One of the big questions leading into the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the resolution for the Xbox One following the 720p fiasco for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey confirmed what resolution the game will be running at in a Reddit AMA on Sunday evening. It's a vast improvement, but not quite the native 1080p the PlayStation 4 runs at.
Call of Duty games have always prioritized frame rate over resolution. In the case of Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer Games has implemented a dynamic resolution for the Xbox One to ensure that the game does not dip below 60 frames per second (fps).
Condrey explained Sledgehammer's approach in the Reddit AMA as follows.
Minimum XboxOne resolution is 1360x1080, and dynamically scales from there to full 1080p. That's over 50% increase from last year. Advanced Warfare runs native 1080p on PS4.
Both running at rock solid 60fps.
"Full" 1080p is 1920 x 1080. Sledgehammer's solution means that the Xbox One version of COD: Advanced Warfare will render scenes at full 1080p when it can do so without dropping the framerate. This will typically means scenes with minor to moderate action. The resolution will then drop to as low as 1360 x 1080 and then stretch pixels horizontally to 1920 when the on-screen action can affect the frame rate.
The good news is that this horizontal stretching of a relatively few amount pixels should result in no screen tearing or other significant graphical artifacts. The fact that it is also stretching the image across only one axis should also cut down on some of the blurriness that is common when stretching from 1600 x 900 (900p) to 1920 x 1080. It's not the first time this technique has been used either. Wolfenstein: The New Order did the same.
How often COD: Advanced Warfare drops to 1360 x 1080 will require the kind of in-depth analysis that Eurogamer's Digital Foundry is known for. In fact, the outlet promised that an analysis "will be published soon."
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launched a day early with a Day Zero Edition and a hidden zombie bonus round as a tease to a DLC release. Call of Duty: Ghosts sold well, but was not received well critically or by fans. The two-year development cycle and crunch to get it on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles clearly took a toll on Infinity Ward, which is why the game was released at 720p on Microsoft's next-gen console. The change up to a three-year development cycle has clearly helped though with an early Metacritic review score that averages 85 for the Xbox One and 82 on the PlayStation 4.
"Three years ago we made some big decisions to invest in a three-year development cycle and to enlist Sledgehammer Games to be the first new lead studio for Call of Duty in a decade," Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc., wrote in a press release "We believe that those decisions have paid off, resulting in a fantastic game, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which features a kickass story, an epic performance by Kevin Spacey, beautiful graphics and new core mechanics that make Advanced Warfare even more of an adrenaline rush than Call of Duty already was. And that's saying something."
What do you think of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's use of dynamic resolution for the Xbox One? Does it help even things out between the two consoles or no? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Call of Duty]