Unravel’s Dev On PS4/Xbox One 1080p/60fps Debate: “It’s A Little Bit Blown Out of Proportion”

Martin Sahlin of ColdWood gives his take on the resolution wars between the PS4 and Xbox One.

Posted By | On 19th, Feb. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


unravel x

One of the big talking points this generation, and one that really grinds my gears, personally speaking, is the entire obsession with pixel counting- major graphical difference between different versions of multiplatform titles are all well and good- and those deserve to be discussed and analyzed. There is a place for that in the industry.

But modern consoles are so close to each other, their hardware so commoditized, that the difference between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of a game just comes down to a few lines and dots more on one version over the other- it is, frankly, insane, and we are spending far too much time discussing minor imperceptible graphical differences, when we could be engaging in far more meaningful discourse about the gaming industry.

In our exclusive Martin Sahlin of ColdWood, the guys who brought us the just released, gorgeous Unravel, we brought up the question of the industry’s obsession with resolution and framerate standards, and asked him to give us his opinion on it. Sahlin admitted that he is not a resolution guy himself- though he did also admit that he likes being challenged to deliver the best possible visual performance, as a developer and creator.

“Yeah, I think it’s a little bit blown out of proportion. I’m not really a resolution guy,” he said.  “But it’s… I think it’s kind of fun as a developer, to be able to push boundaries, to be able to do kind of advanced stuff. I mean, I guess I like the challenge, because I like how it looks, and I think a game like this obviously helped by being beautiful. Which helped grabbed people’s attention. So things like that, they do matter. It does make a difference.

“But also, as a developer, I kind of like it the more similar platforms are- because again, there are fourteen of us, and whenever there is a difference in the spec, in the machines that you are working on, it means more work for us. Because you have to make it look the same on everything, and it’s not always that easy to do that, it can take more effort.

So does he like the idea of homogenized consoles? We asked him if he prefers these over the more differentiated hardware that each console used to have, right up until the last generation.

“Well it is [better]. You could argue that it would be better if they were all massively different, but that would also mean that there would essentially not be multiplatform development for anything, because it just wouldn’t be- it would be like, you know, making completely different games, at the same time.”

So that tells us just how much easier consoles having similar hardware have made life on developers. As gamers, we might gripe and long for days when each console was uniquely differentiated- but the present day gaming industry would not exist without the homogenized hardware that make multiplatform game development possible.


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  • andy

    Or it simply isn’t blown out of proportion at all. The fact of the matter is, when Xbone can get to 1080p on a game, its either a cross gen game that is also on last gen or a 2D simplistic designed game (like this one) or its a game that was constantly lamented as not being that next gen looking from debut to launch (like Fallout 4).
    Xbone is THE console to keep an eye on if you want to know if a game is going to look next gen at all. If its full 1080p on the console, then you know its going to be pretty meh. Just look at the last gen looking Forza games on Xbone as a pure example.
    Try and guess, with this gif, which game is the stunning next gen looking one http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3193/2101/original.gif

    Again, this dev talks about being able to push boundaries. The fact that this game is 1080p on Xbone makes me delighted as I know we are guaranteed to get even better looking games this gen

    • loststar

      Not sure why I’m bothering as you clearly have fanboy issues but you do realise you’re comparing a game that runs at 30fps with one that runs at 60fps… go figure.

    • oSHINSAo

      Plus one is Arcadie and the other is the best racing sim game and has the best physics

    • Guest

      Forza has horrible physics and is a sh itty sim. You fanboys have all
      actually convinced yourself to believe that nonsense. PCars smokes it in
      the physics and sim department.

    • Guest

      Plus one is a exhilarating and fun racer while the other is a cheap console sim game.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Forza is definitely neither the best sim racer, nor does it have the best sim physics.

    • J.j. Barrington

      In that case, why isn’t the 30fps Horizon anywhere near DC?

    • loststar

      Horizon is an open world… but the article is about the same game on different platforms not picking two different games by different developers with different aims.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Then why single out the difference in framerate as if it’s the deciding factor?

    • loststar

      Well let’s put it like this, do you think DC would be able to look as good if it was made to run at 60fps? My point being the comparison is not exactly a fair one.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Of course not. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from making the comparison, and even saying that Forza looks better, has it?

    • Truth™

      They both look like trash

      http://i.imgur.com/K6vPLqR.jpg

    • J.j. Barrington

      Only to the blind, like yourself.

    • Truth™
    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, sure.

    • Truth™

      So much denial 🙂

    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, sure.

    • Truth™
    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, sure.

    • Guest

      Not sure why I’m bothering as you clearly have fanboy issues but you do realise that one games looks WAY, WAY BETTER… go figure. Oh and btw, DC also feels way faster and is more exhilarating than Boreza.

    • loststar

      It should look better it has twice as long to render the frame. I’m not a fan of either game particularly and I don’t care what console a game is on. Supporting one piece of plastic over another doesn’t make sense to me being a gamer. It just means you miss out on certain games.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Even if you cut Forza’s framerate in half, there’s no guarantee it’d look as good.

    • loststar

      Of course there isn’t but the graphics would certainly be a lot better than they are at 60fps.

    • Truth™

      New Need For Speed looks better than Driveflop and is 60FPS on PC. The Crew looks better on PC and is 60FPS

      Sonycuck peasants think motion blur and 30FPS is great. Loving every laugh.

    • Truth™

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

      Motion blur the game that looks completely garbage once you remove the filter and is 30FPS

      Both consoles suck you loser 🙂

    • Typicall Fanboy, you probaply haven’t a clue that one game is 60Fps simulation with Physics at 200Fps and the other ”Driveclub” everything runs at 30Fps. We know that PS4 is a little bit more powerfull than Xbox One but the comparisson between FM6 and Driveclub proves the ignorrance of the Fanboys.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Don’t you think you should be directing similar comments at the fanboys who have been claiming Forza is graphically superior for months now, even though it isn’t? Or does your brand of correction only go one way?

  • Guest

    “One of the big talking points this
    generation, and one that really grinds my gears, personally speaking, is
    the entire obsession with pixel counting”

    Typical MS fanboy talking point, must be a MS fanboy because i didnt hear any of them crying about it last gen, oh they loved it then.

    • Fear Monkey

      I agree with that actually (not crying about it last gen). I was a Xbox guy until the Xbox One and I remember the Xbox fans gloating over the performance of games on the PS3. When the shoe was on the other foot, suddenly resolution wasn’t so important anymore…… I would be willing to bet if the Xbox One had the better GPU, they wouldn’t be saying it doesn’t matter so much.

    • Guest

      Exactly, and I also was a Xbox guy til the X1 also. And you damn well skippy they would be singing a different tune if they had the advantage. Its just fanboys being fanboys.

    • Fear Monkey

      It pays to not be a fanboy and loyal to a corporation, just support what you feel is the best product, and in this case for me, it was the PS4 this gen. That could change next gen and I could go back to Xbox. Until the PS4, i hadnt owned a playstation since the PS1.

    • Guest

      Damn, I also never owned a Sony system til this gen and also go with the best product not the company.

    • Fear Monkey

      That is the way to be in my opinion 🙂 Competition benefits the consumer, pledging loyalty to a company’s product when something maybe better stiffles that competition. Plus, I’m not getting a monthly check from MS to support them no matter what, so my business goes where I see the most value. That being said, I do miss playing Halo a bit.

    • Jason Mounce

      Finally someone other than me remembers things that happened in 2006-2008. It’s like most bloody kiddies these days can’t remember anything that happened just a few months after anything happens. I remember everything like it is and explain it and everytime people are like “Nah, Sony fanboys were always the worst, Sony fanboys were so boastful and arrogant during PS3 days” and I’m like “Were you around to see how the Xbox 360 camp were during the launch of 360/PS3? Clearly not…”

      PS3 was constantly attacked, and the PS community for 2-3 years non-stop by majority of websites, the amount of bias in media and journalists were HUUUUUGE. Everyone favoured the Xbox 360 and every site generally gave skewered scores and lower scores for PS3 multiplats and even N4G and other forums like Neogaf or Gametrailers when it was still alive were heavily biased to Xbox 360, wherein they’d record PS3 footage with HDMI features off and RGB colours all muddied up or compare games head-to-head like Resistance vs Gears of War, it was a horrendously Anti-Sony generation until Sony shot back with the $299 price point and the Kevin Butler ads, things went good for Sony after that point and the release of great exclusives like the Uncharted series and God of War 3 and from then on.

    • Fear Monkey

      It absolutely was that way! I remember how the PS3 was brutally teased early in it’s life by Xbox fans because of the antialiasing issues, the lower resolution compared to 360 versions, the split ram on The PS3 causing the PS3’s versions of games to have blurrier textures, etc, etc.

      However, I believe that was partly caused by Sony themselves. Kuturagi and Kazuo Hirai of Sony would openly trash Xbox and Dreamcast early in its life, and did so constantly. I remember them saying the most stupid things about Xbox during the PS2 years, and that continued to the launch of the PS3. Just look up Kutaragi’s quotes, I remember him once saying that the 3DO was a better platform than Xbox! I remember going into a Blockbuster Video and looking for Xbox games and a guy in there asked me if I had an Xbox, and I said yes. Him and his buddy started laughing saying they had PS2’s and the Xbox was crap! Yeah that actually happened. So Xbox fans started hating Sony (I admittedly was one of them then as I hated Sony for helping Kill the Dreamcast which I loved). So Xbox 360 took off and the PS3 had issues and Xbox fans then made fun of Sony, and now its back to Sony being on top again. I wonder if Kuturagi and Kaz hadnt been so arrogant and nasty then if this war of brands wouldnt exist as much.

    • Jason Mounce

      Yeah, it was Sony’s fault, they were obscenely arrogant and thought that they could release anything and it’d sell like hot cakes and it all slammed right back in their face to become a laughing-stock, because people love poking fun at giant companies when they make blunders more or less.

      Well, brand-competition is of course, normal and can be fun and healthy. Just if a person or company gets carried away then bad things happen, the CEO’s seem to have personal friendships with the Xbox and Sony teams and get along just fine as we see pictures of them at conventions and whatnot. Although, can’t say the same for Nintendo staff, I don’t see them hang out and take selfies with Sony/Xbox team.

      The generation of being the laughing-stock is Xbox’s turn since of ‘Xbones’ debut errors and Microsofts arrogance, they in my eyes just pulled a Sony-move just a generation after Sony had made that blunder of being so overly-empowered and blinded, that they thought they could just push their ideas down the throats of their consumers and TELL Them that it’s what you want and it’s the best for you, instead of literally listening to what the fans want. That obviously didn’t go so well and are still even now, paying for it, even if they did back-pedal all of their bad decisions. Though, I’d argue they did so differently than Sony. Sony it felt like they just pushed through things and didn’t back-pedal, but just got quiet and worked hard on the pricepoint being lowered and getting more games and exclusives out. Xbox team in contrast, kept making stupid quotes/blunders and flipping switches on everything they stood by, to me it was like, they were trying to realize their identity by pushing themselves in a direction that would symbolize their company and their strategy, but no one wanted it. So to play things safe they tried to go Nintendo’s route and mimic them to play it safe, with Kinect, to try to adopt and take away their consumers. It didn’t work and their fanbase did not give AF about Kinect at most, since they forced it as mandatory. To play it even more safe, it felt like they just discarded their ‘self-image’ of wanting to play it their way by just ‘Doing what Sony is doing’…. though by now mimicing Sony, they are starting to do well. Aka, not talking much, just working on games, not being narcissistic about your personal agendas and just appeasing your crowd first.

    • Fear Monkey

      I just hope that we are done with the arrogance on either side now. It wasnt becoming os either Sony or MS to be that way, and a little bit of humble pie helped Sony with the Ps4, lets hope the same works for MS on the next Xbox. Next gen should be really interesting with VR/AR and MS having something to prove and Sony trying to stay ahead (if they continue to do so, but it looks mostly inevitable unless the royally mess it up!)

    • Jason Mounce

      Since it was their first lesson, who knows how long it’ll take for history to repeat itself, and if it does. I’m still curious on how Sony is going to price their VR since it will be the success or killing blow to VR since we now know the price to Oculus ‘AND’ Valves’ Vive. Next-gen should be good indeed, am sure it’ll be much harder for consumers to pick which console to get first, especially on the inclination of those who ‘Get the console their friends get’. Sony may have the lead with that mentality due to the predecessor’s success right off the bat, which should mean Sony no matter what will have a head-start. The rest only revolves around who makes the least amount of mistakes in their marketing, unveil, lineup, and price point.

    • Fear Monkey

      I’m intrigued by Sony’s VR but until I see a price and know how well it works with people that use Glasses, im taking a wait and see. I wont be a buyer on release day but if its great I may end up getting one eventually. I am concerned whether it will take off though, and Sony’s reuse of the move rather than updating the move to perform a bit better has me worried.

    • Jason Mounce

      I wear glasses myself and am sure Gaben has already made it clear with Vive that glasses aren’t an issue – just mine are really large thick nerdy hipster-glasses, so idunno myself. lmao.

      Time will tell though, but Sony’s price is quite important.

    • Groudon199

      Even last gen, I couldn’t see the difference between 720p and 1080p without comparing the two (the first game I compared the two for was Katamari Forever, a PS3 game). 900p vs. 1080p might as well be the same, since I see zero difference sitting 10 feet away from my 32″ TV.

      Also, I don’t remember there being a lot of “obsession with pixel counting” last gen. It’s been a common thing with PC gaming, but people only started caring about “pixel counting” on consoles a couple years ago, which is what pisses me off. I remember caring about what the “better” console was in the PS2/GC days, back before anyone else did.

    • luis

      It never really mattered graphics always get better. I’ve owned every major console since sega genesis. Yes I’m getting old but graphics was never an issue with video games. The ps1 was still beast even though it graphics weren’t as good as the n64. Same with the Ps2 and Xbox. As I recall it was Sony fan boys that started this 1080p full hd crap. I love sony and MS shoot even Nintendo,but graphics don’t matter. Its about the games and experience. I’m a gamer that buys every console as soon as possible to play every good game. I have preferred xbox since it went live but have always owned a sony for those few game xbox cant touch. In a perfect world the graphics would only slightly improve every new generation but gameplay would significantly evolve. like when Driver came out or super mario 64,DK country,Star fox64, Wrestlemania 2000, gta3, or Halo those games were mind blowing because of the gameplay not graphics. Lets complain about the quality of games not resolution.

  • Fear Monkey

    It’s very subjective, some people don’t care, some people do…..I happen to be a person that cares about Resolution and would rather play a game at 1080p 30fps than 900p 60fps, but that’s just my personal feeling and doesn’t mean anything except to me. I think on a large screen at 50 inches or more, its very noticeable, but I also play on a 1440p monitor and I’m used to that level of clarity.

  • Kelarth

    Sony fanboys. LMAO!

    • J.j. Barrington

      Interesting thing for an Xbox fanboy to say.

  • Mr Xrat

    I don’t think so. I think it’s died down in the last year since people have come to terms with the reality of the situation.

  • crizz1066

    I enjoy pointing out the differences in pdi as m$ can get so wound up its funny. But at the end of the day you can’t tell the difference if a car drives past at 130 or 160 but it takes a lot more to do. And most would say the faster is the better car. So to put it simple the ps4 is more powerful better gaming machine. Whatever your politics are.

  • Paul

    I think that what the real problem is that in the long run, the PS4 has got more juice to play with, just like last gen of consoles, what’s going to happen when the PC puts more pressure on and resolutions and frame rates start to drop on consoles, the PS4 will have the edge there and if we take parity out of it and the hardware is used to it’s full then the PS4 is anywhere from 10% to 40% faster than the Xbox One depending on the given tasks it’s doing, so year it aint hard to see why Sony is winning this console war, what’s really surprising is that the PC gaming space is growing faster than consoles the last 3 years, you would think when the PS4 and Xbox One was released that it would change that but the PC is still motoring ahead, that should be a worry for console gamers if that trend keeps going.


 

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