Mark Rubin, Ghosts EP, "Speaks" on XB1 vs. PS4 res concerns

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#1 Posted by Nodima (1973 posts) -

Great interview unearthed via a submitter on Patrick's tumblr. I thought about posting on the Ghosts board but his implications end up having a lot more to do with general journalist/publisher/manufacturer relations than Call of Duty specifically:

GC: So, just finally, I have to ask: why does the PlayStation 4 version look so much better than the Xbox One? Is the resolution really the only difference?

MR: (laughs) Yep, it’s the only difference. The TVs are different on some of them, but… they both have their different rendering engines but they’re as close as possible. It really comes down to resolution. Xbox is upscaled 720, it’s outputting at 1080p but it’s upscaled from 720. Whereas PlayStation 4 is native 1080p. So that’s really the only graphical difference. But it is enough. Some people here are saying they don’t really notice a difference…

GC: Was that the guy with the white stick?

MR: (laugh) But yeah, the PS4 looks really good.

GC: Is the PC version still better?

MR: There’s actually some features that we’ve added to the PC that are definitively not on any other generation. We worked with Nvidia a lot with this, but we have a different form of anti-aliasing that’s really new and advanced – that isn’t on current or next gen. We have a fur shader on the dog and on the wolves, they actually have a moving fur shader that works really well, for PC. And the third one, which I think is one of the coolest ones, is we’re using Nvidia’s APEX Turbulence tech to have smoke that actually wisps and waves and moves out of the way of objects.

GC: So is that something the new consoles can’t do or you just didn’t have time to implement it?

MR: No, it’s… well, you can do almost anything, almost. Tessellation can’t be done on current gen for the most part, because it’s a DirectX 11 feature, but we could still do it but you’d get a frame rate of 2. So that really becomes the reason we do everything: the reason the Xbox One is 720, the reason the PlayStation 4 is 1080 is we’re trying to make the game look as good as it possible can and making sure we maintain our 60 frames per second.

We maintain the latency and the speed and the things that people actually care about. Even if they won’t admit it, the thing that makes Call Of Duty popular is how it feels, because of those priorities.

GC: So the obvious assumption from all this is that the PlayStation 4 is definitely more powerful than the Xbox One, is that true?

MR: (acting very embarrassed) I can’t answer that.

GC: You can’t answer it on a technical level or because you’re being diplomatic?

MR: Can’t answer that.

GC: You can’t say whether you’re avoiding the question for diplomatic reasons?

MR: (embarrassed) I just can’t say anything…

(Even the attending PR guy is looking embarrassed by this point)

PR guy: It’s very hard for us to be…

GC: Are the console manufacturers leaning on you to avoid these sort of questions?

MR: (unsure - speaking to PR guy) I don’t know if that…

MR: (even more embarrassed to us) Yeah, there’s things that we… We sign NDAs with the first parties (i.e. Microsoft and Sony - GC) and there are things that we’re not allowed to talk about.

GC: So when John Carmack and Shinji Mikami say the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are almost identical, is that something you could agree with?

MR: Hmm… I would say that’s a bit inaccurate but I wouldn’t be able to tell you any detail of why that’s inaccurate.

GC: For diplomatic reasons?

MR: Yes.

GC: Okay, that’s fine. I think we can all read between those lines. But that’s absurd, how can they not except any journalist, any reasonable journalist, not to ask that question? It’s what everyone wants to know.

MR: (still feeling very awkward) The key thing is we try to focus people away from that sort of thing and try to focus them on the fact that the game is fun no matter what platform it’s on.

GC: Do you think with the next game you make there will there be such an obvious disparity between the two formats?

MR: Unknown… But over time… If you look at Call Of Duty 2 compared to COD 4 there’s a massive graphic difference, they look very different. So I think we’ll get better, yes.

GC: But will that same proportional gap always be there?

MR: Don’t know. Until we get there I honestly don’t know. To be not diplomatic or anything (laughs) we really don’t know. We’ve done as much as we can in the time we have to get where we’re at. Will they close the gap? Will they go off in the opposite direction? Who knows? But for this game it is what it is.

GC: Do you think everyone else will have these same problems? All these other cross-generational games that are out at launch?

MR: Well, I think they’ve already said they are haven’t they? Battlefield 4 is 720 on Xbox One and I think 900 on PS4? Titanfall has said they’re 720… So we’re not the first to say we’re 720 on the Xbox One.

GC: No, no. So they’re all obviously hitting the same wall.

MR: Yeah, so you’re reading that correctly in that it’s not specifically us doing something villainous. It’s a thing where all of us have to work at getting better at developing for both consoles. And that’s the fun part. I always use the analogy that the first game on a new console is always like an awkward first date, but once you know a lot more about each other it’s a lot better.

GC: Okay that’s great, thanks very much for your time.

MR: Not at all, that was interesting.

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#2 Edited by Carryboy (1072 posts) -

Yehhhhh show gamecentral some love, bring back those teletext days yo,

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#3 Posted by mikey87144 (2102 posts) -

So the PS4 is stronger than the XB1. That's not news.

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#4 Posted by TheHT (14326 posts) -

Haha, I don't care about all this resolution stuff, but that was fun to read. They should get pointers from the Nintendo PR guy Patrick interviewed.

NDA is an easy excuss. Most people probably won't press you if you bring up a legal gag contract.

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#5 Posted by Nodima (1973 posts) -

I don't care either, this just felt like another case of "put a 'real reporter' in the room and suddenly the interviewee is way more eager to be honest". It speaks to the power these companies wield over the entire industry.

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#6 Edited by rangers517 (361 posts) -

Great interview. At least someone is trying to ask these questions. Seems like Rubin really wishes he could talk.

On the other hand, other people don't give an eff about NDAs.

NBA 2k14 senior game designer Mike Wang : "I love the PS4! I‘m a convert. I wasn’t a huge fan of the PS3 controller, but DualShock 4 is amazing, it feels perfect. I love the changes that Sony has done! The machine itself is ridiculous,it’s so powerful, so mucheasier to develop for. In the office it’s unanimous; we have a couple people who don’t play anything else now, they won’t touch Xbox One. We love the PS4, it’s a great system."

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#7 Posted by Humanity (16243 posts) -

That's a nice interview. I'm usually not a fan of asking questions that they know can't be answered but I feel like we actually got some tiny pebbles of truth out of that.

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#8 Posted by AMyggen (7634 posts) -

Sounded like he was afraid he would be killed at the end of that interview. MS' NDA must be frightening.

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#9 Posted by Rick_Fingers (525 posts) -

I appreciated the fact he straight up admitted they were a bit hamstrung by time with Ghosts. Not something I'm used to seeing

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#10 Edited by Mike (17292 posts) -

Peter Quinn is going to be sitting in a dark corner of Rubin's house with a suppressed pistol when he gets home one of these days.

Anyway, I'm moving this to the Ghosts forum.

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#11 Edited by Slaegar (837 posts) -

@mikey87144 said:

So the PS4 is stronger than the XB1. That's not news.

B-but muh ESRAM!

No Caption Provided

I feel like ESRAM is going to be the new "The power of the CELL". Some game feller was saying the 32MBs isn't enough to fit a 1080p framebuffer into the ESRAM so to do 1080p you have to do vigorous compression or throw some of it into the slow RAM making things complicated. Sony is only using graphics grade RAM making it very easy to load in a full 1080p frame. My video card is reporting using 190 MBs of VRAM (1920x1080p) right now while not playing a game. Obviously that's not all framebuffer, but its far too much to put into 32Megs.

Microsoft should be more worried about these companies than the companies are worried about Microsoft. Games like Call of Duty and Sports 14 are Xbox's bread and butter. If Microsoft scares EA and Activision away with their silly embargos it will hurt them just as much if not more than EActivision losing Xbox One game sales.

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#12 Posted by mikey87144 (2102 posts) -

@slaegar: That's a mean gif. You're right though. Of more concern is the games to follow in the coming years. If some of the exclusives aren't running in 1080p, (as far as I know all the PS4 exclusives are running in 1080p), then what happens a few years from now when devs want to put more stuff on screen?

Incidentally how do you find that information about your card? I have a GTX 760.

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#13 Posted by mercutio123 (531 posts) -

Having just started uni and not buying these for atleast a couple of years, I'm really excited to see how this plays out

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#14 Edited by Darji (5412 posts) -

This just shows again how ridiculous this whole situation is right now. Even the date when the Embargo of Xbox one games ends is embargoed by Microsoft. They really want to fool people as long as possible. With the 360 they sold knowingly defect consoles and now this...

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#15 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1849 posts) -

@darji: I like that gif for some reason. I think it has to do with Jack Nicholson.

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