Let Console Gamers Choose Between Frame Rate And Resolution


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.


  • i may be in a minority but i dont care to much for framerate or resolution, i would just prefer to the actual game to be quality.

    whats the old saying….quality over quantity……or something like that.

  • The game itself gives you the option? That seems odd.

    I’ve been wondering whether switching down to 720p would make games run a little better or not. Haven’t actually bothered to test it out at all, but I guess I’d have to find a spot in a game that runs consistently and noticeably bad so a comparison can be made.

    • I can answer that for you. With my 7870, about what a PS4 has (About I say again), dropping down to 900/720p only yields 5-15fps in a very demanding game. IMO there are optimisations with better yield on modern hardware than dropping the resolution.

      I think it stands true when game after game this generation that is lower resolution on console can run at 1080p, often times max settings, on similar PC GPU’s. Watchdogs for instance runs 1080p30fps on a 7850. (That said the ports ATM on consoles, and PC for that matter, are pretty shoddy.)

      Regardless, I don’t see why developers don’t target similar to Wolfenstien. The game is high resolution and a constant 60fps. Well, I do know: You can’t see Frame Rate on the back of the game box.

      It’s 2014, why do we have to have a compromise? Or at least can we have an option like the old Bioshocks had for ‘speed’ vs ‘graphics’, where we can have 1080p60fps or ‘whatever resolution/ FPS’ looking better.

  • Good luck getting that put in as an option. The very vocal part of the community will attack and destroy anything they can in order to get their preference chosen. Go into any gaming forum and say you prefer something over something else. Hell, just go into a Halo forum and say you like using the AR, you’ll be violently attacked/mocked for not saying BR.

    Personally I’m always for more options and choice. Like what Matthewmatosis said in his Skyward Sword video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qAjK7wd5QE

    • Are you in a negative place these days? You’re making a few comments like this lately. Cynicism is slow death Neo!

      • I’m not being cynical, I think it’s a great idea. Even linked a video where someone was pointing out how the tutorials were rather intrusive and slowed the game down.

        …actually now that I think about it I may have meant to link the Twilight Princess review where he states that.

        • It was just your first paragraph, i read it as being pretty cynical.

          But none of my business man, just hope all’s good!

          • Nah, what I’m pointing out is that you have to ignore some of the overly aggressive vocal minority and do what’s best for everybody. Some people have their own agenda and will try to force their preferences on you and it’s better to look at having multiple options for everybody. Kinda like how in Deus Ex there was an option to un-highlight items. Some people might like looking through every nook and cranny to get every item, some might prefer to be fully aware of what they can pickup immediately. The recent Thief took it to a much better level.

            Try giving this a read to see where I’m coming from

          • Absolutely I know where you’re coming from. But these days it’s like I have blinders on. I just ignore the fanatics. It’s not like I can change their opinions, so I don’t even try.

            But also, I’m in a weird head space right now. I kinda met someone… 😛 so it’s all like chirping birds and butterflies in my brain. So noone should really talk to me cos I’m really happy 🙂

          • Eh, recently I read something about how you can change minds/win arguments by asking the other person to explain what benefits their opinion can be for everybody. Apparantly when they stop to think about it they start realising the error in thier views.

            Pfft, meeting someone? Meh, she’s not good for you. She’s only playing with your mind so that she can break your heart. Why else would someone attractive pay attention to anyone? Unless you’re planning on putting her in her place she’s just going to destroy you.
            ( yeah I’m being cynical there 😛 )

          • I didn’t say she was attractive! Or that she was a she 😀


  • To be honest I can’t tell the difference. Maybe it’s my ignorance. I definitely can tell when the frames drop really low… that’s just laggy and annoying. In saying that, having a choice would be very cool. More control is always better. It’s the reason I don’t use iPhones anymore.

  • The lines between PC and console are already blurred in a lot of other areas, surely it could only be a good thing to enable these kinds of benefits as well?

  • This option most likely only exists in FFXIV for the sake of the UI, lower res usually applies to the UI as well as the overall, making the UI much larger at the lower res. I’d be interested to see if there is any actual improvement to performance with this option.

  • I don’t think this will happen, for the developer, they probably make the choice early, choosing 30fps allows them to use higher poly models, better lighting and texture effects, better AI etc.
    Coding to allow a 60fps mode, turning certain features off would be a bit of a nightmare.

    I buy on console mostly these days, so as to avoid problems such as those that are currently plaguing some Watch Dogs owners on PC. I don’t think enabling these sorts of options is necessarily a good thing. I really just want to put the game in and play. My tweaking days are behind me now, I’d rather spend the time playing than fussing about.

    I’m happy for the developer to tweak and squeeze the best performance and quality out of a game, and deliver that at whatever framerate/resoultion works best.

  • But… if they do that, we’ll never again see the majesty that was NFS: Rivals when forced to 60fps. 😛

    But seriously, I maintain that the vast majority of people won’t care until media starts advertising gameplay in 60fps. Youtube and television are capped well below that, so they can’t possibly convey the difference, and as TB says, it’s rarely even brought up in reviews. The alternative is giving a 720p60 option, but given the state of Microsoft and Sony’s promises last year of “full HD gaming”, I doubt it’ll happen… if for no other reason than it will force Sony and Microsoft to admit to the public at large that 1080p60 isn’t currently possible with “next-gen” graphics on these consoles. Looking at the sales figures, which pretty much say “people are buying consoles, but not games”, I’m not sure that S&M can really afford to admit that 1080p60 is still a few years off…

  • My mind just blew a little. I didn’t realise I wanted this option on my consoles, but now I really, really do. WHY DON’T WE HAVE THIS ALREADY?!

    • I remember unticking all the graphics options on my PS3 except 1080p. While it wasn’t native, it did upscale the games, making them look smoother, and run like crap. So I ticked all the box to play smooth games again. Surely you can do similar?

  • I’m fine with 30 FPS in any game. Sure 60 FPS is great but I don’t believe many games from the PS2 era ran at that rate and I was having fun then as I am now 🙂

    • The only place I notice the difference between 60FPS and 30FPS is on PC. For some reason slowdown on a PC is really aggravating whereas on the 360 I’ve never had trouble with frame rates

  • Yes because lowering the resolution will DOUBLE a games performance…SMH NO. lowering res to 720p will give 10 frames MAX

    and YES 60fps WILL ruin the games aesthetic because having the game in 60fps will make the graphics look like a dog turd, RAD is going for a complete cinematic experience, best graphics possible is way better then having to sacrifice things for 60fps. RAD isn’t saying this is the best way to go for ALL games just THEIR game AND what their trying to do.

    • I dont think you have understood what this article is about. Its saying that all games should have an option to unlock frame rates even if its at the cost of lower resolution or details. Like in bioshock…? Get it? I mean its not my problem as i play everything on a powerful Pc running everything at max 1080p60. But i want to play the console exclusives at higher frame rates. And yes i prefer frame rate over resolution.

  • I cant play anything unless its 60fps 1080p at minimum. Dont know how people can handle 30fps. It looks terrible to me. Suprised the new consoles cant handle it. PC’s with lower hardware are able to put out games at 1080p at more than 30 fps

  • Wouldn’t a option like this break the console gamers mind from complexity? Just keep it simple for the casual gamer because that’s where the money is!

    Even at a steady 60fps you are still gonna get the occasional dips caused from graphic intensive moments and it’s always at the best parts like big explosions, panning camera shots through the environment and cut-scenes.

    Your options..
    Deal with it or…
    Educate yourself about pc hardware, spend your life savings on a beast and prey that new release games are compatible with your graphics card.

  • Gee what happened to fancy next-gen technology that would provide developers with so much power that stuff like making games below 1080p and below 60fps a thing of 2004 – 2012 (last gen).

  • Whilst I understand TB’s point that being able to drop resolution in favour of increasing FPS would be a good option for gamers consoles are meant to be a plug and play experience. I personally prefer gaming on a console for that reason. I don’t need to worry about resolution and am I getting the FPS I want , do I need to update a driver, etc. Also I find TB a little pretentious in his “I refuse to play anything less than 60FPS” attitude. A lot of the best game I’ve ever played have been at 30FPS.

      • Can he watch a film or does it look like a slide show to him!!

        Maybe he needs a break from his PC to acclimatise back to normal!

  • 60-120 fps all the way. The sole reason i upgraded to pc gaming as soon i learned that ps4 and xbox wont be making it to higher frame rates. Now i am never looking back.

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