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Resolutiongate a 'perception challenge' that must be fixed, says Xbox exec

But Harvey Eagle personally sees little difference between PS4 and Xbox One displays

One of the key Xbox One executives in the UK believes the company needs to overcome the perception that Sony's PS4 displays certain games at superior resolutions and frame rates.

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Numerous multiplatform games run at a higher resolution on PS4 than Xbox One

Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle told CVG that, while he doesn't personally see a meaningful graphical difference between PS4 games and their Xbox One equivalents, he does understand the negative publicity has become an issue.

"I think it's a perception challenge, absolutely," Eagle told CVG.

"If you put third-party games side-by-side that are running at slightly different resolutions or frame rates, then unless you are using a screen that's more than 60 inches big, I defy you to really see the difference. I personally struggle to see the difference."

"Unless you are using a screen that's more than 60 inches big, I defy you to really see the difference"

Nevertheless, Eagle believes the Xbox One team needs to overcome the challenge, adding that an updated console operating system will give developers more GPU resources.

"It's important, certainly. It's something the media has certainly picked up on. If that leads to the perception that one machine is more powerful than another, then it's important, and we're trying to allow developers to bring games to Xbox One at the highest resolution and frame rate as possible."

"There is some GPU power that can be allocated to Kinect that we're now freeing up for developers if they want to increase the fidelity of their games. I want to point out though that this is absolutely up to the developer on how they deploy the power."

PlayStation 4 versions of next generation games occasionally run at a higher resolution, and smoother frame-rate, than the Xbox One equivalent. Games already shown to be superior on PS4 include Call of Duty Ghosts, Diablo 3, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Thief, Metro Redux and Metal Gear Ground Zeroes.

'Positive' difference

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Harvey Eagle has worked for Microsoft since 2000

It is expected that, as time goes on and developers find more ways to save hardware resources, the differences between Xbox One and PS4 versions of multiplatform games will narrow.

In June, Microsoft outlined how a new Xbox One developer kit (XDK) will give game creators access to additional system resources that were previously allocated to Kinect. About ten per cent of each system's GPU is reserved for Kinect, which now can be turned off to reduce overhead.

With Xbox One evolving into a system that appears even more similar to PS4, Eagle was asked how Microsoft will make its new system stand out.

"Content is one of the primary ways we differentiate the two consoles," he said.

"We have our exclusive games, the likes of Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest [also available on PC], Halo Master Chief Collection and so on.

"The next thing you have to do is make sure all the third parties are partnering on your platform, and try if you can to either make those exclusive to Xbox or coming first to Xbox.

"Then you try to build out the broadest range of games to the widest number of people, which is where ID@Xbox can really help in particular.

"I would say there's still some differences in the hardware offering. I think Kinect is still something that stands out, some of the voice control components and some of the broadcasting capabilities such as Twitch are different and deeper on Xbox One than other platforms because of Kinect.

"I would argue that our Xbox Live service is a major differentiator. We believe it's the best place to play games with your friends, and I would argue it still is today."

In May, Microsoft announced it had dropped Kinect as a mandatory Xbox accessory, though the corporation will still sell the divisive 3D camera separately.

"Standalone Kinect will be out before Christmas, but we aren't yet ready to announce price or release date details," Eagle said.

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