Many gamers love their consoles. In fact, they love them so much that they have essentially fused their identity with their console of choice, leading to the creation of a “fanboy.” When gamers become dedicated to their gaming device of choice, it is something they take so seriously that they will sue the company that makes it if it doesn’t live up to their perceived potential. Once such gamer is Douglas Ladore, who is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Sony Computer Entertainment, which is now moving forward after a decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen.
The lawsuit, shown at Courthouse News, claims that when Ladore and other gamers played Killzone: Shadow Fall’s multiplayer game mode, that they “noticed and complained that Killzone’s multiplayer graphics were blurry to the point of distraction.” Digital Foundry, a well respected online publication focusing on hardware and software ware performance for video games, revealed that Killzone: Shadow Fall’s multiplayer mode was indeed running at a subpar 960 x 1080 resolution in order to maintain the 60 frames per second target. In contrast, the single player campaign was running at a native 1080p resolution with a crisper image as a result.
While the signal outputting from the PlayStation 4 to the TV was indeed a 1080p (1920 x 1080) signal, it would be a modified image. A simple explanation can be that when you enlarge an image you have to add new pixels, the colored dots that make up the image you see on your screen. If you have a black and white pixel next to each other and suddenly have to put a new pixel in between them to fill the space, the technique employed by Killzone would put a grey pixel in the middle to give a bigger, but somewhat less defined picture.
The issue here is that Ladore claims that Sony misled gamers on the retail packaging (see image left) as well as promotional videos and the website of Killzone: Shadow Fall by saying the game had a true 1080p output. While the issue may be splitting hairs for some, Ladore felt strongly enough to sue Sony Computer Entertainment over the issue and is seeking over $5 million in damages for negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition, and fraud for a $60 game which has sole 2.1 million copies, according to CVG.
Sony argued for all of the complaints to be dismissed on several grounds. Sony argued that it did not lie about Killzone’s resolution, that Ladore’s claims were not based on said claims, that the game doesn’t fall under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and that the “economic loss rule” bars Ladore’s tort claim for negligent misrepresentation, according to Courthouse News.
The federal judge disagreed, and in his written decisions, stated, “The substantial majority of the arguments Sony raises in its motion to dismiss can be rejected for two simple reasons – either Sony’s arguments ignore important factual allegations that are well pleaded in Ladore’s complaint, or Sony’s arguments require this court to construe the complaint in the light most favorable to Sony, rather than Ladore, who is entitled to the benefit of all reasonable inferences at this stage of the proceedings.”
As a result, all but the economic loss complaints stand.
While Sony and Ladore will now go further down the legal road, it leaves both gamers and publishers with a more tenuous relationship. Selling a product to a clientele that might sue you because of a technical oversight, or a broken game like Assassin’s Creed Unity, which the Inquisitr has covered elsewhere, will lead to either publishers concentrating on quality before quantity or it will lead to an arbitration clause when you download your next game.
[Image Source | Gamespress]