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Carmack Targets 1080p For Next Generation Consoles

Posted on December 20, 2011 AT 05:54pm

THE BUZZ: id Software’s John Carmack is know for his love of pushing technology and power in gaming, and it seems that’s exactly what he wants to do on the upcoming generation of gaming consoles.

In a tweet today, Carmack made the following statement:

Targeting 1080p for next gen consoles brings pixel precision back to relevance. Almost every display screws with 720p.


EGM’s TAKE: While this may seem like a simple statement, there’s actually two factors that are important to think about.

First is the fact that while we currently have plenty of console games that proclaim to be HD, some actually aren’t. Even with the power of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, many games have been developed and released that end up running at sub-HD resolutions. It’s a concept that seems so simple—push for true HD gaming on the next batch of consoles—but actually getting to that point would be a major step for console gamers. The next round of hardware won’t simply be about how many buildings a game can render or how details character models are—it’ll hopefully be about real HD resolutions, and running those resolutions at proper, stable framerates.

There’s also his comment about “pixel precision”. He’s right—720p ends up getting fudged on some HDTV sets, where the resolution is either slightly above or slightly below actual 720p resolution (1280 x 720). With 1080p, it’s easier to have the assurance that a consumer’s TV will actually be 1920 x 1080. At that point, the graphics a developer creates can be seen by the gamer on an exact-pixel level.

Getting to that point—where game developers know exactly what the end user is seeing—would also be a huge plus in terms of having better gaming experiences.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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