Microsoft Drops HD Requirements

Develop Magazine is reporting that Microsoft have dropped the requirement for developers to ensure their games are running at at least 1280 x 720. This news comes from David Jefferies of Black Rock Studio, the guys responsible for ATV and Split/Second and means that Xbox 360 games can, if the developers so desire, run at sub-HD resolutions.  Naturally, with recent surveys suggesting that less than half of Gears of War 2’s players owned a high definition television (and then there’s the cable issue for those that do own a HD set) this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, and with this generation of consoles often struggling to achieve decent frame rates at 720p (and beyond) let’s hope that the PS4 and whatever Microsoft do next have enough grunt under the bonnet to handle all this properly.

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“We are making a trade-off and saying that the screen resolution is more important to us than the quality of the anti-aliasing,” said Jefferies, speaking about Split/Second and the demands of 720p making 4xMSAA almost impossible on the current consoles.  “This isn’t necessarily an entirely voluntary move because, until recently, Microsoft had a TCR insisting that games run at 1280×720 – providing you weren’t one of the lucky ones like Halo, who got it waived and ran at 1152×640, that is,” he said.  “It’s is for this reason that Microsoft recently retired the TCR insisting on 1280×720. Now we are free to make the trade-off between resolution and image quality as we see fit.”

We were going to say something on the lines that Sony must have said the same thing to the XMB developers with regards to Firmware 3.0, but that would have been rather flippant.

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