We once asked our readers which they felt more strongly about: a speedy frame rate or a higher video resolution. The results were mixed — mixed enough that it makes absolutely no sense that console gamers aren't allowed even a fraction of the control over video settings that PC gamers are.
This is one of the many valid points raised by YouTube personality TotalBiscuit in his latest video. It's a lengthy response to recent comments from Dana Jan, game director of the PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1866, who told Kotaku the reason the game runs at 30 frames per second instead of 60-frames per second was the developer's decision to give it a "filmic" feel.
To some, including TotalBiscuit, that feels like an excuse, sacrificing frame rate for the sake of higher resolution and increased graphical fidelity.
On the PC, if I'm playing a game and it's not quite hitting 60 frames per second, I can lower my screen resolution until it does. There is a substantial difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS, and I'd much prefer the fluidity of the latter. I've been playing video games for more than 30 years now, and 30 FPS feels like I'm playing through a fog. I'd prefer not to.
One of the reasons to choose a console game over a PC version is reliability — you know your PlayStation 4 will run a PlayStation 4 game, while your PC might need its drivers updated or a hardware upgrade to run the latest games. Consoles are easy and reliable, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for options.
As TotalBiscuit points out in the video above, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn gives players a choice between 1080p or 720p. PS4 players can opt for a better frame rate and enhanced playability by sacrificing some pixels. Why can't every game do this?
It doesn't have to be so complex it confuses less knowledgeable console gamers. Just a simple choice — better playing or better looking — is all it would take.
Is 60 frames per second better than 30 frames per second? I feel it is, but I also feel like it's not something worth arguing over — give console gamers a choice, and everyone can play the way they want.