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Why Do Playstation 3 Games List 1080p Support Even if the Game Doesn’t? January 9, 2011

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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This is a small gripe but I’m worried it’s going to turn into a trend and I don’t like it one bit.  Unlike the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3 does not have its own way to upsample PS3 games or Blu-Ray discs to support the maximum resolution of your HDTV.  About the only things it does upsample are regular DVDs, video files, and PS1/2 games (if compatible).  This was a serious problem at launch, as many early HDTVs lacked support of the native 720p resolution.  Since they couldn’t be upsampled to 1080i like what the Xbox 360 could do, many unfortunate gamers would have to play their games in progressive scan (480p) and be forced to like it, while Xbox 360 games would play just fine in full HD resolution on their HDTVs.  Many at the time thought this was going to be a temporary inconvenience, like something that Sony just forgot to implement into the hardware.  However, PS3s have been out since the end of 2006 and PS3-Game upsampling is still not a part of its internal software.  By this point it’s unlikely they will add it, and after three years many of the early adopters like myself who had the problem upgraded to newer HDTVs that had 720p support.

So since the Playstation 3 doesn’t upsample its PS3 games, it falls to the developers to have their game support the resolutions they want.  While the typical HD resolution in a PS3 game is 720p, many Playstation 3 games can support resolutions of 1080i and 1080p, either natively or through their own graphical upsampling.

I submit for your approval the PS3 case of the game Dead Space.  On the Greatest Hits box released in the US, it lists native support of 720p, 1080i, and 1080p resolutions.  When I popped in the game a week ago, I was looking forward to seeing my tv announce 1080p resolution as the game booted.  It didn’t.  The game was actually 720p.  For whatever reason, the information on the box was incorrect.  While I don’t have the original box (the non-greatest hits one) I know for a fact that it also listed 1080i and 1080p resolutions on it as well.  I can understand the mistake made on an original box, but there was plenty of time to fix the mistake

Dead Space isn’t alone.  Brutal Legend for the PS3 also incorrectly listed 1080i and 1080p resolution support, and did not actually provide it.  I guess the demo should have tipped me off to that (the demo is also 720p), but I guess I trusted the packaging more than I should have.

The only clue the packaging provided which could’ve clued me into this support being iffy was the statement next to the resolution support on the bottom of the packaging that 1080p could only be supported through the HDMI connection using HDCP compliant HDMI cable.  Well, I have that.  My HDMI cables are fully HDCP compliant, and have no problem whatsoever with Blu-Ray transmission, and my TV and Receiver are also fully HDCP compliant.

So, what’s with the false advertising?  I’ve seen plenty of other PS3 games list the proper resolution support on their boxes, so it can be done.  Granted, the Xbox 360 will usually list 720p, 1080i, and 1080p supported resolutions on all their game packages even if the game does not natively support those resolutions, but that’s because the game can display on those resolutions using the native upsampling feature of the Xbox 360.  Unlike the lies on some of the PS3 cases, the Xbox 360 games are accurately listing what HD resolutions their games will display on.

Sony, have better oversight on what resolutions your games can and can’t do, and if you made a mistake on a package, don’t keep the mistake when it’s re-released.  Either that, or finally introduce a native upsampling feature into the PS3.  That’s been requested for years already, it would be a nice feature your customers would happily download.

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