1080p Is Clearly Better Than 720p, But Why Is The Media Downplaying It?

It's simple math, and yet many in the media are attempting to downplay the differences between 1080p and 720p. Why is that?

by on 1st Nov, 2013

Let's get this out of the way: 1080p is superior to 720p, in every way. It's a higher resolution with almost double the amount of pixels. Don't let the marginal-looking 300~ difference fool you, 1080p is equivalent to 1920x1080, while 720 is 1280x720. It's simple math: the numbers are bigger. The bigger the better, and the more pixels you get.

As it is, Call of Duty: Ghosts has been confirmed to run at a full 1080p on the PlayStation 4, while its counterpart on the Xbox One runs at 720p, upscaled to 1080p. What that means is the pixels are stretched out to make it fit 1080p. By doing so, you're going to get some blurry looking textures. Here's an example of how that looks:

1080p

Call of Duty Ghosts

720p

Call of Duty 720

The difference is plain to see, and consumers will want to get the best out of their hardware to have something to show for what they've spent. It makes little sense to defend 720p in light of how much better 1080p appears in contrast, especially when you have an expensive, and gigantic LED TV capable of running games on the latter where the difference between the two resolutions will be clear to see. Unless you're gaming on a small, 720p-only display, there's absolutely no reason why you'd want to experience the game in a lower resolution.

Some gamers, especially on Reddit, argue that the lengths to which the gaming media are attempting to downplay the 720p/1080p difference is pathetic—and it is. But they also claim that it shows which members of the media have been "bought out" by Microsoft, and those which have not. It's my belief that certain members of the press are simply attempting to remain "unbiased" towards Sony or Microsoft by suppressing its urge to state the plain and simple fact that Sony has the upper hand, at least in regards to resolution. In the attempt to be fair and balanced, pure fact has been omitted or missed.

Personally, I think it does consumers a disservice to suggest this is a non-issue. It's even a bit hypocritical, given the amount of time that the press spends paining over the marginal visual differences in multiplatform games, like pop-in and texture quality. This Redditor sums it up:

I love how during the PS360 era everyone in the gaming press was emphasizing the differences of tiny changes in resolution/graphical fidelity in multiplats but now it seems that eurogamer is the only calling out the massive disparity, everywhere else seems to have the opinion that 1080p vs 720p ain't a big deal and I don't know why.

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