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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Anyone else feel resolution is overrated?


I prefer...

Resolution over detail/effects 23 26.14%
Detail/effects over resolution 65 73.86%

As a PC gamer I have never cared much about resolution. If I like the art style, I will play games at tiny resolutions. Just recently I played Spider Man 2 on the PS2 and loved it, but I had to switch to the Dolphin emulator because quick saves, the game technically looked a hundred times better yes, but I would have no problem going back.

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Art direction in general is about ensuring that resolution and assets/detail are balanced out and work together. 95% of the time Diablo 3 looks near perfect on Switch but there are times when you are reminded that the character model “ought” to be visible in a higher resolution. Skyrim VR now looks unpleasantly crude after playing with the upgraded visuals on other systems. That's because you've taken a game that was art-directed for one set of specs and then scaled down to tech so that it can no longer match that direction. Those cases are not common, though, because we don't often have a reason to step back a generation in graphics reproduction. Usually art direction and techological power move in lock step.

When I bought a new gaming PC in 2016 I thought that I would be brute forcing siginificantly better graphical results, but it's not true. There are diminishing returns in higher frame rates and most games’ performance doesn't scale beyond a certain point. Sure, everything looked fantastic when we first moved to digital outputs on consoles and could see games at 720p but even today when we have resolutions well beyond 1080p we are not seeing equivalent strides forward ... which is why the Switch is “good enough” for most purposes. Sure, resolution makes a difference, but it doesn't make all the difference.

So, yes, detail/effects/assets are what really counts (we could do completely without 4K gaming and I'm in no hurry to get there) but resolution counts for more than we think it does simply because we are unlikely to go back once we reach the next plateau.

Everything above 1440p is a waste of recources. Just look at Horizon Zero Dawn. Its checkerboarded 2160p which is pretty much the equivalent of 1440p and it looks very crisp and sharp. I don't really see to much value in native 4K of 8K. Rather see less pop-ins, Shadows and lighting and much better AA. God of War also looks really crisp for a faux 4K game with nice effects. It could have run in native 4K but it would not nearly have looked as good as it does now.

Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

Yup, totally overrated and at the same time framerates are underrated as hell. I will play games at 720p any day, don't have any problem with that whatsoever. But I can't stand playing anything below 60 fps anymore. And that's just the bare minimum for me these days. 120 fps is obviously even better. But my measly GTX 1070 can struggle to hit that in some games. Don't know if I would like even more fps better, because my display can only handle 120 Hz. It has G-Sync though, so some framedrops here and there don't hurt too much.
60 fps is fine though. With that games feel and look fluid while the experience with 30 fps, at least for me, is really rubbish.

I guess I kinda got used to high framerates from playing VR extensively. It doesn't matter if you're playing on PSVR or PC, you will always get 90 or 120 fps there combined with low resolutions. When I got back on playing on a flat screen after months of playing exclusively in VR, I couldn't watch at anyhting below 60 fps anymore. Which is funny, because I was only playing on PSVR before that. So in a way you could say PlayStation made me buy a somewhat beefy PC. Because PSVR spoiled me with its glorious 120 Hz refresh rate.

Low framerates were fine back in the days, but come on, we're approaching 2019 for crying out loud! 30 fps should be a thing of the past. Resolution on the other hand is nice to have. But I tend to not even think about it. Especially in gameplay I can quickly forget if a game is running just in 720p or even below that. Now there's obviously a limit to that, I wouldn't want to play in 360p or something anymore. But I really don't need 4K.

That said, everyone has their own priorities and I would never say that what I prefer is the universal truth or something.

Last edited by OdinHades - on 02 December 2018

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In the sense that they're the most important factor in image quality? Yes.
Resolution is still quite important though. I'd take 1440p with better visual effects over 4k.

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Resolution and Frame Rate all depends on what you are playing and where you are playing. Effects are in the middle to me.

If I am playing on TV, I want the biggest screen possible. The bigger the TV screen, the more important the resolution. Right now, I am at 75" and 4K, I can still see plenty of room for improvement over 4K at 75". However, when 8K arrives, I will likely move to 85" - 100" depending on price, meaning some of the improvement will be diminished due to the increase in screen space. At the end of the day, I will always choose Resolution, then Effects, and the Frame Rate (30fps min) on TV.

VR is a different story. In VR Frame Rate is the most important. For me, I want all VR games running at 120FPS as the standard. Next would come resolution, which is actually more important in VR than on TV. That will continue to be true as VR moves to encompassing the entire field of view, but for me, 120fps remains most important. Coming in way at the bottem is effects.

Now when it comes to handhelds, 1080p on a 5" screen is already great to me. You can bump up the resolution, but with a 5" screen, there is just not enough space to show the details. I find framerate to be a little more improtant on handhelds than on TV, but not as improtant as in VR. For me on handhelds, I would go for 1080p/60, then just keep improving the effects.

Given the option next gen, I would love to see more games give the players options. We have reached a point where we can have 1080p/1440p/4K, or 30/60/120fps, or Low/Medium/High effects. I think the best path forward for the indursty is to let the players choose the experience that best suits them. Give us Home, VR, and Mobile, and let us play how we want, and where we want. I believe that should be the ultimate goal.

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I think it depends on the size of the display. Smaller screens, you can barely tell, and things look great. But try to play 720p on like a display larger than 130cm and you'll barely be able to tell what's what.

It depends. At the beginning of the generation the resolution was the most important thing.
After the output of xbox one x, the resolution is no longer important.

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The higher the resolution the higher the details: 

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Peh said:

The higher the resolution the higher the details: 



But for that picture you posted to make sense it would be Batman's face from a great distance. Do we really that level of clarity from something far from the screen? Maybe on a massive screen its nice and noticeable, but you couldn't really notice it on an average living room TV? Not really.

For example, we can already see enemies far off in the distance in a 720p game, in 1080p that distant enemy become more clear and crisp, but do I really need 4K to see his tiny face a little more clear? I'm not sure if that's gonna make a big difference on the enjoyment of the game.

Resolution certainly matters, but there is diminishing returns. I mean I would like to see a game on the X1X that pushes the full 6TF on cutting edge graphics over 4K.