me wrong but ryse looked like a movie through the whole game), Divinity original sin... hard to judge, different kind of game and different graphic styles, sunset overdrive again different art styles. stylized games will usually look more refined than their realistic counterparts. but yes it is subjective.

RevLux
RevLux

@Bowser05 @godfather830  Yes, you can tell the difference even on smaller monitors. You obviously can't see the individual pixels which is where this whole "the human eye can't tell the difference" thing came about I'm guessing. Generally, the higher the resolution the crisper and more well defined the edges are. Also, depending on whether the image was upscaled or not there will be fewer artifacts and tearing in the native image. These can be perceived even without being able to see the individual pixels (Which would obviously require a much larger t.v. Just as it would to get the full effect of an increase in resolution.))


This is similar to the whole "the human eye can't tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps." Which I can only assume is said by people who've never experienced how much smoother and more fluid the animations are in a game running in 60fps+ than it does in a 30fps- version. The effect is better on some types of games than others and more pronounced on larger televisions but for someone to say none of that matters because no one can tell the difference seems disingenuous at best.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

@Bowser05 @godfather830 Yeh Destiny on both consoles was literally the same. And I prefer to have 900p 60fps over 1080p 30fps. Titanfall on X1 was good and fast at 60fps but there was slight drop in frame rate

Bowser05
Bowser05

@RevLux @Bowser05 @godfather830 Yeah that's actually EXACTLY all I noticed as being different on the two versions. The jaggies and slightly lower quality textures and models due to lower resolution. That's it.


As for the FPS thing...that's bullocks in my opinion. I had been playing 30FPS most of my life (I never knew Vertical Sync basically forced a 30FPS for the longest time.). About 2 years ago I found out the truth. With me getting a better computer, I finally turned off V-sync on Dead Space 2, which I was about halfway through at the time. I noticed a difference IMMEDIATELY. It was phenomenal. People who say they can't notice the difference either have very bad perceptive eye sight or are lying. And I've had the same 24" monitor for 4 years...so a change in screen could not have been the excuse.


I agree though, it does depend on the game. I can run Duke Nukem 3D at 30FPS or 150 FPS...and it looks the same to me both ways.

Bowser05
Bowser05

I had some stutter on both consoles honestly.