Some things are more important than resolution, and a lot of things are not. In the infinite battle between clarity versus fluidity, another developer has chimed in on what the focus should be on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games, noting that frame-rate definitely trumps resolution.
Gaming Bolt managed to get in word with MixedBag’s Mauro, a studio curently working on the PS4 title Futuridium EP Deluxe and the upcoming Forma 8 for the Wii U, PS Vita and PS4. According to Mauro, the 1080p and 60fps holy grail is something developers definitely care about, stating...
“Yes, all developers care. In an ideal world every game would run at 1080p/60fps on console, or higher, but a lot of times it’s simply not possible, and developers have to make a choice, and it’s always not an easy one. Also it depends a lot on the kind of game you’re making.”
In terms of not being an “easy” choice to make, we've seen quite a few titles either skip on 1080p or skip on 60fps in order to hit a decent operation plateau.
In the case of Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition, the game was 1080p but only 30fps on the Xbox One while it was 1080p and 60fps on the PS4. The Golf Club is another game that couldn't hit consistent frames above 30 on the Xbox One if the resolution went above 720p. Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV and Battlefield 4 were three games (amongst many) where the expected standard of 1080p and 60fps could not be met on the home consoles (mostly the Xbox One).
A lot of it has to do with the technical ceilings of the hardware. It's completely possible to hit 1080p at 60fps if the game has PS2 level graphics or if a lot of the load is taken off the GPU by reducing various on-screen effects. However, as Mauro points out, deciding what stays and what goes to hit a certain level of visual fidelity is always a hard choice for developers to make.
This is also something it appears CD Projekt RED is struggling with on the home consoles for The Witcher 3, where they have been constantly aiming for 1080p at only 30fps, but even they admit that it's unlikely that The Witcher 3 will hit that target on the Xbox One.
As for the Turin, Italy based studio working on console, mobile and PC games, MixedBag's Mauro has his own thoughts about the importance between resolution and frame-rate and blatantly makes it clear which side of the fence he stands on. When asked which one was more important, Mauro simply stated...
“60fps, no matter what.”
I'm sure most gamers agree with that sentiment, too.
However, given the current landscape of where games are headed and the limitations of the eighth generation home consoles, it wouldn't be surprising to see games slowly climb down toward a standard of being 720p at 30fps. The PS4, over the long haul, might pull out more high-end 1080p, 60fps titles but given the Xbox One's less-than-stellar GPU, we're already seeing games peak and we're still just dealing with cross-generational ports. It's going to look ugly when the eighth-gen exclusives start popping up a few years from now.