Sony Sued Over Killzone: Shadow Fall's Lack Of 1080p In Multiplayer

By William Usher 5 months ago discussion comments
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One law firm is taking the heat to studios over advertising, including how they portray a game's potential resolution on home consoles. In this case, Sony had advertised that Killzone: Shadow Fall would be native 1080p and that it would run at 60 frames per second. Well, two thirds of that is true, as the game is 60fps and the single-player runs native 1080p, however the multiplayer for Killzone: Shadow Fall was actually 960 x 1080i.

Polygon picked up word on the lawsuit that was filed in California by resident Douglas Ladore in Northern District California court.

According the lawsuit, Sony falsely advertised Killzone: Shadow Fall and its ability to hit 1080p, noting...
[they] "used a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide 'subjectively similar' results."

Some gamers did notice that the visual experience in multiplayer was a little odd compared to the single-player experience, but most gamers didn't know what it was or why. Something just didn't seem entirely right, but the majority of gamers dismissed it.

Well, the reason the visual rendering seemed a little off was because Guerrilla Games used a temporal reprojection technique in order to maintain 60fps, by interlacing the rendered images with lower resolution images.

This was actually brought to light courtesy of a detailed performance analysis by Digital Foundry, post-release. We found out that there were interlaced images in the game's multiplayer, as opposed to being native progressive projections of a 1920 x 1080 image render. This was made even more apparent when images were frozen between multiplayer matches, and every other image was rendered with reprojected images at a different resolution to create an interlaced look. This is why it was hard for gamers to explain exactly why the image seemed off to them, even though they couldn't readily tell what it was.

Guerrilla Games tried to recover the fumble by explaining on their own website what the technique was about and how they achieved it...
“In Multiplayer mode, however, we use a technique called 'temporal reprojection,' which combines pixels and motion vectors from multiple lower-resolution frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image. If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native."

"When up-scaling an image from one resolution to another, new pixels are added by stretching the image in X/Y dimension," ... "The values of the new pixels are picked to lie in between the current values of the pixels. This gives a bigger, but slightly blurrier picture.”

Slightly blurry is a bit of an understatement once you view the frame in a static state. Nevertheless, this whole tactic didn't sit well with the Edelson PC law firm – supposedly it's the same firm currently maintaining a class action lawsuit against Sega and Gearbox Software over Aliens: Colonial Marines, a lawsuit that Gearbox is desperately trying to get out of.

Whether or not this lawsuit will carry on is anyone's guess, but the firm is seeking $5,000,000 for unfair competition, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.
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