PS4/Xbox One Frame Rate “More Important Than Pixel Count”, Economics Worsen With Better Fidelity

Industry veteran Jordan Weisman discusses current generation development with GamingBolt.

Posted By | On 23rd, Mar. 2014 Under News


While the Xbox One and PS4 are under constant scrutiny in terms of which games run at 1080p/60 FPS and which don’t – and more importantly, which ones can deliver a consistent performance beyond touted numbers – there have views from developers stating that frame-rate is significantly more important than resolution.

Shadowrun Returns creator and Harebrained Schemes founder Jordan Weisman believes this is the case, especially for twitch-related games (such as first person shooters). When asked about the controversies surrounding the graphical performance of games on current gen consoles, Weisman stated that, “I don’t have any special insights into it. Beyond occasionally playing, I haven’t dug into the specs on either of them. I think ultimately, as a player of games, it doesn’t matter that much to me. Framerate is more important than pixel count if you’re playing a high twitch game.”

However, there is a more worrying trend – that as the visual fidelity increases, the overall cost of development becomes more unrealistic. “As a content creator, actually, every time the fidelity of a platform goes up, it is a liability – actually, liability is too strong of a term – it is a challenge as a content creator, because as fidelity goes up, costs of creating stuff that takes advantage of that fidelity go up, so the economics of the business just get worse and worse as the fidelity gets better.

“If you just look at fidelity on one curve, and you look at install based and price point on another curve, to see what your potential revenue is versus your cost of producing that fidelity, those two curves are crossed in the worst possible way for content creators.”

Do you agree with Weisman’s views, and for that matter, is frame rate more paramount to enjoying a game than resolution? Thinking back to how horrible frame rates hampered games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the PS3 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on both Xbox 360 and PS3, we’re inclined to agree. But let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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