Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | December 12, 2017

Scroll to top



Xbox 360 Dev HD Guidelines Abolished. How Will This Affect the PS3? |

Previously, Microsoft had a development rule for all Xbox 360 games, multiplatform and exclusive alike, that all games must be a minimum of 1280 x 720 or 720p natively with AA or anti aliasing.

Only one game to my knowledge was given the approval to ignore this rule and that was Halo 3 which ran at 640p natively.

Sony never implemented or enforced this rule so it gave devs a little freedom to either put effort in other areas or just simply cut corners.

My theory is that this is the exact reason that alot of multiplatform titles look better on the 360. I don’t believe that 4 years into this gen that developers still don’t understand the PS3 or that one has a significant gain over the other.

Since the 360 launched in 2005, developers have had to work within a set of guidelines set down by Microsoft. One of those stipulated that games had to be running at a resolution of 1280×720 (720p). Not any more!

Black Rock Studio’s (ATV, Split/Second) David Jefferies has, in his regular column on industry site Develop, revealed that Microsoft recently dropped the requirement, meaning games can – if they want/need to – be released in lower, standard definition resolutions.

Of course, some games on the 360 have already been released in sub-HD resolutions. Halo 3, for example, which Jeffereis says was thanks to Bungie, “who got it waived”.

Wonder how much this decision has to do with recent findings revealing that less than half of Gears of Wars 2’s player base owns a high definition television?

  • I thought there were more than that. Doesn’t CoD4 run at less than 720p ?

  • Eddie

    Looking it up, It appears to have been 960 x 540. So it seems only a few games were given the approval.

  • Darrin

    “alot of multiplatform titles look better on the 360” Which games are you thinking of? I’ve heard some people say there are a few specific soccer games where this is true, but even for things like Half-Life 2 and FEAR (the most widely touted examples of PS3 multiplatform inferiority) the differences were really obscure… GTA4 is a big one (640p on PS3 vs 720p on 360 with comparable frame rates) but that’s about it. Most everything else is identical.

  • Eddie

    Well most recently Ghostbusters is a prime example. The up and coming Bayonetta also is looking poorly on the PS3 at the moment.

    If you check out Eurogamers comparison, out of 122 games on the basis of framerate, resolution, loading times and graphics effects, 74 are better on the 360, 38 tie, 10 better on PS3.

  • JimmyStewart

    If you do a google search you can come up with a ton of results for this. It’s not a handful of games. After Halo 3 was revealed to be 640P they did a bit more digging. All of these stats came from the Beyond3D forums from around that time so maybe some have been fixed. Some examples…

    COD4 (360) 1024×600p 2xAA
    COD4 (PS3) 1024×600p 2xAA
    Project Gotham Racing 3: 1024×600 360
    Tomb Raider: 1024×600 360
    Perfect Dark Zero: 1138×640p – 360
    Tony Hawk Project 8: 1040×584 AA – 360
    Tony Hawk Project 8: 1280×720 – PS3
    Oblivion (360): 1024×600 (PS3 version is full 720p)
    Def Jam: Icon (PS3) 1152×648
    The Darkness Demo: 1024×576 PS3
    Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 600p – PS3
    Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 720p – 360

    Tossed in quite a few PS3 resolutions too for comparison and because they were easily available to copy. 😉

    To be honest I have NO idea why people get so hung up on this stuff. There are games that run natively at 1080P and still look like trash, Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 are both below 720P and look great.

  • ChrisE

    Nice post Jimmy! You forgot a big one in that which is Metal Gear Solid 4 which runs in a sub-HD resolution yet it looks gorgeous.

    People are making a big deal out of this. If the developers start slacking the fans are going to give them a ear full and not buy their product. No different than it has been.

  • Kisha

    hey! multiplat games from 2009 gets better scores on from metacritics

  • Anon

    Multiplatform games normally look better on Xbox 360 because the developers usually port them to the Playstation 3. The Xbox 360 is considered the inferior console so they create the game on it and then port upwards.

  • neil

    360 is no longer ps3 rival since it’s leaving HD arena
    (not to mention it’s originally not a rival with 1080p res and blu-ray on ps3)
    and fall to the same place as Wii
    there may be more casual 360 games in the future?

  • alex

    well all this means is 360 games will look even better than ps3! If the system looked better then now they are allowing them to save resources on 720p for more important things. textures,fps,streaming of data etc

  • name

    it wont effect the ps3 because devs want a certain level of quality, and i paid for a HD console so the day devs drop below 720P is the day i stop buying their games.
    and just a correction halo 3 is not the only game that runs at sub 720P COD4 MW also runs at a sub 720P resolution 620P if memory serves me well.
    the reason why 360 MP games look better than their PS3 counterpart is because most not all but most games are created on the 360 than ported over to the ps3.
    with the 360 the power is their to use, you use the CPU for math based functions and the GPU for the resolution and such, where the PS3 you have to use the SPUs to help the RSX along.
    thats why MP games look worse on the PS3 because their not using the SPUs thats like cutting your CPU power from a 3Ghz to a 2Ghz.
    as naughty dog and sony santa monica studios have said, the SPUs are very powerful and need to be used to piggyback the RSX to get optimal results.
    most developers are ignoring the SPUs and thats why Multi Platform games on the ps3 are subpar.
    when in skilled hands the ps3 is a much more powerful machine you just need to know how to program for it properly, as any good programmer knows a program is only as efficient as its code.
    a program written with 8 lines will be slower than one written with 7 thats the difference between a good and great programmer, thats the difference between a good and great program.