Frame Rate And Resolution On PS4 And Xbox One Is Just History Repeating Itself
The famous quotes which state that history always repeats itself have long been buried in the cliche museum. But there’s a reason that things become cliches, and it’s often because they’re so true so much of the time. Some gamers, like myself, have been watching the frame rate and resolution war between PS4 and Xbox One fans for a long time now and have probably got over it. I’m a PS4 owner just to dispel any accusations that I might be part of the Xbox defense force. It’s sad that we still have to do that – basically state our allegiance – just to discuss the new consoles, but I didn’t make the world I just live in it. In this article, however, I wish to explain how the ongoing rage-fest regarding frame rate and resolution is absolutely nothing new. In fact it’s just an old battle in a new form.
I distinctively remember a time where Sony did not rule. Want to know how I know that? Because I bought a PS3 at launch of course. Those first few years were filled with not only the absence of big hitter equivalents to Xbox’s Gears of War, Halo and Forza, but it was further made painful by the fact that the greats in question, such as God of War III and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, were years away. On top of that, us PS3 gamers had to deal with the fact that some multi-platform games were inferior on the system. Remember how some games got frame rate problems or texture pop-ins on PS3, whereas the Xbox 360 was always A-okay? And what was always blamed was the “CELL architecture” of the PS3, which was deemed “difficult” or “different” to work with by developers.
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I will never forget the Xbox 360 fans who took every opportunity to jeer at the overpriced black box which was supposedly “more powerful”, yet produced inferior multi-platform games time and time again and had no exclusives. People have short memories. They really do. I haven’t forgotten. Most of my family and friends had Xbox 360s. I was a lone PS3 owner for a time. I endured all the jeers and the banter. It’s part and parcel of “picking a side”. It’s exactly the same as the torture I had to endure as a Liverpool supporter in recent years from Manchester United supporters.
Of course we all know that Sony (and Liverpool this season!) performed what will probably go down as one of the greatest comebacks of all time, and through the acquisition of powerful first party studios, the fixing of their crappy PR, the release of a wide-range of high quality exclusives and the launch of the stellar PS Plus, they turned the tables and made the PS3 rise to the top. If anything this is indicative of how console generations are marathons and not sprints, so again there’s a lesson here for people with short memories who still think Microsoft and the Xbox One are out of the game.
The point of all of the above is that people seem to have forgotten we’ve lived through this before.
The only thing is, it’s not so fun when you’re on the receiving end is it? We’re now facing the reverse situation. The PS4 was more affordable (before Kinect was dropped) and all multi-platform games were, and still are, superior to the Xbox One versions. The only difference is it’s to do with frame rate and resolution and not texture pop-ins and frame rate stutters. Do you want to know why it seems like such a bigger deal now than it was back then with the PS3 and Xbox 360? The answer is astoundingly simple. Gaming has grown, and there are now a million billion gazillion more gamers than there was all those years ago in 2006, and that just means a hell of a lot more voices to add to the debates. Furthermore, frame rate and 60 FPS and resolution and 1080p have become buzzwords that the casuals and such have picked up on, which gives them even more strength in the console war.
Part of me wishes to tell Xbox One fans to #dealwithit because PlayStation fans had to do just that all those years ago, and because people love being on the winning side and were the situation reversed the Xbox fans would be beating the dead horse just as much, but on the other hand I dislike how so much focus is on frame rate and resolution that it’s like the games are being ignored. At the end of the day, the two things that will decide who wins the console generation will not be frame rate and resolution. It will be the games and the service. The PS3 arguably won last generation because by the end it was still producing top quality games and new IPs on top of incredible service with PS Plus. No one cared about the texture pop-ins or frame rate stutters on some multi-platform titles by then, although admittedly developers did get to grips with the architecture and it became a rarity to see problems as years went on. The same thing will happen with Xbox One. Developers will get better.
I can sort of get on board with the argument that it’s a problem when you’re paying the same price for the PS4 and Xbox One versions yet one is undeniably superior to the other, but the counter to that would be that if you own one of the consoles, your life isn’t affected by the other version. Still, in an ideal world you definitely wouldn’t want to get the weaker version of the same experience, and one can only hope that it does in fact get better as the generation goes on. This is just a side point though.
In conclusion I’ll reiterate that this is an old battle in a new form, and frame rate and resolution is much like the battle between PS3 and Xbox 360 with inferior multi-platform games on Sony’s machine. Only this time the tables have been reversed. But at the end of the day, the winner of the console generation will be determined by two things, and those will not be frame rate and resolution, but high quality exclusives and service. For now though, I feel obliged to say #dealwithit Xbox fans.