PC vs Console Graphics Discussed by Frostbite Tech Director; Criticizes 30 FPS Over 60 FPS Choice

on June 19, 2014 1:38 PM

The visual differences between PC and consoles are always a matter of discussion between gamers, but at times even developers get involved in the dialogue. Frostbite Technical Director Johan Andersson is doubtlessly an expert, not only due to his position on Electronic Arts’ increasingly widespread engine, but also as a Mantle evangelist.

Recently, he took issue about a developer mentioning ultra-high PC settings being available on consoles, and commented on Twitter:

Embarrassing to hear devs say their console versions is the same quality as “ultra high” on PC. Then you are _not_ taking advantage of PC!

This triggered  a response from a few other developers, like Treyarch Software Engineer Dan Olson, who asked “Whose PC?” and then added that “Going by steam survey matching console spec on PC seems like you’re maxing out 85%… that’s more people than have SSE4.1 available.”

Andersson answered that maxing 85% of PCs “can be an ok approach for many games, but then then do not call it Ultra High on PC if it is capped to console spec.”

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Advanced Technology Group GPU specialist Tobias Berghoff then chimed in:

You are objecting to using “Ultra High” to refer to a config that can run on console? Did I miss a memo on naming settings?

Andersson also explained why consoles are generally more efficient in fully using their hardware than PC:

Consoles are fixed target with low level access, so given the same hardware performance level consoles will be more efficient.

On PC one has to support over a 10x scaling factor in power from low to high, really quite complex & can be costly.

He then weighed-in on the choice between 30 adn 60 FPS, and he definitely leans towards targeting 60.

It is too bad that 4k/UHD now when it is becoming more available isn’t standardized on 60 fps, such a major improvement over 24/30.

At least (most) games will be leading the way with 4k@60 and VR at higher refresh rates. On powerful PCs that is.

He finally criticized quite pointedly the choice of targeting 30 frames per second over 60, specifically referring to The Order: 1886 in response to the question from another user.

They are a console exclusive so framerate has a massive impact. but yes it is BS, gameplay is always better at higher framerate.

While I don’t personally agree that 60 FPS is always preferable (I go on a case-by-case basis), Andersson definitely isn’t alone in his point of view. What about you? Would you sacrifice visual fidelty for a higer framerate, or maybe you prefer more detail on screen?

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
 [ 217 ]