Adam Sessler from Rev3 wants to repair his reputation with gamers, especially after saying that chemical weapons dealers have a more tolerable consumer base than the games industry (nice recovery there, Sess). He also kind of has to repair his rep, right? His life depends on it.
Well, the best way to gain back the favor of those who feel betrayed at Sessler's recent remarks about "Resolutiongate" was to release a video with Microsoft's head of Xbox game studios, Phil Spencer. Both men have been pelted by the public during these stressful times of the console wars, and a 14 minute interview promoting the upcoming Xbox One, downplaying resolutions and defending cut-corners seemed like the best way to clear the air.
So there were a couple of things that Spencer said throughout the interview that stood out. I think one thing became increasingly clear and it was the slightly growing hint of defensiveness from Spencer, even though Sessler was mostly throwing him advertorialized softball questions, save for when resolution and frames per second entered the discussion.
At around the 7:45 mark in the video above, “Resolutiongate” becomes a brief topic of the discussion and Spencer tries hard to defend the Xbox One in this area, even going as far as to say that power, resolution and frames per second are penultimate to fun, noting...
“Games should be defined by more than what their frame rate and resolution is. I think this is an industry about fun; and people should put the controller in their hand (or gesture) and play the games and decide what they like. I think that's the soul of what this industry is about.”
Oh yeah, because it's all about fun. I mean, there was no way that developers were trashing the Wii U just last year as being slow and underpowered and that fun was obviously dictated by cores, bits, bandwidth and resolution benchmarks right? I mean, there's obviously no Forbes article from last year around this time where Nintendo had to defend themselves from all the doom and gloom about their system being “underpowered”, peppered and propagated by the gaming media, right? It was all about fun... right?
Surprisingly enough the Wii U's aim for fun over specs met very little support from gaming media, with a few white knights stepping up to the plate, including some unlikely support from Kotaku, showing that they've surprisingly been one of the more levelheaded and consistent of the gaming media these days, and that's saying something when we're talking about Kotaku.
Moving past the whole “resolution and frames per second isn't as important as fun” that managed to land Adam Sessler in massive trouble lately with the gaming community, Spencer ventures to further defend why the Xbox One's lower frames and resolution is a good thing at around the 8:50 mark. He talks about Crytek's upcoming Ryse, exclusively for the Xbox One, saying...
“We could have run Ryse at 1080p [but] the game would have looked different. It would have looked – we made a decision based on what we wanted to put in the game and 900p was the right resolution for that game [at] 30 frames a second. It's the right frame rate for the game. What we put on screen, I think, is fantastic”
Well that really does explain why Ryse is 30 frames per second at 900p, eh? Because it's the right resolution? Exactly when did having a lower native resolution and frames than the competition (e.g., Killzone: Shadow Fall) become the right thing over a better thing? And when did cutting the polygon count in half for a game increase it's visual value? I was pretty sure that if you're going for ultra-realism, more is better.
It would have been easier and more honest to just say “That's the resolution and FPS that the Xbox One can handle” but, we must continue to pretend that the Xbox One is a powerful, sexy beast and that it's just as powerful as the competition, even when all the facts say otherwise.
I wonder if we'll see this kind of media padding throughout the entire generation for every game that will have a lower resolution or frames on the Xbox One compared to the competition?