Call of Duty: Ghosts runs at 720p on Xbox One. On PlayStation 4, it’s 1080p.
The reason? It’s complicated. This is new technology, coding is different, and optimization is tough, so says Activision. Never mind the limited gameplay impact such a difference could make to prospective buyers. These are console wars and advantages are seen as impenetrable barriers toward platform domination.
The argument is not without total merit. The original Xbox offered the vast majority of games in 480p. On my my bulky, 200+ CRT HD set, that made a tremendous difference in visual output compared to the PlayStation 2. The Xbox secured a position as my go to multi-platform console of choice.
Flash forward and similar situations occurred as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 duked it out. Xbox 360 upscales its software to 1080p; PlayStation 3 does not. Due to forced image processing on my LCD set at the time, PS3 titles often appeared abysmal. Again, Microsoft won out to become my preferred platform.
Personally, the current differentiation is not such an issue. My current plasma set handles the upscale, and PlayStation 3 titles now appear as they should. Plus, both next gen consoles upscale to 1080p. Heading forward, my preference will likely turn into a battle of controllers and online services.
But, I do understand how this can affect some looking for premium image quality from their next gen consoles. I have been there twice amongst the resolution wars, and it goes deeper than counting pixels. Some things bother people, and while this is a superfluous argument on the surface, maybe there is something to it underneath.