The Digital Foundry blog takes a look at how the focus on high-quality graphics in console game development may be lost on more gamers than people realize. According to Mark Rein of Epic Games, more than half of Gears of War 2 users played the game on a standard-definition television. While you might expect that dropping the graphics quality would correspond to a boost in frame rates, that turns out not to be the case, and running at standard definition can actually be a detriment in some cases. Quoting: "PAL50 is mandatory for SD gameplay on all games on all European PS3s. You can't avoid running at a sub-optimal 50Hz unless you splash out on a high-def screen. The Euro release of Killzone 2 works at SD resolution on any PS3, even if it can only run at PAL50 on a Euro machine. In short, if you're a Euro PS3 owner playing Killzone 2 on a standard-definition display, you're losing around 17 per cent of the frame-rate owing to the lack of PAL60 support in the PS3 hardware. The game itself isn't slower as such (as was often the case in the Mega Drive/SNES era), and you'll note that it's effectively a sustained 25FPS while the 60Hz versions can be somewhat more variable. But Killzone 2 is already somewhat laggy in its control system and this impacts the feel of the game still further. While there is a 17 per cent increase in resolution, this is far less noticeable than the additional numbness in the controls."
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