Nerd Wars! How Much Does Resolution Matter to You?

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The Xbox One has been under fire lately for consistently releasing games at a lower resolution than the PS4. For this week’s round of Nerd Wars! we want know how much this really matters to you, the player. 

Cross-platform titles such as Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Trials Fusion, and Tomb Raider were all released at a lower native resolution on Xbox One. Microsoft’s new console has the ability to upscale games to 1080p, but this doesn’t quite match the quality of the native resolution.

How much does resolution actually affect the quality of game, however? With the last generation the PS3 almost never displayed a game in 1080p and it didn’t offer an option to upscale the graphics, but many would argue that the games on that console looked better than those on the Xbox 360. In many cases this was judged on a game-by-game basis, because ultimately it comes down to the developer understanding the potential of the hardware. Games like Red Dead Redemption are a perfect example. The PS3 was technically the superior machine in terms of graphics processing, but the version of Red Dead Redemption that came to Sony’s console was a 530p game being upscaled to 720p. The end result was a rather ugly game with an absurd amount of screen-tearing. This was eventually updated, but this was due to the developers coding of that version of the game.

How do your judge a games graphical quality? Is it based off the resolution alone? Would you ever skip out on a game completely if it didn’t display at a certain resolution?

Author Line

i mileson iMiles Dompier is the mad commander of TEAM XBRO. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a composer/voice actor. When he’s not up writing until his eyes bleed, he likes to play a Prince level of instruments and listen to terrible death metal. Follow him on his personal Facebook page or the official What’s Your Tag? Twitter page – @whatsyourtag


    1. You spoiled son of a gun. PC will look better, but you also have to spend way more to make that happen. There’s no way a 400 or 500 PC can run games at decent settings in 1080p.

      1. I suppose. You can always shop around for the good stuff, though.

        Despite what I said, I still love the look of a bunch of older games.

  1. I can handle something if it has lower resolution but it’s gotta be smooth. If I’m glitching up a storm or there’s a bunch of technical errors, I don’t care how pretty or ugly it is, it sucks.

    But it’s not usually a deciding factor for me. If I’m choosing between consoles for a cross-platform game, I factor things like:

    1) Is it a franchise I’ve only played on one console cause I’m OCD bout that (IE, Final Fantasy on Playstation, Mass Effect on Xbox.. ) if I played the series or the first game on one, I’ll stick with that console all the way, even if it’s shit. I’m too OCD.

    2) The type of game. I tend to get more multiplayer games on Xbox, and more RPG on Playstation.

    3) Which version is cheaper.

    4) Bazinga.

    1. The resolution isn’t as big of a deal for me as long as the fps is steady and smooth. I’d rather have a lower resolution with higher fps, personally. The Xbox Hardware is still super new and devs haven’t really gotten a chance to fully understand the architecture. In time we’ll see more games in 1080p.

  2. I’d rather have a steady frame rate at 720p than stuttering and 1080p resolution. Without comparing games side-by-side, you’ll never notice the 720p versus 1080p argument, but framerate stuttering can seriously kill the immersion of even the best games.

    With that being said (and as an owner of both current-gen consoles), if a cross-platform title released for both, but the only difference was 1080p versus 720p, I’m obviously going to buy the one with higher resolution. The only way I wouldn’t is if there was multi-player involved and I had friends playing on the opposing console.

    I’m definitely not a graphics over gameplay kind of guy, but given the option I’ll usually always go with whichever offers the higher quality product.

  3. Resolution doesn’t really matter to me, so long as the game looks and runs good. Take, for example, Assassin’s Creed IV, I bought it for 360 even though I knew I was going to get a PS4. I’ve played every other title on 360 and just couldn’t get myself to not continue the trend.

    Story, game play, and atmosphere are what drive me. That said, I’d rather have a game in the highest quality I can get it. Like with FFXIV: ARR. I’d much rather play it on my PS4 that my PC (laptop) cause I know it will run and look better. That and I’m much more a console gamer than a PC one.

  4. Honestly, I care more about the fact that games are glitchy as hell now. That frustrates me more than resolution or graphics. In fact, I love new Indie games that are in 8 or 16 bit. Funny, my husband who is almost 10 years older than me is a stickler for good graphics and has a hard time going back and playing older stuff.

    1. Everybody is just in a rush to get games out as quickly as they can anymore. There are deadlines and devs are forced to meet those deadlines, even if it means sacrificing the quality a little bit.

  5. TBH a game is crap if it doesn’t have decent playability, even if it is under the shroud of pretty graphics and high definition. Yeah, the game would LOOK great, but why would I play a game that looks great but doesn’t fare well elsewhere? I’ll stick to something that has replay value and looks terrible.

    1. Exactly. It all comes down to the game itself at the end of the day. Better resolution doesn’t make a better game. Sure it doesn’t hurt to have a higher resolution, but that’s only a small factor in the actual graphical performance of a game.

      1. I also have a knack for the “retro” feel because that is what I grew up on. Seeing a good game with that kind of feel brings back good memories.

  6. Resolution is an irrelevant number. It is more about how the developers use the game engine and console hardware. Look at early PS3 and Xbox360 games compared to the latest games on the same hardware. The coders got better at coding and learned to get everything from the hardware that they could. Resolution pretty much gets used as a marketing ploy to make it sound like one console is worse than the other. Give developers time and they will learn to push the limits of the new consoles just like they did on the old ones.

    1. Very well put, my good man. Even though the PS3 was technically a graphically superior system, I can name a number of games that just flat out looked better on Xbox 360. The PS4 using basically runs like a PC, so converting games is much easier, that’s the primary reason devs are able to achieve 1080p so easily.

  7. For me it’s more about framerates and refresh rates rather than resolution. If a game dips below 30 fps then it’s really jarring to me. 60+ is smooth like butta, and I REALLY want a monitor with at least 120 refresh. I go over to my Dad’s and feel super jealous with his nice 120 TV.

    That being said no game should be under 720p.

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