cod4_sub_hd.jpg

We here at Ripten are bemused by the talk of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare not being an HD resolution (that is 720p or more), because to our eyes the game is one of the best looking around, and is also an incredibly smooth experience. In a private conversation, we talked with an individual from Infinity Ward who will remain nameless.

A member of the gaming technical forum Beyond3d is well known for “counting the pixels” of next-gen games, and posting their supposed “true native” resolution. The fact is, lots of “next-gen” games aren’t rendered natively in HD. Many of these games are on the Xbox360 (from Tomb Raider, to PGR3), and since this console has extremely good scaling capabilities, most people don’t notice. That’s not to say that PS3 games aren’t upscaled either, but generally it’s scaling capabilities are not as strong, and so most scaling is to get games to the higher 1080p.

The first party title Halo3 was in fact rendered at 640p, getting Bungie into a little bit of bother, explaining that for their lighting engine they had to drop the resolution. To cut a long story short, it apparently all has to do with the EDRAM in the console which can not typically process the full 720p resolution if it is to be used. (Once again there are PS3 games that are upscaled…Conan for example is at a shockingly low resolution).

Well hey, 80 pixels isn’t very much is it? That’s what Bungie would tell us, but it’s not actually 80pixels, it’s nearing 200,000 pixels. Regardless, our opinion here is that, if it makes the game look better and run better, and the upscaling of the console is so good, then why not drop the resolution? Most people won’t even notice, and a lot of the gaming public don’t even have HD televisions (hard to believe I know, but it’s true).

So what of Call of Duty 4? Over at Beyond3d forums, it is being stated that the game is 600p on both the Xbox360 and the Playstation 3. Halo3 being “sub-HD” was quite controversial, most likely because the Playstation 3 fans began calling out the Xbox360 as lacking in power. This time, the game is on both consoles, and to be honest it looks incredible on both. So what does Infinity Ward have to say about this?

We recently had the chance to speak to an individual within Infinity Ward, and asked them point blank about the speculation regarding the sub-HD resolution concerns with Call of Duty 4.

We discussed the issue with them for a few moments on the phone, ultimately though they let us know that they wanted to present the question at hand to one of the developers in order to get us a more accurate response before issuing an official comment.

Perfectly understandable. Upon getting back to us though, they kindly explained that they would not be able to comment at this time regarding the matter.

So while the only official comment we have at the moment is one of “no comment”, it is our understanding based on our short conversation, that the resolution decision was made in an effort to maintain consistent and smooth framerate, and we aren’t talking about the 30 frames per second found in most next gen games. This is the shockingly good 60 frames per second variety, that makes Call of Duty 4 so smooth and realistic.

There are very few games that can achieve such incredible visuals and also hit 60fps, but Infinity Ward have achieved it, and if dropping to 600p helped them in any way, then our hats go off to them.