Titanfall’s Native Resolution Will Be 720p+ On the Xbox One

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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.

resolution_chart

(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)

Source: Eurogamer



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • James Hancock

    “Most broadcast TV is 720p”

    The only major network broadcasting 720p other than sports channels is Fox. Absolutely everyone else uses 1080i which is the maximum for broadcast TV and most TVs will turn that into 1080p internally without issue. Thus this statement is complete BS.

    And yes, on my 55″ TV from 14 feet away, the difference between the same show encoded at 720p and 1080i/p is MASSIVE. It’s VERY obvious. (using h264 at max quality settings and MPEG2 at max quality on TV broadcasts is just as obvious)

    As for games, there are many other variables and a 720p game can easily look better than the same game at 1080p if 1080p requires that other effects etc. have to be turned off, or AA needs to be turned down etc. Why both Sony and to a greater extent Microsoft released devices that can’t natively render 1080p content easily in every case is beyond me. Everyone’s TVs are 1080p and you knew you were going to get bludgeoned to death over this, why the heck would you do it? DUMB.

    • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

      You are correct, I was looking at an old article from 2009. It appears most broadcasters are now streaming at 1080i. Correction made.

    • HiroEX

      Uhm 720p is usually better than 1080i for fast moving scenes, you essentially halve your framerate with 1080i. But I don’t disagree that it was stupid of both console manufacturers to not aim for something a bit higher.
      The issue I have with the resolution wars is that resolution doesn’t mean everything, you can jack up the res and say you have 4k, but turn down all graphical effects, or you can do something more modest, and increase the graphical effects. It’s always a balancing game.

  • Mark Matheson

    So fed up of the endless criticism Xbox One has been under so I hope this new SDK they’ve been piping on about makes all the difference. What is true though is that whilst both new consoles support 4K, it’s pointless considering they are clearly unable to support such resolutions for the biggest games out there.

  • troy

    Isn’t 1080i basically 720p?

    • Bob

      Yes, the guy above that said he can see a huge difference between upconverted 1080i and 720p on his little 55 inch is full of crap. I have better then 20/20 vision and a 110 inch projector and can’t tell any difference between 720p and 1080i, and 720p looks better then upconverted 1080i->1080p. My TV is 4x bigger and I sit the same distance away as him with, likely, better vision.

  • Charles Dawkins

    You do realize that the Xbox One is about to get a huge performance boost? You do realize it’s DX12 ready? Tiled Resources, ESRAM, HSA, theses are game changers. PS4 can’t do DX12 it doesn’t have the hardware for it. The Dev says one of the tricks is ESRAM. ESRAM can store theoretically 6GB+ on 32MB ESRAM Which is super fast ram, On Demand. It works along side GDDR3 which is another 5GB of ram. http://youtu.be/EswYdzsHKMc