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Phil Spencer on Xbox One’s Resolution Issues

by Ron Duwell | November 7, 2013November 7, 2013 6:00 am PDT

Ryse

The Xbox One is under fire recently for not displaying games in true 1080p. Call of Duty: Ghosts has been confirmed to play natively in 720p at 60FPS, and Ryse: Son of Rome has just been confirmed to run at the weird 900p ratio and 30FPS. It might matter to some, but Head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer says it’s not a big deal.

In an interview with Rev3Games, Spencer claims that video games are more than just about the numbers.

“If people want to get hung up on the numbers, they can do that, but really what they should be looking at is what’s on screen, with the controller in their hands, and play[ing] the game. If they really care they can go play Forza at 1080p / 60 fps; a beautiful game. But games should be defined by more than their framerate and resolution.”

Spencer even defended the decision of allowing developers to go with smaller resolutions, saying that “We could’ve done something, I would have said would be draconian and wrong, to go out and dictate that you must hit a certain framerate, or you must hit a certain resolution.”

In the interview, he also confirmed the output for Crytek’s upcoming Ryse: Son of Rome at 900p and 30fps, and he also puts a lot of mention into the importance of Kinect and how splitting the user base would be a horrible decision for the Xbox One.

“It’s something that’s really important. Putting a common tool in the hands of all the developers so I don’t have to think about [with] a third of the install base: ‘Do they have Kinect and the rest of them don’t? How do I deal with that?’ Making that a common base part of the platform has been really instrumental in getting the devs to support Kinect in many ways.”

He offered up SWERY’s upcoming martial arts adventure game D4 as a perfect example of how to build a Kinect game from the ground up.

It’s a great interview, handled by the one and only Adam Sessler, and you should give it a watch.

As a fan of video games going way back to the NES days, I can agree that video games are not all about the numbers, resolutions, and frames per second. We all argued about bit back in the day. 8-bits, 16-bits, 64-bits, but in hindsight, I’ve enjoyed games of all different shapes and sizes, all of which were the best available on the provided hardware.

I’ve chugged through Mega Man games which play like slideshows when one too many enemies come on the screen, and they were displayed in 256×240 and can still be enjoyed just as much today.

However, with a lot of gamers coming of age in a more technological demanding world, it does make a huge difference. Even to a casual audience it can, seeing 720p next to a 1080p could be that deciding factor.

We’ve gone through this before, but here we go again. Does this matter at all to you, or is the idea that games are more than the sum of their figures just sentimental spinning?

Rev3Games

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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