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Poll: Is Graphical Fidelity More Important Than Gameplay?

Posted by Ken Barnes

The age old question returns.

With Microsoft announcing a Kinect-free Xbox One bundle earlier this week, which will be available at the same price as Sony's PlayStation 4, the distance between the two machines is getting smaller.

But, one difference remains, and that's what developers are able to do with the hardware that the boxes contain. As we alluded to yesterday, it seems that a lot of folks are absolutely hung up on whether or not games run at a resolution of 1080p and a 60 frames per second. In an ideal world, every game running on either machine would be able to handle those numbers, but we aren't living in an ideal world.

We can sort of understand multiplatform titles being given a shoeing by the public, if the person doing the shoeing owns both platforms. Why would you buy Watch Dogs on Xbox One, running at 792p/30fps, when you can buy it on PlayStation 4 for the same money and see it run at 900p/30fps? But if you DON'T own a PlayStation 4, what happens then? Are the missing 108 lines enough to make you think about trading your console and picking up a PS4? Will you even notice the missing lines when you're involved in the action of the game? Do you refuse to buy the game simply because it's available on a format that runs it a bit better? If that's the case, surely any game that also gets a PC release is also out of bounds, given the ludicrously high resolutions that top-end gaming PCs can run games at?

How about console exclusives? When a game like Sunset Overdrive looks as bonkers-crazy-fun as it does, is there any real cause to shout "Well, I'm not buying that!" when the rumour mill suggests that it won't be running at 1080p when it's released? Surely, the game still looks as bonkers-crazy-fun?

What about older games? Is the original SNES version of Super Mario World a lesser game (or less fun to play) because it runs in much lower resolution that we're now used to? How about Metal Slug, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda or pretty much any other game released before the dawn of HD? Do those games lose value simply because they aren't rendered at 1080p?

There's a lot of big questions to consider, and we're going to sum it up into a single one...

Is Graphical Fidelity As Important As Gameplay? (19 votes)





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User Comments (18)



SunnyShores said:

I would rather play an excellent but mediocre looking game than an amazing looking but terrible game.



Ubiquitous_Doom said:

Graphics are very important but they are only one piece of a big puzzle. I think that gameplay is more important because what good is something that looks visually stunning, yet has no substance?



ThatGallantGent said:

I've never put graphics ahead of gameplay before and I'm not going to start now. I've seen plenty of games which look the business but are boring or poorly put together. The argument ppl have between resolution differences is just fanboys jousting with their e-peens. I''ll be getting watch dogs on 360= do I care it won't look as spsrklyy? Not one bit



mitcHELLspawn said:

@ThatGallantGent yeah but it's not just graphics that are different on the 360 version. it's not the same game as the next gen counterpart. The next gen version is the one to buy.



ThatGallantGent said:

Even game wise it's not hugely different. A few less NPCs and a lack of two multiplayer things. I'm not that bothered. Besides, I don't have a free £500 to buy an Xbox One with XD



mitcHELLspawn said:

Are graphics more important than gameplay? absolutely not. Do I care if the game is 1080p natively ? again, absolutely not.. BUT I own both the ps4 and the xbox one... and when I see multiplat games performing better on the ps4 for the exact same price, I can't ignore that. I tried to ignore it at first but I can't keep buying my multiplatform games on the xbox when it isn't as good.



JD_John said:

I recently sold my PS4 and picked up an Xbox One knowing that currently (and in the future?) 3rd Party games are going to perform slightly better on PS4. To me gameplay always wins, especially when it just comes down to resolution. If I don't see both versions in person side-by-side how am I going to tell the difference? I chose to get the One since all of my friends on 360 who have upgraded continue to choose the Xbox One, despite the higher price and "less powerful" components, plus the fact that the Xbox One controller to me is perfect - better than the DS4. So to me, controller and community/Xbox Live trump the increased resolution the PS4 is getting at the moment. I'd rather play Destiny with friends on Xbox One than on PS4 with some strangers/no one even if I have to sacrifice 1080p.



Generik said:

I agree with everyone that I'd rather have a great playing game with reasonably good graphics than a terrible game that looks stunning. But with that said I don't think the resolution issues between Xbox One and PS4 is simply jousting with e-peens as suggested by ThatGallantGent. If I were to own both consoles I'd most definitely be purchasing most game right now on the PS4 instead of the Xbox One. One console clearly performs better than the other running the same game and that can't be ignored. One of these days I plan to get a PS4 when their 1st party library has grown considerably and at that time it will be interesting to see if developers have cracked the code to get multi-platform games running equally on both or not.

As to Watch Dogs.. I was pretty excited about this game. Seeing that there is 9 versions to chose between and most of them have exclusive content only available on PS4.. I'm officially waiting. May sound petty but if the game is as good as it's hyped, there will probably be a GOTY edition around Xmas that has all the content included. And who knows.. by then maybe they have it running better than 792p as well.



DRL said:

The 3DS XL is a great example of this. Many people, including myself, opted to buy the larger screen XL even though it didn't feature a higher resolution to accompany the new screen size. When I compare my wife's 3DS to my XL side-by-side, the visuals are clearly A LOT more jagged on the XL — it's very, very apparent. And you know what? It doesn't bother me at all. Even making the jump from my Vita to the 3DS does not phase me. Last night I played Killzone: Mercenary (which looks incredible, by the way) for an hour and then switched to Mario Golf, and I didn't feel as if I was playing on an inferior, dated product or anything like that. If the game is good and plays well, really, who cares about visual flair? I mean, it's always a nice bonus, but I'd play a modern game that looked like Pong if it had great gameplay.

I know this isn't touching precisely on the modern resolution/frame rate arguments between XONE and PS4, but I think it's relevant when talking about the importance of graphics.



WayneDavies89 said:

I have to agree that gameplay is more important than graphics. However I'll play devils advocate for a moment and mention games like LA noire where graphics support key gameplay features. If the graphics and quality in facial detail were lower in LA noire it wouldn't be game breaking, though it would take a little out of the overall experience I think.



mamp said:

I'd like to say that in a way gamer's have expectations. I think that when we hear AAA games we expect them to be top of the line, which means yeah we want as much power behind those games as possible especially if we're paying $60 a game. Then we have indie games which some of them are just as popular as the greatest of AAA games and these games lack the power that the big games have yet we don't seem to mind but then again most of these games are in the $10-$15 price range. I think indie games are proof that people just want a fun game, there's a reason there's been a boom in indie developed titles.



JaxonH said:

You pretty much summed up my thoughts to the tee. I play Final Fantasy X on Vita and switch to Mario Golf World Tour, I don't feel like I'm switching to inferior hardware or an inferior experience- not at all. After I buy my Xbox One, well, sure I'll probably still buy the multiplats on PS4. It's a minor difference, but of course given the choice I don't see any reason to go with the slightly lesser resolutions/framerates. But it's not a big deal, it's really not. The exclusives on X1, like Sunset Overdrive, will look very comparable to exclusives on PS4 like Infamous. In fact, you could probably have interchanged the two and gamers would have never known the difference.

But ya, if I can jump from playing the Vita to 3DS and not think twice about the it, no way the difference between X1 and PS4 is going to be an issue. I mean, the systems are about as identical as they come in terms of graphical fidelity output anyways...



AeroZeppelin said:

Absolutely not but i do agree that 1080p and 60fps should be the norm going forward but even if it isn't it's not a big deal to me @mitcHELLspawn I also can't ignore multiplatform games performing better on PS4 which is why when i do gat a Xbox one it will only be for exclusives all of my multiplat games will be played on PS4



mitcHELLspawn said:

@Generik those 9 versions you speak of come with exclusive content but it's nothing special, just certain outfits or weapons. then there's the hour gameplay that's exclusive to Sony. I think you shouldn't pass up getting this game at launch just because of those things. This game is going to be very much worth getting day one. It's been in development for over 5 years and is absolutely jam packed with content. I'm quite sure silly exclusive outfits or hacking perks aren't going to take away from this experience.



Generik said:

@mitcHELLspawn you're most likely right. I posted that comment after I'd watched a news report detailing all the PS4 exclusive content and the fact that they got a bit higher graphics and mentally threw my hands up just a bit. I will probably get it early... If not day one just because I know Ubisoft is committed to making amazing experiences.



Gamer83 said:

Gameplay is king but brushing graphics off is nonsense, imo. And frankly both the new consoles are disappointing me greatly in this category. In 2014 1080p native should be reached in every game no exceptions and for most genres a constant 60 frames per second should be reached as well. Nothing wrong with having high standards but unfortunately these consoles are too weak to hit these targets and this is only the first year, it gets worse from here as games only become more complex. At least MS hasn't flat out lied about graphical fidelity like Sony has twice now with Killzone and Watch Dogs. So, while I'm disappointed with MS I'm not furious like I am with Sony over the PortStation 4's current miserable situation.

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