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How Low Can You Go?

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Digital Foundry’s analysis of Call of Duty: Black Ops went up today and the findings are disappointing.

We all knew Black Ops was going to run below the 1280 x 720p HD standard. Since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the games have been running at around 1040 x 600 with 2x MSAA. It was acceptable/tolerated because of the 60 FPS the developers were pushing for.

For the most part, the PlayStation 3 versions of those games were comparable to the Xbox 360 counterparts. With Black Ops, that streak of “parity” has come to an end. The PlayStation 3 version runs at 960 x 544.

Let me put that in perspective: the iPhone 4’s resolution is 960 x 640. You’re taking the image of an iPhone 4 and scaling it up. Things are going to get ugly.

But do you know what’s worse?

In many ways, the core experience of playing a COD title is defined by that 60FPS target frame-rate and the advantages that brings. Neither version of the game sustains it, but the Xbox 360 game comes closest…

So you’re telling me that they’ve knocked down the resolution and didn’t manage to keep the framerate at 60 FPS? How did they digress with this installment?

I think it’s about time they moved on from this Quake 3 based engine.

P.S – Keep in mind I haven’t invested much time in Black Ops yet. I have witnessed slowdowns first hand via my brother’s matches with bots though. So who knows? Maybe it’s not that bad.

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