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Will we ever be free of the 'my resolution/fps is bigger than yours' debate?

Will we ever be free of the "my resolution/fps is bigger than yours" argument? It seems not, and it's likely to get worse as more games release that make use of the power of current-gen consoles. Add to the discussion (although we can hardly call the outrage proper debate) the superior processing power of the PC, and you have a full-blown rage episode. We've seen first hand on GameZone just how worked up gamers can get over the topic of resolution and frame rate. It's as if fanboys throw all common decency overboard in order to defend the power of their platform of choice.

Why must you defend your choice over which platform you enjoy playing video games?

The PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One all have its unique pros and cons. It's okay to prefer one over the other. If you're loaded, buy them all. If you're not, make peace with your choice, even though it performs worse in some areas when compared to another platform. What's more embarrassing than fans arguing over their console of choice? When Microsoft or Sony jump in.

Yesterday Microsoft published a gorgeous looking Witcher 3 video in the official Xbox One YouTube channel, with a big Xbox One logo displayed at the bottom left corner.  The video, titled, "Precious Cargo" is about a quest where Geralt helps a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. People quickly commented, saying the video could not be from the Xbox One version of the game, as the footage was captured in 1080p/60fps, and only the PC version can run The Witcher 3 with those specs. The PlayStation 4 will run at 1080p/30fps and Xbox One versions will run at 900p/30fps. Kotaku contacted CD Projekt Red about the video and a representative confirmed, "this footage is indeed from the PC version."

Yesterday afternoon Microsoft issued a formal apology to Gamespot: “This morning we posted a new trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to our YouTube channels featuring footage provided by CD Projekt Red that was captured from the PC version of the game and may not be reflective of final Xbox One gameplay," the spokesperson said. "This was in no way intended to misrepresent the title on Xbox One. We have updated the description of the asset to make clear the source and platform of this footage. We apologize for any confusion and look forward to the game arriving on both Xbox One and PC on May 19, 2015."

Microsoft also exchanged the big Xbox One logo to a much smaller one at the bottom right corner. The video description now includes, "In game footage provided by CD Projekt Red, captured on a PC."

Microsoft never claimed the footage was captured on the Xbox One, but it was definitively misleading. Given how serious gamers are about resolution and frame rate, one should think Microsoft would at least state from the beginning on which platform the footage was captured.

That brings me back to the question of "Will we ever be free of the 'my resolution/fps is bigger than yours' debate?" Why does it seem to be the most important feature of a gaming platform? In February, we published an article about a study that showed why current-gen console owners chose a specific gaming device. Only PlayStation 4 owners chose the console because of "Better Resolution." For Xbox One owners "Brand Loyalty" counted most and for Wii U owners "Fun Factor."

I don't understand the never-ending fight over resolution and frame rate, but I do understand the upset when developers compromise on delivering the best possible experience on a console. Looking at you Ubisoft. Locking parity for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Assassin's Creed: Unity was one of the biggest mistakes they made.

Could a reason for the resolution/frame rate debate be that console gamers think developers neglect the console versions of a game in favour of the PC port? A survey showed that developers definitively prefer PC over console because PC is "most important" for the future of the gaming industry. Remember when Ninja Theory announced Hellblade as a (timed) PlayStation 4 exclusive? Keep in mind that Ninja Theory developed the game first and foremost for PS4, and then in January this year they announced that they're shifting development to PC. It costs developers a lot of time and resource to optimise a game for a specific platform, and do devs have the capital to develop a game for optimal performance on all three platforms? And that concern could be at the heart of the whole debate - that a game is inferior on your platform. But what if a developer did make the best use of what a platform offers? Why do we persist with the argument?

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Again, I understand the concern and disappointment when a developer announces a game for a specific platform, then decide half-way through development to change to a different platform. I don't understand the senseless argument that the PlayStation 4 is better than the Xbox One because it can run a game at a better resolution and frame rate. People choose their gaming platform for personal reasons. Media (GameZone included) and game publishers sometimes fuel the resolutiongate war to gain traffic or sell a product. Microsoft's blunder highlights the fact that the PC version of (games) Witcher 3 will look better than the console versions.

But should it matter so much?

Resolution below 720p and fps below 30 is unacceptable for current platforms, but it's unlikely you'll get a new game with those rates. Frame rate matters depending on the genre, shooters require better fps, or the player will experience too much lag. Resolution matters because it determines the visual quality of a game. However, how big is the difference between 1080p and 900p? Is it really so big that it should matter this much?

People have the right to purchase what they want, without having to defend those reasons. So how about we move on from "my resolution/fps is bigger than yours" and enjoy the experience of playing a game on your platform of choice.

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