Playing: Sunset Overdrive
Ever since I first picked up a joystick back in the 80’s it seems that part of being a gamer has been arguing over whose video game or gaming console was superior. Whether it was Atari vs. Intellivision, Super Nintendo vs. Genesis or Playstation vs. Xbox. As a kid I suppose it was because you always wanted to have the coolest stuff and you were at the mercy of whichever system your parents bought you. It was pretty much out of your hands which system sat in front of your television so you’d debate with your friends over which one had the coolest games, the best graphics, and whatever other differences you could use as ammunition in your own little console war. We all wanted to be the kid on the block with the coolest toys.
But as the years pass by and you become an adult you can buy whatever you feel like. There’s nothing holding you back from choosing whichever games you feel like playing. So why do grown men and women still argue over which video game console is superior? Reader don’t compare different editions of same book saying “While they are the same book, this edition has slightly better paper stock than the other.” Why are gamers so intent on being correct when it comes to their purchases? Why in the world does it matter? Who are you trying to impress?
The most recent example of this childish instinct is the mind numbing back and forth over resolution. 1080p is the standard for HD resolution and until 4K is more readily available option, that is as good as it gets. It creates the best possible image quality on screen. So when the new consoles came out and many Xbox versions of games were running at a slightly lower HD resolution (usually 900p) it ignited a firestorm of dorky controversy. I mean c’mon people… that’s like 180 more p’s. I even saw some people say that they’d rather not play a game at all then play the version with the lower resolution.
I’m sure that part of the reason it still continues is because a lot of games media love to stoke the fire. It seems every single week IGN has a story online about which games are 1080p and which aren’t. Which version of a game is ever so slightly better than another. I even saw a video comparing Xbox One and PS4 versions of Alien: Isolation that measured the frame rate of each and noted when the Xbox version would occasionally dip down from 30 to 29 or 28 fps. Serious? I know that they must get lots of hits on their sites with these stories but doesn’t it all seem just a little bit silly?
When you take a game and dissect it piece by piece analyzing all of the little technical bits I feel like it cheapens the game. It makes it more of an electronic device than a piece of art. Some of my favorite games of the last few years like Journey or The Walking Dead were not technical marvels by any stretch, in fact The Walking Dead was downright glitchy! Not once during either of those experiences did I think about what resolution they were running at or what the frame rate was. And games like Sunset Overdrive and Super Mario 3D World show that I’d take a game with an amazing art style over all of the p’s in the world.
It’s fine to want the best possible technology and graphics from your games, I certainly do too. But I’d warn against getting too hung up on just the raw power that these consoles put out or you might miss out on some amazing games. Enjoy your games as they are. No matter how many p’s they have.
What do you think? How concerned are you with a games resolution or frame rate? Let us know in the comments.