NFS: Rivals gameplay on Xbox One rings in at the same native resolution as its PlayStation 4 cousin. Could this mean that other developers are holding back on the performance?
Admittedly, it’s extremely early on the next gen console cycle, and it’s probable that in five years we’ll see games that make the ones we see now look like the developers aren’t even trying. There is a learning curve with every generation which separates the launch titles from the last handful we get on any console.
Yes, Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on current gen consoles look almost as good as we expect launch titles on the Xbox One to be. Rockstar has had a long time to perfect their game, and is still releasing updates to smooth out the experience. Compare Grand Theft Auto V with Halo 3 and you’ll see a definite jump in gameplay technology, even though they are on the same console.
The same thing will happen with next gen titles, and the reported NFS: Rivals gameplay resolution may be the first indication that the Xbox One is capable of what the PS4 is already doing.
Developers might just need some extra time to figure out how to get that extra ounce of performance out of a console that, up to this point, only developers have had any serious time with.
Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 may simply be victims of the early days of console production, showing inferior resolution counts on Xbox One in comparison with the PlayStation 4. It might actually be possible for those games to run at the full 1080p, but the developers need to get the games out on time, so they’re settling with the maximum they can safely use for now.
In that case, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that Activision and DICE held back on the performance for their Xbox One launch titles. If anything, the fact that the graphics were upscaled means that it doesn’t really matter for now. After all, unless you’re watching a movie like Riddick on a 50-plus inch HDTV, you won’t notice that much difference between the Blu-Ray and an upscaled DVD in a Blu-Ray player, unless you pause it.
Ghost Games creative director Craig Sullivan hinted at this when he explained the NFS: Rivals gameplay performance on Xbox One and PS4:
“Each has its own challenges, I think. Ask me that same question again in two years and people will be able to give you a real answer. Right now, the consoles aren’t even out, and people are trying to say this about development and that about development. The thing is they’re both very different to develop for, and they both have their quirks, and I’m sure they will both be reviewed side by side and people will put our game side by side on both platforms – I know [Battlefield 4]’s getting a lot of that.”
If you want a solid answer to the resolution possible on both consoles, it might be wise to keep in mind the NFS: Rivals gameplay resolution on the Xbox One and wait a few years. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One might just be close enough performance-wise that you won’t be able to tell the difference in the end.