720p when the game couldn't hit native 1080p? Check. 30 measly frames per second because 60 frames was beyond the system's hardware threshold? Check. Frame stutter to show that porting from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One and cutting corners to do so doesn't always yield the best results? Double check.
Joystiq rolled out an honest preview of Dead Rising 3 for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One home console yesterday. Worries about performance due to downscaling of games that were supposed to run at native 1080p and 60 frames per second have continued to spread throughout the gaming community when Joystiq's David Hinkle managed to get some hands-on time with Dead Rising 3 at an event in San Francisco.
Unlike a certain controlled 10 minute preview of Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One, the Joystiq preview managed to get in a heck of lot more time to play-test the game and give an accurate summary of the experience. Hinkle has lots of fair praise to share from his preview of Dead Rising 3, but there is something especially noteworthy from the preview: the game hiccups more than a baby addicted to diet Pepsi once you get into vehicles.
While this may not sound like much of an issue, the frame stuttering became apparent, very apparent, according to Hinkle, whenever he commandeered a vehicle. Driving down the street in a motorcycle? Lots of frame stutter. Powering through hordes of the undead in a supped up muscle car? Frame stutter.
Even at 720p and locked at 30fps, the game still suffers from frame stutter on the Xbox One. This is the sort of thing that could prove to be somewhat damaging if they don't get this under check come launch. Sadly, this also continues to feed into worries about the Xbox One's hardware capabilities when a game downscaled from 1080p to 720p and locked at 30fps still suffers frame rate issues to the degree highlighted in the Joystiq article.
There was a rather odd caveat to the problem that managed to ease the traveling process, though it may not be something many gamers may care for. Hinkle writes...
The slower steam roller, on the other hand, not only was a smooth Sunday drive through zombie-infested streets, but also had the added benefit of squishing the undead into jelly. Faster vehicles pretty clearly seem to be the culprit; it's a worrisome pattern, given the little amount of time before the game's release on November 22.
Well there you go. Stick to steam rollers and you won't have a problem with frames dropping or the screen tearing or any stuttering. Great solution, eh?
There is one thing worth noting that falls in favor of the Xbox One: reports of frame stutter in Call of Duty: Ghosts, sadly, must be rendered negligible. It's an unfair and inaccurate way to gauge the performance of the Xbox One using Ghosts as a frame-stuttering tag-team partner for Dead Rising 3, mostly because it appears Ghosts runs like milk through a lactose intolerant dairy farmer on every platform: choppy, clumpy and messy all over.
Also, in the interest of fairness (because the Xboners deserve a bone at this point) Capcom's executive producer Josh Bridge offered some measure of explanation to Eurogamer as to how difficult it was getting Dead Rising 3 – even with its vehicular frame stutter – running on the Xbox One at 720p in time for launch, saying...
“It's been... Outside of infancy - every new platform launch, I've now learnt - it's always infancy on tools, and that's the back and forth with tools improving. It's very similar to a PC development environment, so that's been really cool. Happy to not be cross-platform, to be honest - it's a huge challenge for a game like ours. We have to do very specific things with memory allocation and drivers to get our stuff running, and in the past it was like wow, it made our teams quite a bit larger having multiple leads.”
That quote from Bridge really didn't help sell the game at all. More than anything that read to me like they're struggling to make par and that this is going to be one stressful console launch come November 22nd.
Anyway, Joystiq offers some smart words of advice: tread cautiously. The game is just weeks away from release and we still don't have news of many of the Xbox One games going gold. It is getting a bit worrisome but in the interest of people not getting burned out of the gate, I do hope Capcom can pull it together in time.
This news will also become more or less important as a gauge of the Xbox One's overall performance depending on how well Assassin's Creed IV runs on the Xbox One and at what resolution it will run. Stay tuned.