Infinity Ward explains why CoD Ghosts is native 720p on Xbox One

Relatively low resolution on Microsoft's console down to resource allocation issues

Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin has moved to explain the resolution difference between the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Call of Duty Ghosts.

Having said last week that the Xbox One version of the shooter will run natively at 720p, while the PS4 version will run at 1080p, Rubin told Eurogamer that the difference was due to resource allocation issues faced by Infinity Ward's engineers.


"There's stuff in the console's OS that interacts with the game," he explained. "So, for instance, voice chat is often supported by the hardware manufacturer rather than the software, and you're just using their channel. When that stuff is changing - because they're developing it on their side - and the resources they're using are changing - your, from a game design standpoint, challenge is with trying to make enough room for those resources to be used but at the same time use as much resources as possible.

"One of the greatest challenges the engineers have to deal with is memory management, or thread management. There are X number of threads in your CPUs. Where in those threads is the stuff that's Microsoft or Sony? Where does it fall? How does it work? We don't have the SDKs for those features yet, and then they come in and you go, okay, well it needs 3MB of RAM - oh, crap, we only allocated two! You can't just take a MB from anywhere. It's not like there's just tonnes of it just laying there. You have to pull it from something else. And now you have to balance that somewhere."

In the case of Ghosts, Rubin said: "There's no specific, oh, well, the VO chat on Xbox took up so much resources that we couldn't do 1080p native. There's no definitive one to one per se cause and effect. It's just an overall thing. We took each system individually and said, 'okay, let's make the best game for each system.'

"I think both look great. Some people might notice if they had them right next to each other. Some people might not. The Xbox One is 1080p output, it's just upscaled hardware wise. It was a late decision, too. That call wasn't made until a month ago."

Rubin also told Edge that it would be wrong to suggest Ghosts is confirmation that Xbox One is a weaker console than PS4.

"It's a much more complex answer - there's so much to it, it's a balancing act when you get into optimisation - we need more time with it all, basically," he said. "It could be years from now until we get to the point where we feel like we've maxed out what we can do on both platforms.

"We might get more resources back at one point. And that could make things change dramatically for the Xbox One, for instance. It's a long complicated road that will take years to develop, and I think at the end we'll have games looking very similar, usually, on both systems.

"This is the first game on the console and there's a lot for us to learn with the new hardware so it's a long-running process - you compare COD 2 to COD 4 it's a massive leap forward in graphical fidelity. So I think we expect the same thing on both platforms."

The Call of Duty Ghosts release date is this Tuesday, November 5.