When you go out to buy a new piece of technology, most times you're frugal enough with your money to pick up something that meets your needs and offers a nice technological power advantage over the competition. Usually, tech enthusiasts refer to benchmarks before taking the financial plunge. It's imperative to get the most for your hard earned money... right? Right?! Not in the land of the Doritocracy.
Gaming sites have been cropping up apologists articles left and right to dissuade on-the-fence gamers from canceling their Xbox One pre-orders (an attempt to appease the ad overlords, perhaps?), but before getting to that let's first look at how this scenario came about and why.
So rumors had been festering since E3 that the Xbox One had issues... hardware issues. Gaming media and gamers alike wisely ruled in favor to take the rumors with a grain of salt. Exercised throughout the months leading up to November was a ratiocination of cautious deliberation concerning pixel counting and resolution thresholds. It was later made obvious by CBOAT and Peter Dodd (a.k.a., Famousmortimer) that the Xbox One was going to come in behind the technological performance curve of the PS4 and maybe even potentially, the Wii U.
Despite the forewarning, many tried digitally crucifying Peter Dodd for his claims, even though Sony's developer relations specialist Adam Boyes was in his corner. Instead of the media following through with what was right (as mentioned in previous articles) the Doritocracy held tight to their guns and protected Microsoft's secret... that is, until Infinity Ward's executive producer Mark Rubin stepped forward with callous resolve to lay rest the rumors and confirm that the Xbox One, indeed, was running the latest Call of Duty: Ghosts at only half the resolution of the PlayStation 4. It was also confirmed in undeniable benchmarks by multiple sources that Battlefield 4 ran at a significantly lower resolution on the Xbox One than the PS4.
The rumors long held in contempt by the gaming media had been proven true.
What follows is an inexplicably odd (or perhaps normal, if you're used to the Doritocracy) set of behavioral reactions from gaming media. While smaller sites like Gameranx and Videogamer.com make it known that a system costing $100 more and outputting resolutions at half the pixels of the competitor is an absolute deal-breaker, other larger sites – those with significantly greater influence – took a different path from the problem.
Instead of acknowledging to consumers who may want to be informed about what this means for their pre-order (and there are many people who have both systems pre-ordered) following the initial reports on the confirmation of resolution bias, some sites decided to play apologist.
In a sickening twist of fate, instead of following the typical response from benchmarks, making it known that anyone buying the $500 console would be receiving first-generation games at half or two-thirds of the resolution quality of its competitor, which is $100 cheaper, we have unknown sites like Video Games and News as well as ubiquitous sites like Kotaku where lines like “although numbers tend not to lie, they can easily mislead” making a case that 1080p and 60fps don't tell a whole story (and they don't) but drawing a line down the middle as if the discrepancy is insignificant.
The last I checked, if a benchmark for a GPU from Nvidia trumps AMD at stable frames at twice the resolution, it's not even a debate about longevity or efficiency, we simply acknowledge that AMD lost in the benchmarks and it's a weaker card. Period.