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Who Cares About 1080P & 60FPS? I Sure Don’t

Published August 10, 2014 by |
Nintendo 64 - F-Zero X

Maybe it’s just me, but I find the ongoing obsession with discussing and dissecting every game apart to see if it holds up to the seemingly ‘holy grail’ metric of 1080p and 60 frames-per-second thoroughly dull.

The ‘attaining’ of these numbers are always being debated on forums, columns and news articles across the gaming web. Yes, obviously the strive to push the industry forward technologically is a wholly valid and worthwhile goal, but it’s also one that at times is downright boring.

Endless articles berating a game for not quite offering up a consistent 60 frames-per-second or not looking quite sharp enough are everywhere.

Sure, nobody wants their game to be unplayable, so a consistent experience is important. I like shiny HD high-res games as much as the next guy — but why has commenting on such trivial matters become so common?

Bungie’s Destiny won’t run at 60 frames.

Wii U hit Mario Kart 8 doesn’t reach 1080p and at times drops to, get this, 59 frames per second!

Options to toggle between 30 frames and 60 frames are now being added to games to please ‘purists’.

One unhappy Californian gamer is even going to the extreme measure of suing Sony due to “deceptive marketing” because PS4 launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall didn’t run at a native 1080p. Seriously.

But why do people care?

Maybe I’m wrong on this, but the amount of time and effort I see devoted to writing and discussing such topics seems absurd, mainly due to how frivolous it all seems.

As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters.

Remember playing Super Mario 64 on your old bulky CRT TV, how about Tetris on that DotMatrix screen? Pray tell for those back in the days of arcade Pong.

Nintendo 64 - Super Mario 64 - Gamebrit

I don’t know about you but I don’t really remember being too bummed out about the screen resolution when I had just nailed Toad with a banana in the standard definition days of Mario Kart 64.

Hey, some people even yearn for a return to those days (but that’s another matter).

Be clear here that my issue isn’t with the need for such tech (it’s needed), it’s just the pointless argument and comparison.

1080p? 60FPS? Here’s an idea — Try not to worry about it too much and just enjoy your games.

  • Matt

    60FPS is important. 1080p maybe not so much in comparison… 900p vs 1080p shows only a minor drop in visual clarity but I wouldn’t say it would be worth it for so much of the gpu to be taken up just to push an extra 280p when that power could go to other things like better lighting or Post effects. Mind you this is from a dual console standpoint… just as long as 720p is left in the past *cough… Tintanfall* *cough… COD Ghosts*. I think eventually both consoles will even out at sub-1080p/60/30fps to push better quality environments instead of just rendering a larger image.

  • Nelson Frew

    The notion that an individual who prefers 1080p / 60FPS is not also “all about the fun” is about as ridiculous as you claim the entire debate is. I was almost labeling you as facetious about the topic until your sincerity hit me. There is a strong undertone of self-righteousness in this piece, and it makes it hard to take you seriously.
    Also, “Options to toggle between 30 frames and 60 frames are now being added to please ‘purists.'” is a quite unfair way of implying that those who just prefer higher frame rates are purists.
    EDIT: I retract this. I didn’t realise you were quoting the developers. I thought you were considering people who prefered high framerate as snobs who looked at 30fps in disgust.

    The issue is that when people are shown new technology which is considered to be next generation, and have invested money, often thousands, into televisions and monitors that allow for 1080p support, it can be seen as a cop out when Full HD is not supported. Admittedly technology is a bottleneck– the XBOX One or PS4 may not be able to handle certain games at these benchmarks– but 720p Widescreen support became a standard for games comparatively quickly. As the generation progresses, one would be forgiven for expecting the standard to progress with it.
    Oh, and It isn’t anything about 60 fps purity-oh-so-sacred. It’s just a preference, and yes, one that has caused problems. Perhaps it was born from the industry setting a standard of “Next-gen”, and not living up to its supposed meaning. PC games have been making use of 1080p and 50-60FPS games for many years now, so why not consoles? When do the console demographics get glorious, silky smooth 1080p?
    It’s not about wanting it over fun as you imply– those who prefer will still play the games– it’s about meeting expectations. And okay, these expectations probably aren’t justified, but that justification wasn’t met due to technological issues concerning hardware.

    Perhaps it is a cycling issue: the games aren’t 1080p 60fps because hardware is incapable, hardware is incapable because the community wanted 1080p 60fps quicker, so it was pushed out. I’m not claiming this to be gospel, just a silly hypothesis really.
    Keep in mind, these people can still play old games. At risk of putting my own preferences in the open, I also prefer 1080p 60fps, but I still play games from the 90’s. I don’t snob about how they’re not 1080p as well. I still play them because it’s fun. Same goes for new games. If a game is good, I will love it no matter what, but there is no denying that the fluidity of gameplay and visual fidelity is improved with higher definition and framerate. What you play, of course, is the most important thing. But do not trivialise the sheer beauty and power of what satisfying visual feedback can deliver.

    • Thanks for your detailed comment. You’re right that 1080/60 can improve the fluidity of gameplay.

      Just to be clear, my issue isn’t with the tech, or the need for it – far from it.

      It is purely one of taking issue with the pointless complaining and the insane level of scrutiny afforded on some games. Suing Sony over Killzone for example? I say relax, there are more important things to worry about.

      • Nelson Frew

        Fair call. Sometimes it can be taken too far, just like anything, I guess.
        I don’t think it’s so unimportant as to be labeled as “trivial,” but I do agree that fundamental game design and enjoyment, amongst many other things, is far more important.

      • ImOnaDrugCalledSheen

        Welcome to the internet.

  • Great Article, I feel the exact same way….

    • DjOps

      Me too.

  • You’re asking a lot of people if you expect them to feel differently. Good luck with that.

  • GotNews4Ya

    I think it’s a little bit of both for me, honestly. I love a good story, and If a game doesn’t have one.. I am completely turned off… but if I miss out on a series.. I.E. Dark Souls / Demon Souls.. or Mass Effect 1 – 3 and other games like that.. I find it hard to jump into the next game.. I.e. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt without playing the previous installments.. even if they claim you won’t be “lost” without doing so, but the problem I have.. Is I have been so spoiled with polished graphics over the last couple of years.. and such intricate story lines.. and seen such cool game mechanics.. that the old ones are excruciating to go back to..

    On one hand.. what has gaming come to? I mean.. games don’t get perfect ratings, because “they are too repetitive” I mean.. dang.. What was pong? That is the epitome of repetition. LOL How about even further down the line.. Mario / Smash TV, all repetitive.. Go down the same linear line.. doing pretty much the same thing.. (jumping over things / gunning down mass amounts of enemies) and they were amazing games.. that have stood the test of time. Yet I see people knocking Destiny because it’s just a “mindless / endless waves of enemies”.. Really? That’s pretty much every game in the past 35 years.. and your going to come down hard on a game that is actually mixing a few things together.. and seems to be pulling it off quite successfully in my opinion as well.. But beyond all that.. We have grown as a society in whole.. as a group of people who feel entitled to things.. and it goes way deeper than gaming.. that’s for certain.

  • ThePokeMaster

    F-Zero X was 60fps.
    Just thought I should point that out since there’s a picture of it in the article.
    IMO, resolution is not as important as steady/smooth frame rate.

  • Dennis Crosby

    The only problem I have with this is people say they want 1080p 60fps but really don’t know if a game is 1080p 60fps unless a developer, Digital foundry, or a so called insider comes out and say it. Some of the best game we play never reach 1080p 60fps. Some of the best looking games on consoles haven’t been either. We play games not resolution and it sad that some of the resent events have happen but it a lesson we all have to learn and hopefully we move pass this and get back to gaming

    • Precisely, a lot of people call out for it without even being able to spot it….

  • Failz

    The problem with peasants is they believe 1080p is gods gift to gaming and don’t realise what they have put themselves in by making these companies hold onto high standards.

    Simple fact, UC4 at 1080p and UC4 at 720p, UC4 @ 720p will look better because the Devs can push more power just like how TLOU(RM) at 30 frames offers better shadowing. 1080p on limited hardware is a joke and will only hurt the games since Devs are focusing on hitting 1080p and not worrying about actual gameplay. DR3 is a good example on how companies should make games. They focus on more important things that make DR games fun by going 720p/30 so you can have 20k zombies in the screen (world record).

    PC games are different because they don’t have limits and if you got the cash then you can play the game the way its meant to be played where as every 1080p game we play on consoles, Devs had to scale down effects, AA, lighting and shadowing just to please the simple gamers who want nothing else but bad games that try to look good.

    • Guest

      ^THIS! Framerate is also more important than resolution at the end of the day and even moreso: polygon count.

    • demfax

      The real problem is you’re a sick in the head fanboy going around screaming about peasants and master races, while spreading lies and hate about pieces of plastic.

  • Manoj Varughese

    I care.

  • andy

    Go back and write this article in May 2013. You must be Adam Sessler’s biggest fan. Of COURSE it doesn’t matter to you author.
    And if you can’t go back in time, maybe play Uncharted 4 when it comes out and then tell us what you think about 1080p and 60fps.

  • Guest

    Only, “I can only afford 1 system”, $0N¥ paupers do, because they’re not real gamers. They only care about poor numbers when even the PoS4 is a crappy machine to begin with. PC FTW! Poor $0N¥ paupers!

    • demfax

      Stop spreading fanboy lies, FUD, and hatred and get mental help. You are sick in the head and constantly lie to fuel your mentally ill hatred of a piece of plastic. Sad.

      All 3 consoles have good games and have their pluses and minuses. It’s only fanboys mindlessly trashing one or the other. It’s not healthy to hate pieces of plastic and people who like playing video games on them.

  • Escopablobar

    I agree. Fun is the only thing that counts. I have been preaching this for years. I do enjoy a smooth, graphically impressive experience, but by no means will I be derisive towards others because the are having a dissimilar/different (not spelled inferior) experience. At the end of the day we are having fun and that is all that counts.

  • Lacarious

    dumb, that’s the only thought i have about this article.

    • Lacarious

      oh wait, archaic, yes, archaic is better.