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Is 1080p really worthless? Now it's personal

There's this Microsoft supporter, Ozymandias, who recently pushed an article called "1080p Meaningless this Generation". Well, perhaps Microsoft supporter is unfair, but he's definitely against Sony's new console. Let's sum up his reasoning behind the uselessness of 1080p.

  1. Multiplatform games embrace the 720p as a simpler system specification.
  2. Doesn't expect any 1080p (or i) games for the PS3 this year.
  3. No difference between 1080i and 1080p if television is de-interlacing properly.
All are valid points, but there is a bit debate to be had. Let's see how we do.

  1. Let's be honest. Multi-platform games usually aren't that great. They're multi-platform to maximize sales. It's true they'd use the 720p since it's a simpler way to go multi, but what about the games just for PS3? Namely, RPG's, or anything other than FPS's and Madden? This is a fairly moot point as it's pointed at one piece of the gaming industry, but still valid.
  2. See the article on Lair. It's rumored to be a launch title. Even so, saying there won't be any 1080p games this year, when that includes a month and a half, is an unfair estimation. In one year after release? There certainly will be.
  3. Sure. This is confusing stuff to some people, so it's something we're willing to shrug and accept. It's relating to movies, mostly, and the whole Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD is a completely different story. If the two use the same codec, they might just be equal.
The guy has some points, but it's a lot of anti-hype. It's a good article and very much worth a read and some more debate as comments, but we shouldn't make such hasty judgments when we haven't even started our engines. By November of next year, hopefully there will be more great debate to be had.

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1. There's a much better reason why 1080p might not see much action. Development costs and goals. 1080 p has near zero market penetration and won't overtake 720p fopr some time. 720p is still a very small market as it is. A developer targeting 1080p needs to make some sacrifices to the look and performance of a game to acheive 1080p. If only a tiny fraction of your audience is going to be able to enjoy it, the return on investment just isn't going to be there. There's certainly going to be 1080p games, but it's not going to be a real developer goal until 1080p sets are more commonplace.

Posted at 9:55AM on Aug 17th 2006 by tom

2. Some people have let the hype infect them, and they attempt to suggest that 1080p is a higher resolution than 1080i. This couldn't be further from the truth. They are the same resolution, just the method of display is different. The big point is that most people can't even tell the difference! Usually, only videophiles will notice.

Here is a better quote from the article referenced in the linked article:

"For clarification, let me start by saying that there are essentially no 1080i TVs anymore. Unless you bought a CRT based TV, every modern TV is progressive scan (as in LCD, Plasma, LCOS, DLP). They are incapable of displaying a 1080i signal as 1080i."

I don't see much room for argument in that.

As far as 1080 as a native resolution from the source, that has a whole different set of arguments. From what I gather, the resources wasted in displaying native 1080x could be better used for other processes in game.

Likely, 720p upscaled to 1080x will be the most efficient way to get the higher resolution.

Posted at 11:07AM on Aug 17th 2006 by SuicideNinja

3. I agree with Tom. Wanted to add another note...

I've been doing a lot of research on tv's lately (planning on upgrading from my 23inch hd to a 32 inch hd) and, in regards to the 1080p hype, I've noticed that many sites say that you really won't be able to notice the different between 1080p and 720p/1080i unless it is on a tv larger than 47 inches. I doubt that too many people will be investing in that type of hardware. Yeah, I'd love to have a 50 inch 1080p tv, but not for the cost they are asking for. Most gamers are probably not going to be playing on such a big tv anyways.

Posted at 12:07PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Frosty22

4. I disagree with that noticing the difference between 1080p and 1080i. I can notice the difference between 720p and 1080i at 30", and I'm soon getting a 1080p 37", I'm sure I'll be able to tell the difference between the 1080i and 1080p tv's as well. I notice the most difference when I use the tv as a computer monitor, which i will also be using the 1080p as. When I'm at 720p, all text is readable , when I move to 1080i,the text is much sharper, but the flicker of interlace makes it hard to read. 1080p won't have that flicker, making it sharper than 720p and easy to read.

Posted at 12:28PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Andy

5. The question is what cost? Is it worth the trouble?

Posted at 1:09PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Cage


Posted at 1:21PM on Aug 17th 2006 by JC

7. The question is what cost when? And yes it is worth the trouble.

Deinterlacing an 1080i image is not the same as 1080p especially for games. As this is not so much of an issue for movies due to the lower native framerate of 24Hz. For games running on 60Hz the deinterlaced image or better motion is inferiour.

The real question and that's always the same thing when it comes to the PS3, you can not compare on todays standards. In the range of 1 to 2 years, prices for tv sets change drastically and you have to stick to a hardware for the next four years that is not capable of leveraging those to the full extend.

If you whould have the choice between a XBOX 360 upto the highest standard or one that is not, which one would you take?

Posted at 1:41PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Mutsch

8. Tom is correct. 1080p is just not going to happen for a while yet because of a simple development tradeoff.

Framerate vs. Market Penetration.

Sacrificing framerate to make image quality ever so slightly better for a segment of people who will most likely not even see the improvement... Not going to happen.

720p is going to be around for a while in gaming. Why? Because developers like to push the envelope, and these platforms have to compete with one another.

When you are trying to squeeze power to push all those polygons for your latest and greatest game, trust me... the hit you take for going up to 1080i/p is just not worth it. Most people can't even tell the difference when asked. There will be a title or two, sure. But it's just not going to be anything near a standard for a long time.

Posted at 1:56PM on Aug 17th 2006 by verik

9. I rather have 1080p than not, it may not be mainstream now but in one or two years it most likely will be the standard. If you want to settle for less then buy a 360 with 720p, if you want more the get the PS3 with 1080p. Also what do you expect that idiot to say he works for ms.

Posted at 2:12PM on Aug 17th 2006 by BMWM3P

10. BMWM3P, so with you saying 1080p will be standard a year from now, that means that HDTV will be standard as well? Almost in every home then, right?

Wait, then you call him an idiot.. Nevermind then, thought maybe you had an intelligent response

Posted at 2:40PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Adam

11. BMWM3P, that is exactly the kind of hype buy in that Sony wants from you. Ever hear the story the Emperor's New Clothes?

Posted at 3:06PM on Aug 17th 2006 by verik

12. Multi-platform games aren't that great? What about Prince of Persia and Beyond Good and Evil (and pretty much every other Ubisoft title)? Last I heard, GTA IV will be multi-platform. Tony Hawk games still sell like hotcakes, Lego Star Wars kicked major ass, etc. Don't dismiss multi-platform games just because it helps you make a point.

Posted at 3:33PM on Aug 17th 2006 by greatslack

13. Let us all educate ourselves on this subject.

Fast forward about 25-30 minutes in to get to the interview that sheds lots of light on the subject in a very detailed and comprehensive way.

The stuff about Temporal resolution was very interesting.

Posted at 4:43PM on Aug 17th 2006 by sputnik

14. Major Nelson is a good impartial source on HDDVD vs Bluray, yeah right . Are you ms bitches so blind that you believe all the spin ms is giving you. In case you didn't know HDDVD is also supposed to run 1080p.

Before ms would say that ps3 could not deliver 1080p, now that they will they're saying that is worthless. Just because the 360 can't do 1080p, now 1080p is shit.
Is like saying you don't need all the horsepower in that Ferrari, a camry will run just fine.

Until a reliable impartial source comes out and states this, then I would be inclined to give this some though. Not some ms bitch justifying why their console doen't need the higher specs that the competion has. Then again I don't need to listen to anybody beacause I can have a higher spec console for just 100.00 more and a fully optioned one for 200.00 and don't have to bother listening to all this bitches saying how worthless the superior specs on the PS3 are.

Posted at 5:14PM on Aug 17th 2006 by BMWM3P

15. So BMW prefers graphics over gameplay, and maybe likes the PS3?

Posted at 5:26PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Adam

16. And BMW, why are you mentioning Major Nelson? What does he have to do with this discussion?

Posted at 5:28PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Adam

17. The link above dumb ass

Posted at 5:31PM on Aug 17th 2006 by BMWM3P

18. BMW, it goes to the blog of Ozymandias, not Major Nelson.

Posted at 5:36PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Adam

19. The link from sputnik.

Posted at 5:38PM on Aug 17th 2006 by BMWM3P

20. These Microsoft Lovers are Funny !
They can twist anything to sound like the 360 is better.

1080p isn't necessary... or doesn't make a difference...
If the Tables were turned they would be talkin about how the PS3 is inferior because it can't do 1080p.

1080i Looks better than 720p, but 720p is smoother for gameplay because the lines aren't drawn on alternating clock cycles.

So if 1080i looks better than 720p... Then 1080p will Look Awesome and have the Faster draw rate that is needed for gaming.
But if your console can't deliver 1080p then...
Well, you read the story.

Posted at 6:35PM on Aug 17th 2006 by Scott Krueger.

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