Call of Duty, 720p, Albert Penello, NeoGAF, and Twitter: A Dramatic Retelling

I usually don’t write about stuff like this on my little podcast blog here because I’m not really looking to leverage info I’ve gained from other people for my own personal gain.  I share info, often, on sites like GAF and Reddit and other various forums…  and sometimes things will pop up in my crappy podcast – but mostly I keep it out of here.  Being known for #PS4NoDRM is cool.  Being known because I am passing on info I got from someone else says nothing about who I am so I find little worth in it.  If people come to this site I want it to be for things I’ve done, not info I’ve passed along.

Here I am though and only because the threads are being shutdown on GAF, the xboxone subreddit aren’t fans of me, and twitter isn’t really adequate to do anything other than take potshots at Albert Penello and joke about DriveClub delays.  So this allows me to tell my side.  People can tell their side, if they so chose, and that’s that.

I had heard a few days ago that the Xbox One version of CoD: Ghosts was running at 720p on the Xbox One and 1080p on the PS4.  Personally I don’t really care…  I’m not going to play CoD, I’m not a resolution whore, it’s not going to kill the fun of the game for people that get it on the Xbox One.  It is, however, newsworthy.  I’m not sure exactly what it says, whether the PS4 is more powerful or the PS4 had better tools out to developers earlier or if Activision just hates Microsoft all of a sudden because of who knows what.  I have no idea what the story is…  but the games running at two vastly different resolutions is newsworthy.  At the time that I posted it on GAF, after a misguided tease that Bishop promptly bitched me out for (which I deserved), I said the rumor was flimsy because I couldn’t find a second source.

Days have passed and I’ve heard it from many sources now.  This is no longer something I consider flimsy.  If it’s not true I will be shocked at this point because the sources are that strong (I will also lose all credibility – that’s not something I’m oblivious to).  Though, there is a wrinkle to it that I didn’t know about during the initial rumor…  Activision is very hard at work trying to up the resolution.  Whether this comes as a day one patch, or a day 100 patch, or what… I don’t know.  It does point to Microsoft’s tools being behind more-so than just a huge power gap (the gap does exist but the XB1 is powerful enough to run this game at 1080p, clearly).  The point is that Activision is still working very hard on it.  As such they aren’t talking about it.  Microsoft isn’t talking about it.  The press isn’t allowed to talk about it.  It’s a forbidden topic.

That’s fine.  I get it.  I, however, am not part of the press and I don’t work in the industry.  So I can talk about it. Activision can’t blacklist me because they don’t do anything for me to blacklist me from.

Albert Penello came to defense of the Xbox version in the GAF thread.  I like Albert, I think he is a bright guy and even though he has to get PR-y a lot he is a helluva lot better at it than most people at Microsoft have been this year. He stated that he’s seen it on the Xbox One and it looks great and people should just wait until they see it side by side.  Totally agree.  He also said he doesn’t know what resolution it is.  That is where we diverged in opinion.  I called him a liar which was shitty of me and unfair (and also unprovable).  I believe that Albert can look at a game on a screen and tell what resolution it is.  But… what I “believe” doesn’t matter.  The fact of the matter is that Albert says he doesn’t know the resolution and that can’t be proven otherwise and I suck for calling him a liar.  I sincerely apologize for that.

The thing is that I agree with him on his main points. The resolution doesn’t matter (EDIT:  ALBERT DID NOT SAY THIS, I MISINTERPRETED HIS COMMENTS).  Especially with a multiplayer game like Call of Duty.  For instance, I own Battlefield 3 on the PS3 and on my PC which can run it between high/ultra at 60fps.  My friends play BF3 on the PS3.  Two years later I have about 2 hours of playtime on the PC version even though it’s “superior” in nearly every way.  None of that matters.  Play with your friends, have fun.  Counting pixels and all of that stuff is a decent timewaster when you’re sitting in a cubicle waiting to go home from work but once it’s time to play games just play games.  I liked the PS3 a lot – we got mostly inferior ports of everything.  Once trophies came out I played those inferior ports because I was addicted to stupid freakin’ trophies.  I played Bayonetta on the PS3 pre-patch!  That port was awful and it’s a single player game but goddamnit I wanted those trophies.  That was what was fun, not how many P’s it had or whatever else.

If your friends are getting the Xbox One and you are deciding which system to get CoD on… get it on the Xbox One.  Seriously.  Just because the PS4 version will look better won’t make it more fun than playing with friends.  If your entire decision on every game is playing it on the best console available – throw out both consoles and get a PC.  If you hate PCs for some reason but are still obsessed with having the best version, get it on the PS4 – because even after a patch it’s not going to look as good as the PS4.  This is what Albert Penello was saying (again: not exactly), in a PR-ish way, and I agree with him.  It’s easy for me to make jokes on Twitter and have some fun… because to me videogames are fun and so is everything surrounding it.  To him it’s a job.  I think I probably pissed him off today.  That’s ok, it’s bound to happen.

These stories aren’t going away though.  This is not the only launch game that will be at different resolutions.  There are games after launch that aren’t even targeting 1080p for the Xbox One.  If you care about this you should know this.  That is newsworthy to you.  I’m more interested in *WHY* it turned out this way – why Microsoft made the console in the way that they did but that’s something a real journalist will have to dig up (it will make one hell of a book). Games are fun though, guys. The PS4 is more powerful, which you will see from launch day onward, and it’s cheaper… but that doesn’t mean the Xbox One is devoid of fun.  Call of Duty won’t be any less addictive to fans at 720p than it will be at 1080p.  But make no mistake, there is a story as to why these games are lagging behind the PS4.  Someone needs to dig it out.


25 thoughts on “Call of Duty, 720p, Albert Penello, NeoGAF, and Twitter: A Dramatic Retelling

  1. Surely the story is just that the tools are behind and it’s a less powerful and more complex machine.

    They’re doing the old switcheroo this generation and PS4 will be lead SKU and X1 won’t be

      • Sony have got everything right for this console launch, they produced powerhouse gaming machine for gamers for a bargain price of $400 or £349 (i.e. impulse buy money), but Microsoft went for a more all round entertainment device inclusing Kinect for $500, which is why the XB1 is less powerful than the PS4.

        This was a wrong decision by the now departed Xbox boss Don Mattrick who felt he was a demi-god at Microsoft (he had his own fleet of supercars and private jet!) because of all the incredible success he had with the Xbox360. The rest of the Xbox team are really good guys, but they are handicapped by this fundamental decision by Mattrick.

  2. damn, so their are other games with different resolutions? I’m guessing Assassin’s creed, possibly battlefield. Do you think in 3 yrs time there will still be a difference in resolutions in some games between the two consoles?

  3. I disagree with you on one thing : If i want to buy an xbox one and if i know the games will look better on PS4, it does matter ! ( if it didnt, i would buy a wii u)

    Why ? Simply because nothing in games justifes the $100 cost added! ( i insist on this part because kinect is just a tool like kinect 1 or the ps move or the gamepad(except in sombiU) and you can play the same games without it, there is no big kinect game so its useless for now , so as a gamer who just want to play games, i wont buy this xbox one at this price, considering its the less powerful system, it would be better to buy it at $350 without kinect)

    Seems fair.

  4. Good read… I agree the resolution don’t matter for gamers but it is a really interesting subject that become even more strong because the cheaper one is stronger.

  5. Graphics don’t make a game, game play does. Games can look ultra nice, but if they play like crap, then what’s the point? Xbox One is slightly behind in power, but that is not a deal breaker. Gaming is about fun, with your friends and strangers online. If people think that better eye candy is the “thing that matters”, then they need to spend some time doing overtime and build up decent PC.

  6. Well, Panello is who he is… he isnt unbiased gamer, neither is a a MS ‘fanboy’, He is a MS employee and he is there to watch out for his company. Interesting read, gotta say. Will definitley keep an eye on your blogs sir.

  7. I 100% believe they will both release at 1080p/60fps, even if it means some graphics are more enhanced on the PS4, it doesn’t matter, COD will still have the same addictive gameplay.

  8. While this story may or may not be true, it still doesn’t hide the fact that you folks at NeoGaf have no respect for the people in the industry. You all act like little girls and it is disturbing to watch. The day when adult gamers stop acting like man-children is the day this world burns.
    How can you look at Albert Penello and call the man a liar? That is stupid and goes to show the emotional level of NeoGaf, the real scums of the gaming community.

    This is the thing with NeiGaf. You guys strive to be in the public spotlight that’s why so many rumors originate from that forum, despite the majority being false. You guys create rumors to see which would stick, get public attention and the hopes that industry officials would come and have a word with the community to make the forum seems like an important place in gaming to the public. Albert answered NeoGaf question several times and was disrespected by you backwards children…and now everyone over there is pissed because he’s not chit chatting no more about certain issues.

    A community that wants to be more important than it really is will eventually fade when people begin to get tired of all the constant bullshit and lack of respect for industry officials.

    • Souldn’t it be industry officials that show more respect to their potential clients? nobody needs to buy their wares after all…

      On the flip side, I do not think going personal on people and/or threatning them is any good, people should learn to take PR with a grain of salt and read between the lines. I think Penello went as far as he could, without full on saying their console is weaker.

      Now on the whole question of resolution, it matters, it always did, like how multiplayer is implemented, as much as the new controllers and much more to some people than media features… assuming you do not have a 720P television and a decent pair of eyes, just like overly compressed audio will not bug you if your audio setup is bad… now obviously that does not necessarely make the gameplay, especially in COD, but seeing a crisper image always feel nicer, wether or not you look at every intricate details consciously, compare it to looking at a slightly out of focus picture, it may be a nice image anyway, but it will bug the hell out of some people, while others will honestly not notice it.

  9. Passing info to gamers tells more good things about you than the others on twitter that defend anything coming from a corporation (ANY) and their shady tactics, I thought journalism was about telling people the real thing and not hide things so they don’t know what its going on, I know COD being 720p on Xbox One is weapon for console wars, but hell, no one can say that it’s good to hide that until you actually bought that $500 console and realise you had a better choice for your hard earned money.

    I know these NDA make the jounalists not talk about the game until a date mandated by the Manufacturer, Developer, Publisher, you name it, but thing is, they’re fully aware that they’re just some marketing tools used to paint a nise picture about the console/game/publisher and nothing more? I mean, there is 0 criticism? semi-PR, semi-astroturfer?

    Aside from that, GAF *locking threads* left and right doesn’t make sense, unless it’s about cooking rumours long enough so traffic makes the forum collapse just for revenue and that’s make it shady too, it’s too bad because it’s the best site for gaming news (OT is really good too), but it’s really difficult to follow news when threads disappear for lame reasons, I know you have nothing to do with that, but you could suggest the reposible people there to stop doing it since it’s not looking good.

    That’s all, will keep reading on twitter as usual, unless you become too dense with baseball XD

  10. Gaf sometimes seems is going high on cocaine, there’s a high level of severe game addicts there and their outbursts are sometimes ugly to watch, but entairtaining enough, especially on console wars periods.But i think the mods keep it a true and honest place, as was your apology to Penelo. Keep up the good work and i hope you ll get some well deserved rest when things calm down.


  12. Pingback: Xbox 720 – Call of Duty: Ghosts auf MS-Konsole nur in 720p! | Wambologen

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