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By now, most gamers who keep up to date with core gaming news may have heard about a situation that's being deemed “Resolutiongate”. The scenario has spawned from the stark disparity between the Xbox One and PS4's resolution differences in multiplatform games. Well, a lot of big pundits and gaming heads have chimed in on the matter and most don't think it's a serious issue at all.
One of the latest figureheads to step into the spotlight to downplay the resolution differences between the Xbox One and PS4 is Revision3's Adam Sessler, a big name in the gaming circles. Well, his downplay couldn't have come at a worse time, as gamers have become absolutely reviled at the concept, pelting Sessler with a lot of negative comments on social media, Reddit and Rev3 YouTube videos. This tweet from Sessler basically sums it all up.
Sessler's Something covers the “Resolutiongate” fiasco in about four minutes (though the video clocks in at just over six minutes) and he basically makes it known that the differences aren't that big a deal. It's just graphics, guys. Am I right?
Gamers later pointed to this speech from Sessler at the 2013 Screw Attack Convention, where – while arguing in favor of more original and unique next-gen gaming experiences – he notes that 1080p and 60fps should be standard from the next-gen consoles, but that shouldn't be the only thing they bring to the table.
Gamers aren't just angry about hypocritical comments, they're angry because it misleads consumers from making an informed purchase, especially when they're following big names like Ars Technica, Toms Hardware or Adam Sessler from Rev3 to make said informed purchases.
The “Resolutiongate” fiasco has more to do with just resolution discrepancies, as mentioned in a great article over on NowGamer.com. Many gamers worry that the bottleneck of the Xbox One's hardware could affect more than just screen sizes and pixel count out of the gate. As someone noted on one of the gaming forums “What happens when the PS4 has a game so big it has to be forced down to 720p at 30fps? What happens to the Xbox One version?” Fair question.
If we're already seeing a 50% power advantage in favor of the PS4 for some titles (as noted by early synthetic benchmarks by reputable sites such as Extreme Tech) what happens when a multiplatform title gets more juice squeezed out of the PS4 version more than the Xbox One version? Does it mean we'll start seeing fewer on-screen AI? Maybe two-player splitscreen instead of four-player? Maybe fewer on-screen vehicles? Fewer physics-based particle effects? Smaller stages? Worse graphics? Choppier frame-rates?
Right now a lot of the gaming community is left in the dark as to why the power advantage is so far in favor of the PS4 so early in the console war. Essentially, we kind of already know why (from a spec to spec hardware perspective) but a lot of gamers are concerned about the software technicalities that spawn from this difference.
As mentioned above, while it's nice to say gameplay trumps graphics, we see gameplay affected by graphics based on power output. A game focused on physics-based interactions isn't all that fun when the physics are gimped. A game that focuses on detailed damage models and collision isn't all that fun when the collisions and damage models have to be gimped. Or a game that uses crisp visuals at fast frames to convey the aesthetic loses a lot of that appeal when there is frequent frame stutter or poor pixel resolution (i.e., Bayonetta on the PS3).
I think more than anything, the resolution differences so early on should be cause for cautioned concern. If the Xbox One will be coming in behind the curve in every multiplatform title for a while to come, perhaps we should start focusing on what else it can bring to the table to balance that difference? I'll be the first to say that I don't mind the Wii U being weaker than the PS4/Xbox One in the spec department because it has the GamePad to offer something new and unique.
If the Xbox One is going to constantly lag behind the PS4 in software output due to the hardware, maybe Microsoft should really start playing up other features to compensate. Will Kinect eventually balance the tide for multiplatform titles? Will there be additional features or gameplay mechanics available for the Xbox One to provide that you can't get on the PS4? If not, we're basically looking at a system running multiplatform games worse than its competitor but at a markup of $100 more. And gamers should be angry about that.
(Image courtesy of IZEDNECK)