Microsoft on Xbox One 1080p drama -- "It's all a game of trade-offs"

"Resolution alone is not the final determination" about whether a game looks good or not, studio manager Mike Ybarra says.


Microsoft has yet again responded to the ongoing Xbox One 1080p/60fps debate, with studio manager Mike Ybarra saying "resolution alone" does not determine if a game looks good or not.

"I think the point that gets lost a lot is that it's all a game of trade-offs," Ybarra told MyXboxLive. "Resolution alone is not the final determination regarding if a game looks great or not. It's one of many different levers and it's up to the game teams to decide what is best for their unique game experience."

Ybarra's comments came in response to a question regarding Ryse: Son of Rome, which runs in 900p and is still considered one of the most visually impressive games for the Xbox One.

The other "levers" that developer Crytek employed to make the game look so impressive, Ybarra said, were things like various screen effects and scripted/dynamic instances. These elements, combined with the game's 900p resolution, are what makes the game look so good, he said.

Microsoft product planning director Albert Penello said about the 1080p/60fps drama in January that, "these little things get way overblown." Meanwhile, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said just this week that the Xbox One's eSRAM is "clearly" not too small to output games at 1080p, using examples like Forza Motorsport 5 and Kinect Sports Rivals as examples.

It was also revealed this week that Respawn Entertainment's much-anticipated multiplayer shooter Titanfall will not run in 1080p.

Also in the interview, Ybarra said Ryse: Son of Rome review scores were "lower than we wanted."

"That's always hard on any game team that puts a lot of time and effort into a game," he said. Still, though the game's Metacritic score was a 60, Ybarra said user-review scores on Amazon are better, showing that people are enjoying the game.

"While there were certainly things we wished we could have gotten in the game and we understand the key criticism, we are proud of Ryse and think it is a fun experience for our audience," he said.

Ryse: Son of Rome was developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios. It's unclear if Crytek is going to work on a sequel, though the developer is signed up through Microsoft's new independent development program ID@Xbox.

GameSpot and Metacritic are both owned by CBS Interactive.

[CORRECTION] An earlier version of this story quoted Ybarra as saying Ryse sales were below what Microsoft expected, but really he meant Ryse review scores were below what Microsoft expected. GamesSpot regrets the error.

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