A common theme with the current generation of consoles is that games do not always reach 720p HD resolution so developers can ensure that games run smoothly. As the Xbox One gears up for launch in two months, this situation appears to be repeating itself according to a report Tuesday but with sub-1080p resolutions instead.
Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg revealed that Crytek's Ryse will not be rendered at 1080p as originally thought but at 900p instead and then upscaled to 1080p. However, Forza Motorsport 5 will still be rendered 1080p as was first reported.
While this news is sure to inflame the next-gen console wars between the PS4 and Xbox One, Eurogamer's Digital Foundry brings up a couple of excellent points. First, Ryse has been in development for a couple of years while the specs of the Xbox One have been a moving target. Microsoft recently bumped the speed of both the console's CPU and GPU and the graphics drivers for the console have been in constant state of flux. It's likely that Crytek had to lock-in at 900p while things were still in flux to ensure the game would be ready at launch.
Secondly, the visual difference between 1080p and 900p for next-gen may not be as dramatically noticeable as the difference between 720p and 640p for current-gen consoles. Digital Foundry ran tests with Crysis 3 at both 1080p and 900p and found "reduction in quality isn't quite as impactful as you might expect."
The technical experts at Digital Foundry expect that gamers will see many of the initial wave of PS4 and Xbox One games come in at sub-1080p resolutions to ensure they run smoothly.
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