1080p vs. 720p: Does it Really Matter?


High Resolution Meat for the Fanboys

Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions. The debates have been going on for a few years now, but they have never risen to the fever-pitched levels that this debate has reached these days, especially with the nigh-release of the new consoles. 1080p vs. 720p. These simple numbers have made fanboys in both the Xbox and PlayStation camps froth at the mouth and sling slander, profanities, and vitriol with reckless abandon. The height of these discussions are now reaching ridiculous proportions. I understand that there needs to be a healthy discussion about the consoles, but are we as gamers being too anal about specs, especially to the detriment of the industry and culture?

Hear me out. Yes, I think that the PS4 has an obvious advantage in the graphics and resolution departments, and yes, I think that the Xbox One architecture should have been thought through a little more thoroughly. And the planning, from marketing, development, to manufacturing, at least executed with a bit more attention given to the gaming culture, and needs and wants of consumers.

In this day and age, unfortunately, resolution sometimes is  a deal-breaker, especially considering that bigger and better HDTV’s are now cheaper to own, and consequently more attractive to today’s consumer. If I’m buying at 42 inch plasma or a 47 inch LCD/LED TV, the difference between a movie or a game playing in 1080p or 720p on the screen won’t matter much to me, since they look pretty much the same onscreen.


HDTV prices have been dropping like flies. And it’s not even Black Friday yet.

But, if I plan to purchase a 55” to 60” TV (or bigger), the 1080p/1080i/720p resolutions will be a deciding factor in my purchase. Around 55”, the difference between 1080p and 720p is noticeable. Not quite obvious, but it’s easy to discern. Go any bigger (60”, 70” and up), and it’s outright obvious. So if I’m buying a 1080p 60” TV, I would probably go for a game system that will be able to output games in a similar resolution i.e. I’d be buying a PS4. If my TV’s a 55” or smaller, I’d be okay with either an Xbox One or a PS4, since around that screen size, the differences are negligible.

Sometimes though, delving into all this tech-talk, we forget the one thing that we buy games for: FUN. Honestly, if I see a game out there that seems enjoyable, has a great story, amazing gameplay, and engages my senses, then I don’t give two whips about what resolution it’s capable of outputting. Specs be damned. I want that game and I’ll have it.


Sure Killzone: Shadow Fall looks amazing…but is the gameplay there?

All this tech-talk is overshadowing the fact that games are created to give us some sort of enjoyment. If they’re successful in that endeavor even in the slightest degree, then they’ve achieved what they were created to do. This is the one factor we keep overlooking as gamers. Rabid fanboys from both camps need to calm down. The PS4 camp constantly touting the superiority of their console, and the Xbox camp in complete denial about the technical limitations of their Xbox One; both are equally discouraging to hear. We all need to swallow our prides and just let the launches happen. Sure, console launches are sometimes rough, but as a console’s cycle ages, developers find different work-arounds and methods to extrude the most out of the hardware, including resolutions and frame-rates, by the way.

So let’s not count anyone out yet, or be too presumptuous about our favorite console. Give the tech the adequate time they need to properly age and ripen. And once that happens, who wins at the end?

We all do.

For another take on the resolution wars, check out our very own SlasherJPC as he talks about his thoughts on the topic that’s engulfed the hearts, minds, and more importantly, the mouths, of gamers as of late.

*The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the views of SpawnFirst as a whole.