Sony Sued Because Killzone: Shadow Fall's 1080p Graphics Aren't Totally 1080p

A class-action lawsuit is seeking more than $5 million, alleging consumers were misled by Sony

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America alleging consumers were misled by the company's claims that the PlayStation 4-exclusive Killzone: Shadow Fall features 1080p graphics in its multiplayer mode, which came into question earlier this year.

The suit, filed by a gamer by the name of Douglas Ladore in U.S. District Court in California yesterday, claims that gamers "quickly noticed and complained that Killzone's multiplayer graphics were blurry to the point of distraction." This is despite Sony having claimed the game would offer "'1080p' multiplayer graphics, a crowning achievement in the video game industry," and having even featured the 1080p figure on the game's box.

Ladore is seeking to prevent Sony from continuing to advertise the game as being 1080p, and is looking for damages--to the tune of more than $5 million.

A Digital Foundry report earlier this year revealed that the game uses technical trickery--a technique called temporal reprojection--to achieve its resolution. The lawsuit says this is meant to provide "'subjectively similar' results" to full 1080p, but that it just isn't the same.

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It attributes the game's sales to these claims of 1080p graphics, saying people were misled. "Because of the dozens of reports about Killzone's next-generation multiplayer graphics, along with the unqualified '1080P' label on the game's consumer-facing technical specifications, over 2 million consumers purchased Killzone: Shadow Fall," the complaint states. "Unfortunately, Sony's marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction."

Complaints about blurry multiplayer graphics are then cited before bringing up the aforementioned Digital Foundry report, which found the game's multiplayer uses a 960x1080 framebuffer in order to run at 60 frames per second. Developer Guerrilla Games said in response that it would be more precise about its language in the future. But because things like the box haven't been modified to remove what the lawsuit calls "an unqualified '1080p'" listing, "millions of consumers have been tricked into paying full price for a video game that doesn’t deliver what is promised."

The complaint goes to describe the "console war" between Sony and Microsoft, claiming Shadow Fall's success was "imperative to Sony and the ultimate success of the PS4."

Ladore, who bought the game in May at Best Buy, claims--in what might be the most ridiculous part of this lawsuit--that he "examined the Killzone retail packaging and confirmed that Killzone would deliver an unrestricted 1080p graphics resolution" before making his purchase. Had he known the full story, he allegedly "would have not have purchased Killzone at all, or would have paid substantially less for it." The lawsuit even for some reason notes, "Relying on those reports, Plaintiff chose to purchase the Killzone video game using Best Buy's 'free store pickup' service. Thus, Plaintiff reserved a copy of Killzone on Best Buy's website and traveled to a local Best Buy store to complete his purchase."

When contacted for comment, Sony declined, citing its policy of not addressing pending litigation.

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