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“Well it better be” is probably the first thing out of the mouths of gamers who read the headline. Mortal Kombat X, the cross-generational fighting game is still running on the old Unreal Engine 3 (modified for today's standards, of course) and according to the co-creator of Mortal Kombat and the creative director at Netherrealm Studios, the game will be running at full HD in 1920 x 1080p on both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, and it will supposedly maintain 60 sparkling frames per second.
The news didn't come from an interview on a gaming site, a print magazine or some big reveal in a startling video. Nope. Instead, gamers have been peppering Ed Boon on Twitter for information and news about the game, and one of the big questions was whether or not the team would be using the more expensive but far more versatile Unreal Engine 4, or if they would stick with the engine designed for the console war vets, the PS3 and Xbox 360. Ed Boon makes it known that they'll be sticking with the engine for the console war vets, replying with the following on Twitter...
Jeremy Conrad from Furious Fanboys wasn't entirely confident or satisfied with that response, quickly shooting back at Ed the question on everyone's minds: “On both systems?”
It's safe to assume it's targeting 1080p and 60fps on both systems. I know we've entered into the arena where we can expect it from the PlayStation 4 and only hope for the best on the Xbox One, but we're talking about an Unreal Engine 3 fighting game for crying out loud. If the Xbox One could handle two characters on the screen at the same time at 1080p and 60fps then that would be beyond embarrassing. That's like the President showing up to give the State of the Union address in MLP pajamas.
Nevertheless, it's at least apparent that the team is aiming for what most gamers have been craving for eighth-gen gaming: Full HD support and smooth-as-butter frame-rates.
The one thing that seems most unsettling is that the lack of hitting 1080p on the games that matter leads me to believe that we won't get full HD on games like Battlefield with 60 to 100 players until ninth-gen gaming. It's a harsh but acceptable reality. The mid-range PC tech inside both consoles are just way too outdated and unless you want your games looking like the pixel farts of a bad PlayStation 2 digestion problem, then it's safe to say that the only games that will be likely to consistently hit 1080p and 60fps are fighting games, cross-gen ports and task-light arcade titles. Well, for the PS4 anyway... the Xbox One seems to have trouble hitting 1080p and 60fps even with cross-gen games.
Hopefully Ed Boon and crew will be able to maintain the promise of 1080p and 60fps on the Xbox One and PS4, because it's bad enough that the Xbox One spent half a year of its lifespan being on the market at $100 higher than its nearest competitor and 50% weaker in key areas. Having Kinect stripped out of it for a $399 price-point and still managing to under-perform will just keep many players picking the PS4 as their main for multiplatform titles.