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Microsoft lifts 720p Xbox 360 requirement

Microsoft lifts 720p Xbox 360 requirement

Microsoft has reportedly lifted the requirement for 720p resolutions and fullscreen anti-aliasing in Xbox 360 games.

Black Rock technical director David Jeffries has revealed that Microsoft adjusted the development requirements for Xbox 360 gamers earlier this year, removing the demand that all games support 720p and fullscreen anti-aliasing.

Writing in a guest column for Develop Jeffries revealed that Microsoft had tweaked the development requirements to compensate for a change in HD TV resolutions and to free up developers artistically.

"Now we are free to make the trade-off between resolution and image quality as we see fit," wrote Jefferies, who said that another reason for the change was 720p TVs emerging from the likes of Sony and Samsung which run at 1366x768 and not true 1280x720 resolution, meaning that game images were being automatically upscaled.

As Jeffries points out though, rather than forcing developers to support different resolutions or forcing them to drop features in order to get smooth framerates at true 720p the adjustments allow developers more freedom to use better graphical effects at lower resolutions.

Jeffries, who worked on Black Rock's Pure, revealed that the demand for certain resolutions and surrounding confusion will likely become less of an issue as 1080p becomes more of a standard for consumers and manafacturers.

What type of TV and resolution do you use? Let us know in the forums.

30 Comments

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Bauul 3rd September 2009, 15:10 Quote
More developer freedom is never a bad thing, and I can't imagine Microsoft would let a dev get carried away and not provide a decent experience on all resolutions.

Plus, I don't know why, but I really like the picture you used. Something rather arty about it.
wuyanxu 3rd September 2009, 15:16 Quote
with CoD MM2 and Halo ODST about to be released, i can't help but wonder are one of those 2 games the reason Microsoft lifted the requirements?

after all, the consoles are showing its age in graphical capabilities (look at GTA4 on PC for example)
cjoyce1980 3rd September 2009, 15:23 Quote
I seem to remember the sonys development requirements are 1080p, but not all developers can manager this when making a multiple platform title like COD and GTA. Think this is a first party requirement as they get more attention from the sony PS3 hardware engineers, think this was the reason why i remember the PS3 version of GTA running at 640p unlike the 360 version which did achieve 720p.

but like most, the PC is the prefered choice, but they're some games that just dont translate well to the PC, unless you have a 360 pad which was a smart move buy MS
CardJoe 3rd September 2009, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
with CoD MM2 and Halo ODST about to be released, i can't help but wonder are one of those 2 games the reason Microsoft lifted the requirements?

after all, the consoles are showing its age in graphical capabilities (look at GTA4 on PC for example)

Think they probably lifted it earlier than we think - Halo 3 didn't run at true 720p either.
Skiddywinks 3rd September 2009, 15:46 Quote
I think the loss of full screen AA is going to suck, especially if they don't have to develop a 720p resolution.

Although develop freedom is a great thing to have. Just don't make the games fugly :(
Gareth Halfacree 3rd September 2009, 15:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
I seem to remember the sonys development requirements are 1080p
I wish. I don't own many PS3 games, but those I do own run at 720p. The bloody console won't even upscale them and output 1080p - which the Xbox 360 does just fine, regardless of what resolution the game is rendering at internally.

Uncharted: Drake's Legacy, for example. 720p. Rubbish. And there's no "cross platform" excuse for that one.
Farting Bob 3rd September 2009, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Think they probably lifted it earlier than we think - Halo 3 didn't run at true 720p either.
They have made exceptions in the passed. If a big name game cant quite meet the res requirements without image quality suffering badly then MS let them lower it slightly.
dicobalt 3rd September 2009, 16:13 Quote
I have always thought it was funny that console gamers have no idea that they can't see very far in their games because of low resolution. Playing at 1366x768 in a modern game is like being half blind with coke bottle glasses.
TreeDude 3rd September 2009, 16:18 Quote
So now there are no standards for res and AA? Or does it need to be 720p or have AA, but not both?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
I seem to remember the sonys development requirements are 1080p, but not all developers can manager this when making a multiple platform title like COD and GTA.

This was never the case. Very few PS3 games are native 1080p (most of them being games that really don't push the system very hard).
TreeDude 3rd September 2009, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
I have always thought it was funny that console gamers have no idea that they can't see very far in their games because of low resolution. Playing at 1366x768 in a modern game is like being half blind with coke bottle glasses.

I play my 360 on a 42" 1080p TV. While most games are 720p, the scaler in the 360 is very good and they always look very sharp. The only thing I notice is minor aliasing from the up conversion, but it is not very distracting. I will take a sharp picture with aliasing over a soft picture any day.
Saivert 3rd September 2009, 17:03 Quote
HD gaming on consoles was a lie?
SNIPERMikeUK 3rd September 2009, 17:25 Quote
Got an Elite last week, and boy is the anti-aliasing showing its age on the 360, but that said Shadow Complex is a top download, which I am enjoying alot.
Aracos 3rd September 2009, 19:11 Quote
22" 2209WA @ 1680x1050 :)

Are you saying AA at 720p WAS a requirement? Cause if that's the case then it can't of been working, played plenty of jaggy games so it must be 2x if at all =\
Although playing Oblivion right now and it has some good AA, everything looks sharp even upscaling to 1680x1050 but by hell is there a lack of framerate, travelling around the world by foot leads to plenty of judders, maybe it's just badly coded like most of besthesda's releases seem to be going by the bugs =\
Star*Dagger 3rd September 2009, 19:44 Quote
I havent played a PC game in less than 1920x1200 in a long long time, with maximumAA thanks to ATI.
Radeon HD 4970x2, still the best bang for the buck!
Timmy_the_tortoise 3rd September 2009, 19:52 Quote
This is all well and good, but when is the 360 going to support my 1920x1200 monitor?
wafflesomd 3rd September 2009, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
22" 2209WA @ 1680x1050 :)

Are you saying AA at 720p WAS a requirement? Cause if that's the case then it can't of been working, played plenty of jaggy games so it must be 2x if at all =\

That's what I was thinking.
HourBeforeDawn 3rd September 2009, 20:50 Quote
how about 1080p and adding a bluray drive, ya I know still would be nice.
Aracos 3rd September 2009, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
how about 1080p and adding a bluray drive, ya I know still would be nice.

That would never happen, that would mean forcing customers to purchase a blu-ray drive for their existing consoles to play Blu-Ray games, that would only happen with the xbox 3/720 in 2011/2012 or whenever they release the next console because if they done it now and didn't offer it as a free upgrade then it would never sell and it would effect microsofts and games developers profits =\
sear 3rd September 2009, 21:11 Quote
Marketing this as the "HD generation" was a major mistake. HDTV adoption rates are still too low to consider it standard (as evidenced by the lack of included HDMI cables with both the PS3 Slim and the Xbox 360 Elite, and comments from Epic claiming that over 50% of players don't use HDTVs), and the console hardware is the equivalent of 4-5-year-old PCs (not even the highest-end ones of that time). While they can do some great stuff with the hardware when limits are worked within and artistic direction is solid, that most of the best-looking games on the new consoles don't even run in native 720p is quite telling - Call of Duty 4 in particular gets praised all the time for its visuals, despite running in 600p and looking like garbage on the Xbox compared to my PC at 1680x1050. Unfortunately, and to the advantage of all of those big-box retail stores and the console makers, most consumers really have no idea they're being misled and sometimes outright lied to.
dicobalt 3rd September 2009, 22:03 Quote
Yea I play COD4 at 1920x1200 on my PC with nothing but a 9600GT and get 45-75fps at all times. Considering that a 360 can't even do that really does show how dated it's technology is. I always hated PS3 for price and lack of mouse support in games but still thought PS3 was great because it can actually do 1920x1080 enabling players to actually see wtf is going on around them thus bringing consoles more on par with PC games instead of always lagging behind. Why is it so much to ask that a mouse be mandatory for some console games? Honestly? Who doesn't know how to use a mouse? PC developers should make more games that use standard console controllers as well. It all depends on the game when your choose input method. Why are these developers so single minded?
Er-El 3rd September 2009, 23:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
Yea I play COD4 at 1920x1200 on my PC with nothing but a 9600GT and get 45-75fps at all times. Considering that a 360 can't even do that really does show how dated it's technology is. I always hated PS3 for price and lack of mouse support in games but still thought PS3 was great because it can actually do 1920x1080 enabling players to actually see wtf is going on around them thus bringing consoles more on par with PC games instead of always lagging behind. Why is it so much to ask that a mouse be mandatory for some console games? Honestly? Who doesn't know how to use a mouse? PC developers should make more games that use standard console controllers as well. It all depends on the game when your choose input method. Why are these developers so single minded?
It runs at 60 fps locked on the 360 at 720p res. But yeah I still agree both consoles are quite dated for games compared to current PC hardware.
cyrilthefish 4th September 2009, 02:08 Quote
Fair bit of possibly dodgy info in this thread about resolutions

This thread is a very handy resource for game render resolutions on the consoles (PS3 on post #2, 360 on post #3)

native 1080p is incredibly rare on either console.
Of those that are 1080p, theres some horrible sneakiness going on as most of those are the demos and the actual full version games got downgraded.

i can see this only getting worse in the future too, as both consoles are pretty much maxed already.

i wonder where the balance of visuals vs resolution will end up at?
stoff3r 4th September 2009, 02:45 Quote
I would rather have lesser detailed games that run true 720P or 1080P, in 60+ fps locked, like Er-El said Cod4 did. The developers need to work around their leveldesign to allow for crisp 720/1080 gaming :)

The true problems with the consoles is bad multiplayer-solutions and laggy experiences overall. I do however, think that we can call this the HD-gaming generation of consoles, the image is crisp in most titles anyway, and view-distance in car-games is good enough to actually drive.

PS: This news-article came out about the same time we hear Microsoft saying this console generation is going to last longer then usual. Meaning we won't see any new hardware before 2012 perhaps. By then i am pretty sure some computer can run crysis on high !
xaser04 4th September 2009, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
22" 2209WA @ 1680x1050 :)

Are you saying AA at 720p WAS a requirement? Cause if that's the case then it can't of been working, played plenty of jaggy games so it must be 2x if at all =\
Although playing Oblivion right now and it has some good AA, everything looks sharp even upscaling to 1680x1050 but by hell is there a lack of framerate, travelling around the world by foot leads to plenty of judders, maybe it's just badly coded like most of besthesda's releases seem to be going by the bugs =\

IIRC Oblivion for the 360 was an odd one as it had to be designed to run well on both the 360 core (no HD) and the 360 Premium (HD) and hence could not rely just on caching to the HD. The PS3 version is much smoother in this respect as it can, (and does) cache to the HD reducing (quite drastically in some cases) the loading pauses that occur in the game world.

I agree with your first point though, the 360 was originally meant to allow for 'free AA' thanks to its Xenos daughter die yet how many games have had full AA (ie no jaggies apparent)? Whilst some games on both platforms employ a level of AA (Oblivion is quite good on the PS3 and 360 for that matter) most don't seem to run AA at all (and in early 360 game cases AF either).
riggs 4th September 2009, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
720p TVs emerging from the likes of Sony and Samsung which run at 1366x768 and not true 1280x720 resolution
Eh? You make it sound like this is a new thing? When I purchased my TV about a year ago I could not find a 'true 720p' screen. Every single one I looked at (within my price range) was running at somewhere around 1366x768.

I just hope this doesn't mean more broken PS3 games; developed on the 360 with funny resolutions, then ported over to the PS3, possibly at half the resolution.
rollo 4th September 2009, 18:56 Quote
the only true 1080p game on any system is wipeouthd. Which runs at 60fps as far as i can tell
Skiddywinks 4th September 2009, 21:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by riggs
Eh? You make it sound like this is a new thing? When I purchased my TV about a year ago I could not find a 'true 720p' screen. Every single one I looked at (within my price range) was running at somewhere around 1366x768.

I just hope this doesn't mean more broken PS3 games; developed on the 360 with funny resolutions, then ported over to the PS3, possibly at half the resolution.

I use a Samsung in my living room that is not true 720p, and we got that 3 years ago.

Was a damn sight more expensive back then though.
stoff3r 6th September 2009, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
the only true 1080p game on any system is wipeouthd. Which runs at 60fps as far as i can tell

Are you saying there is No other 1080P games? So what is the point of playing Gears of War in 1080 then? Is it upscaled and worse of than if I select or use a 720P panel?
Aracos 6th September 2009, 17:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoff3r
Are you saying there is No other 1080P games? So what is the point of playing Gears of War in 1080 then? Is it upscaled and worse of than if I select or use a 720P panel?

This has already been posted somewhere in the forums but here it is, a list of game rendering resolutions. First post is the hardware, second is the PS3 games and third is 360 games: http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=46241

GoW2 renders at 1280x720 aka 720p.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 3rd October 2009, 02:35 Quote
What the heck is 720p? All I know is 1080p!! 1900 x 1080 or 1900 x 1200 depending on what game I play.

Console gaming is so dead! Long live the P.C.
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