So, it turns out that the reason why the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts looked so close together in our comparison video on Tuesday because they were both running the single player at 720p.
Speaking to Eurogamer, as the outlet who noticed the discrepancy to prior claims, Activision stated that, “There was a configuration issue in the retail version on single-player mode only. This has been addressed with a day one software update. People will be able to download the day one update when PlayStation 4 launches in their territory and play at native 1080p.”
Eurogamer then went on to explain that, “Without the day one update, you’ll get the COD single-player upscaled, including the menu system and the HUD. Indeed, even the occasional screen-tear generated by the game is upscaled from 720p.”
For the rest of us it seems it was a fairly simple thing to miss, with Mark Rubin publicly stating prior to launch that the PlayStation 4 version was running at 1080p and the Xbox One at 720p upscaled to 1080p. Activision didn’t make any further distinction to reviewers that the single player on PlayStation 4 would be running at anything other than the 1080p present in the rest of the game, when it too was actually upscaling.
With the Xbox One’s resolution publicly announced and the majority of review time spent playing multiplayer, where there is a more noticeable difference and the PlayStation 4 does already run at 1080p, I wasn’t looking for and didn’t notice the single player deficiency and took the statement and the output resolution at face value.
In making the comparison video, I also focussed largely on the single player footage and scripted moments, with which I could better do side-by-side and split screen comparisons. This surprised me as to how close together the two consoles looked, but I didn’t dig deeper into or demonstrate much of the multiplayer, let alone indulge in pixel counting, and this led to something which was misleading when viewed with those statements about resolutions in mind.
Resolution comparisons made with our previous video, then, are largely moot. We’ve learnt from this moment so that, as and when we do comparison videos of this style in future we will hopefully ensure that this kind of error doesn’t happen again. Many a pixel will be scrutinised.
For now, here are two quick videos of the unaffected multiplayer, from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively. As always, watching at 1080p on your main TV will give the best impression of how this will actually look in action, even taking into account varying degrees of compression during capture, editing and upload to Youtube.
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