Undoubtedly Titanfall is the most highly anticipated game for the Xbox One. In fact, in the short term, Microsoft’s success with the Xbox One is dependent on the successful launch of Titanfall. Microsoft hopes Titanfall will do for the Xbox One what Halo did for the previous consoles.
Over the weekend Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker officially confirmed that Titanfall’s native resolution will be 792p on the Xbox One, or slightly higher than standard HD (high definition). This shuts down rumors that Titanfall might have launched at 900p, or a resolution in between standard HD and Full HD [1080p].
“We’ve been experimenting with making [the resolution] higher and lower. One of the big tricks is how much ESRAM we’re going to use, so we’re thinking of not using hardware MSAA and instead using FXAA to make it so we don’t have to have this larger render target,” Baker stated.
“We’re going to experiment. The target is either 1080p non-anti-aliased or 900p with FXAA. We’re trying to optimize… we don’t want to give up anything for higher res. So far we’re not 100 per cent happy with any of the options, we’re still working on it. For day one it’s not going to change. We’re still looking at it for post-day one. We’re likely to increase resolution after we ship.”
“A lot of the performance is on the GPU side. There’s still room for optimization and we’re still working on it,” Baker commented. “Ideally it would have been a rock-solid 60 all the time when we shipped but obviously when there’s big fights going on, lots of particle effects, lots of physics objects… we’re still working to condense the systems, make them more parallel so we can hit 60 all the time, ideally.”
“There was an issue with decals taking a lot more time than they should which we fixed for launch,” he said. “The worst-case scenarios are better, I think. The average is probably about the same as the beta.”
Resolution is something that seems to be very important to gamers, and can be evidenced by our recent post: Sony Caught Lying to PS4 Users; Killzone: Shadow Fall Multiplayer Not Natively 1080p As Promised. As a non-gamer myself, I tend to care less about resolution and think people put too much emphasis on it. I think a lot of people do not realize that some broadcast television is still streamed at 720p (edit correction made here). Also the average gamer is sitting too far away from his/her television to gain the benefit of having a game natively in 1080p (see graphic below).
This is a little off topic here, but if we look at the consumer flat panel market the trend is 2160p TVs (aka “4K” or UHD or Ultra HD). The trend a few years back was 3D but that has seemed to died off a little. Now Microsoft and Sony both saw the 2160p trend but consciously decided not to support it because of the number of trade-offs they would have to make in their consoles. Also viewing distance and screen size make a huge difference when actually gaining significant benefits from a 2160p (4k) display. I often wonder what benefit is there to having a 2160p screen on an 8-inch device. So keep that in mind when thinking about resolution.
(I refer to 4k as 2160p because it is more consistent with previous terminology. 720p = 720 horizontal lines, 1080p = 1080 horizontal, in “4k” you have 2160 horizontal lines. The 4k part refers to the number of vertical lines instead of the horizontal lines as we always have in the past. Also there is a difference between consumer 4k and professional 4k, so in consumer 4k you do not actually get 4000 vertical lines [closer to 3840], it’s more of a marketing time. UHD = 3840 x 2160)