Cort Stratton gives an in-depth explanation on frame rates and graphical effects.
Cort Stratton who is PS4’s ICE Team Programmer as well as one of the developers working on the PSSL, which is the PS4 API for rendering games, has shared his thoughts on frame rates in video games. He believes that instead of aiming for higher frame rates, developers can instead achieve more graphical effects in the game.
He explained his stance in a number of Tweets which we have combined together. He first outlines the advantages of prioritizing graphical effects over higher frame rate. “I agree that >30Hz looks smoother; no argument there. But there’s more to visual quality than silky-smooth animation. More complex scenes, higher-quality AA, less blocky shadows, more accurate physics, higher clip distance, more particles, etc. To say nothing of the non-graphics-related gameplay features that are sacrificed to fit the frame into a 16.6ms budget,” he said.
(For reader’s information: Reducing the frame rate from 60 to 30 fps results into a gain of of 16 milliseconds of frame.)
However he believes that if you want smooth animation and reduced input latency then 60 frames per second is the way to go. “Personally, I’d rather have all of that (and more!) than smoother animation. If smooth anim is your #1 priority, 60+ Hz FTW. Yes, input latency & smooth animation are the clear benefits of 60Hz. In some genres (FPS, fighting games, etc.), that’s key,” he added.
It must be noted that this is Cort’s personal opinion since he is not much into first person shooters and fighters which perhaps explains his stance on having more graphical effects rather than a higher frame rate.
He also spoke about how games that are not divisors of 60fps bring in screen tearing on 60hz screens. “Most displays refresh at 60Hz. If a game’s frame rate isn’t a divisor of 60, you get either get screen tearing or stalls.” He also doubts that there will be much benefit if one plays a game that runs at 30 or 60fps on a 120hz television. “Lag won’t be an issue. I’m not sure there’d be much benefit though; aren’t most console games are locked at 30 or 60?”
It’s always intriguing to know about what developers think about frame rates in video games. Cort’s stance shows that developers will most likely push for added effects instead of higher frame rates, and in the process save more frame time.
But what are your thoughts on this subject? Let us know in the comments section below.