As someone whose passion is covering the video games industry, I am always eagerly looking forward to the storylines and trends that take hold of a generation of consoles. It’s been pretty hard to miss that a growing trend is graphics comparisons between PC, PS4, XBox One, and sometimes, the Wii U. When 3rd party developers release a game on multiple gaming hardwares, it’s only natural to wonder who ended up with the best version. Games like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes saw the PS4 with visual edge over the Xbox One, boasting a resolution of 1080p compared to 720p, respectively. And really, it seems that nearly every 3rd party developed game has at least a higher resolution on the PS4 than Xbox One.
Over time and to the delight of many PS4 owners, this scenario has continued to repeat. However, in the last couple of months we’ve seen a possible growing trend of developers choosing to level the playing field by offering the same resolution and frame rate across all consoles that their games are developed on. We see this trend in the latest Assassin’s Creed Unity running at 900p and 30fps and with Rocksteady announcing that Batman: Arkham Knight will feature the same resolution and frame rate across each system it is being developed for. As a result, many next-gen adopters have become a bit frustrated with this trend. But is this such a bad thing? First, let’s address the validity of many console owners’ concerns.
When Rocksteady made its announcement, Twitter timelines were flooded with frustrated PS4 owners, who felt like 3rd party devs were preventing them from playing games that harness the full power of their console of choice. Granted, it’s frustrating to see a “next-gen” game not be able to boast the top visual output and fluidity of gameplay. Are you really telling me that these $400 and $500 dollar consoles can’t both produce the same resolution? Plus, why should the PS4 be punished for the learning curve that is seemingly required in developing a game for the Xbox One? That is a legitimate worry and complaint. Still, being that were are only one year into this generation’s life, this feels like a knee-jerk reaction. It might help if we look at this from the developers point of view.