Activision released Call of Duty: Ghosts to the Xbox One last November with a disappointing 720p resolution. This only added fuel to the console war fire with Sony’s Playstation 4. The upcoming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare should level the playing field better though according to a statement by Sledgehammer Games released Thursday.
Sledgehammer chief operating and development officer Michael Condrey spoke with OXM about the benefits of the three-year development cycle it’s enjoyed with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. While he admits that creating a game in the first year of a new console release is challenging, Advanced Warfare will perform better on the Xbox One than Ghosts.
“The fact that we’ve had three years to develop our new tech, three years to learn the console has been really exciting. So we’re still optimizing, but what I can tell you is that we’re definitely ahead of where the franchise was last year,” Condrey explained.
Not mentioned by Condrey is that Sledgehammer will get experience other benefits with Advanced Warfare that Infinity Ward never got with Call of Duty: Ghosts. The developer is solely focusing on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC during development while Infinity Ward had to split its attention across generations. Former Transformers: Fall of Cybertron developers, High Moon Studios, will be tasked with porting COD: Advanced Warfare down to the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U.
Sledgehammer is also unencumbered by the same game engine that has powered the first-person shooter series since the days of Call of Duty 2. Condrey revealed in an interview with Edge Magazine that the Advanced Warfare game engine has been built from scratch.
The ultimate goal for any Call of Duty game, however, is to reach a stable 60 frames per second (fps). All the flashy graphical effects and high resolutions don’t matter much in the ultra-competitive multiplayer scene as much as a stable and fast frame rate. That is part of the reason why Infinity Ward let the Call of Duty: Ghosts resolution slide to 720p on the Xbox One versus the 1080p on the PS4.
It’s unknown if Sledgehammer games will make use of the new Xbox One software development kit with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare at this time. Developers are just getting their hands on the ability to unlock the 10% GPU power that was reserved for Kinect but already Destiny is confirmed to be 1080p for the console, Sunset Overdrive is adding more enemies and particle effects and Battlefield Hardline “should” be the same resolution on the PS4 and Xbox One.
It’s important not to understate the importance of Call of Duty to the Xbox One, however. Microsoft spent big money on securing timed exclusive DLC but Ghosts is selling more on the PS4 than the Xbox One. The final resolution and performance of Advanced Warfare will go a long way towards helping set next-gen console preferences heading into the holiday shopping season.