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Another game falls victim to the resolution disparity that keeps certain games at arms length from the parity line that Microsoft is probably hoping that more companies come close to when releasing big new games. This time it's Diablo III that isn't able to break into the full HD arena for the Xbox One.
Joystiq is reporting that they got word from Diablo III's senior producer, Julia Humphreys, that the game will run at a lower resolution on the Xbox One in comparison to the PS4 version. Why? Well, according to Humphreys...
"We're prioritizing frame rate,"
So in this instance, we're seeing that frame-rate is key. Electronic Arts and DICE ran into a very similar problem with Battlefield 4, which resulted in both games running under the full HD standard and instead we saw the PS4 version at 900p and 60fps and the Xbox One at 720p and 60fps.
Most surprising about this situation is the fact that an isometric 3D game like Diablo can't even hit 1080p on the Xbox One and maintain 60 frames per second. It definitely seems to fall back to a lot of it being a mix of hardware bottlenecks and the software being designed to scale to platforms that is not the Xbox One.
Keep in mind that Diablo III is being released within the same quarterly window as Destiny, so both games have access to Microsoft's latest June SDK. However, even then, Destiny is 1080p at 30fps on both the Xbox One and the PS4. So doffing Kinect from the power reserves of the Xbox One and freeing up 10% of the performance gains still didn't quite equate to Destiny hitting 1080p and 60fps.
Now, some savvy minds with a good memory might recount that the Xbox One managed to hit a stable 1080p at 60fps with Wolfenstein: The New Order, the Bethesda FPS that recently released, however it should be noted that the id Tech 5 dynamically scaled on-screen visual entities to adjust in order to maintain a locked frame-rate. That sort of technology was not what Diablo III was built around.
Of course this news also calls into question exactly how Diablo III was built that a zoomed out, last-generation hack-and-slash title would tax a system so badly that it couldn't hit 1080p, but then the exact same thing sort of applies with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition not being able to hit 60fps on the Xbox One, even though it, too, was also from the previous generation.
Even still, this basically means that a lot of games that aren't using very specific, finely-tuned engines around Microsoft's hardware then we could continue to see the PS4 etch out small graphical victories over the Xbox One throughout the remainder of the eighth generation of gaming.
As for Diablo III, you're going to be getting a visually higher quality version of the game on the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One when it launches two months from now on August 19th. As for whether or not graphics matter? Well, 75% of gamers say that they do.