The Division on Xbox One has a dynamically scaling resolution

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peas

The Division’s closed beta ended yesterday, much to the disappointment of those who grinded (ground?) for hours in the Dark Zone for premium loot – faced with the prospect of treachery at every step. Don’t worry though! There’s likely another, more inclusive beta later this month – with the game hitting shelves early next month.

It looks pretty damned good no matter the system it’s running on – with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One running at 1080p. Only it seems that, on the Xbox One at least, it’s not always running at 1080p.

According to Digital Foundry, who’ve taken a deeper dive, the game appears to use a dynamic resolution, scaling back the number of peas whenever performance might otherwise be affected. IT does this to do its best to stick to the 30fps target, which is mostly does.

“… Xbox One utilises a dynamic resolution scaler in order to sustain its target frame-rate, much like Halo 5 and Wolfenstein: The New Order. Essentially, this means that the game adjusts its resolution on the fly, dependent on GPU load in any given scene.

Wherever you see heavy volumetric effects and lots of geometry on-screen, there’s a strong possibility that The Division’s frame buffer is switching to a lower pixel count on Xbox One. It’s a clever trick – and the exact moment of the switch can be hard to catch by eye. In practise, it does start to blur spots in the image in direct comparison to PS4 and PC, particularly across long distances.”

The lowest resolution they’ve recorded is 1728×972, which is 81% of full HD – so really nothing to b concerned about. I can’t say I noticed the resolution shifting on the fly when I played the beta. At worst, I noticed a few very minor frame drops and the very occasional bit of screen tearing.

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According to Digital Foundry, the same trick might be in play on the PS4, but they’ve not noticed it. They do, however, wish the PC utilised the tech as well – because even with a suitably high end system, the frame rate is all over the place. Maintaining a smooth fps by using dynamic resolution is a clever way around technological limits.

“As for PS4, it may be the case this scaling method is implemented on Sony’s machine too. However, so far our tests reveal no performance drops whatsoever from the full 1920×1080 (or 30fps), and we’ll have to judge this point on the final release. Meanwhile we’d love to see this technology deployed on PC in some fashion, where our GTX 970 and R9 390 tests show gameplay frame-rates can vary dramatically. A dynamic resolution could be a good back-up solution for those struggling to get by on their current GPUs on high settings – and also for PS4, should there be any issues in maintaining 30fps later on”

It bears repeating though that the game s in beta – and it still likely to be subject to some last-minute optimisation before it hits shelves in March.

Last Updated: February 3, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Should’ve used split peas – opportunity missed!

  • Pieter Kruger

    This now and all the other previous articles on how both console versions looked equally stunning is just again showing how stupid these pea counters are and that nobody needs Digital Foundry to tell them how good games are/are not! Hell, those DF idiots even went to work on Ark:Survival………IDIOTS! ????

    • Hammersteyn

      Agreed, what right do they have to compare both consoles and releasing their findings. Friggin fanboys I tell you.

      • Pieter Kruger

        No one cares and no one asked for it! ????

        • Hammersteyn

          Wrong again

          • Pieter Kruger

            You can’t comment, DF has never done a “comparison video” on any Indie titles I know of……

          • Hammersteyn

            That’s because Indie titles doesn’t struggle performance wise on any of the consoles

        • Sageville

          I care!

          Peas are important, they tell me I bought the correct console and thus permits me to look down upon lesser consoles…

          • Pieter Kruger

            Hahaha! If you constantly need a couple of peas to remind you of that your doubt might be well founded…….????????????

          • Hammersteyn

            Yet you ignore the peas. Veggies are good for you

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            If you skip carrots, you don’t worry about peas either…

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Sageville

            My Nana used to tell me carrots would make me see in the dark and make my hair curly….

            Basically, Nanas are full of shit.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Haha!!

          • eveplayer77

            hey there young man,, This is your Nana… mind your language boy or il have to wash it out with soap.

          • Sageville

            See! Totally full of shit!

          • Sageville

            Shem…

          • eveplayer77

            nee pieter moet nie die ps4kies spot nie hulle het nie games nie

        • Alessandro Barbosa

          I think the many people with both consoles appreciate it. I personally think they’re unmatched in their field, and often refer to their deep analysis to make decisions about visual fidelity vs. stability when purchasing games for console. They’re not starting flame wars – they’re doing good, technical work.

          • Will

            meh …..*burps*

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        What I’m getting annoyed with is that every game now has a comparison video, by now, everyone knows that the PS 4 reigns supreme, this has been proven so many times…Why the constant reminder? Does it really take that long to sink in?

        I’m just ranting…

        • Hammersteyn

          I think they do it because they are optimistic that the XBOX One might surprise them.

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            It does sometimes. There have been cases of framerates being more stable on Xbox One and vice versa. I think it’s good to look at each game – let’s people decide etc

          • Hammersteyn

            Which is informative and interesting to read. Clever chaps those guys

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            But that pertains to potential buyers, which, in essence, sits at a 1 to 2 ratio. Anyway, with people buying for potential exclusive titles rather than performance results, the MS solution is probably the best, having both consoles though, that’s a bit of an expensive joyride…

            Says me who owns a PC with a GTX 970…

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            That has a lot to do with the Dev’s capability to optimise resources, even if it means switching off some or other unnoticeable graphical setting to bump the framrate, but at this time, if you own a PS4 there’s no need to worry about “the best gaming experience” because you mostly have it, aside from a few exclusives…

        • Sageville

          I think it keeps the developers honest.

          If the Xbox is the lead console, one would assume a better experience from the Xbox version, the peas remind us that this is not always the case, even though the actual differences are minor.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            That’s very true!

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      Unfortunately there will always be a comparison of some sorts, even though everyone knows that the PS4 hardware packs a bigger punch than the Xbox One, even though that punch is pushing a few additional electrons through a few transistors, people turn it into a pissing contest for arguments’ sake, a pissing contest that elevates stress levels, causes major head trauma(when the argument leaves the safety of a forum and enters a pub) and, in some cases, very angry pixel counters (the psychotic kind)… Some day, hopefully, people will realise that there is a future in working together, rather than trying to blow each other over using the worst case of halitosis….

    • RustedFaith

      My 4k peas begs to differ … so you are telling me you wont see the difference between 1024×768 and 1920×1080 or 1920×1080 and 3840×2160.

      ????

  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

    The Division excites me about as much as peas do.
    I like this header. ;P

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    81% !! This is madness!! How can this be!?

    *Actually NO ONE cares….

    http://98ron.superunleaded.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tumblr_lmh0anqDaI1qh2mpqo1_400.gif

  • Dane

    Yes, I hope my porn storage device can run i at 1080p too.

  • Sageville

    PS4 has the best peas

    • Hammersteyn

      Big, sweet, juicy peas

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    Yes, you get 81% HD when you snap TV. That’s the dynamic part. Pay attention.

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