HD Consoles Running SD Cables – A Big Problem At rAge 2009

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rAge 2009 is done and dusted and for the most part was incredibly awesome with new games, booth babes and giveaways galore.

As much as we love and appreciate what rAge is for South Africa, we also have a concern with regards to the games that were being shown off at some of the stalls. The problem stems from the fact that the Playstation 3 does not ship with HD Cables and a lot of exhibitors hadn’t bothered to buy HDMI cables for the consoles at their stands.

Now with the Xbox 360 also becoming HD cable-free, we realise that next year may become even more of a problem.

Anyone who follows this site will know that I have had my eye on Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising for quite some time now. Lo and behold I was walking around the show when it caught my eye at a NAG stand.

Eager to see what it was like I rushed over to it, only to get closer and wonder if the wrong game was running on the machine.

It dawned on me that while this supposed-to-be-magnificent looking game was running on a big and beautiful HDTV, it was running at standard definition. Any of you who have set their Nintendo Wii up on their HDTV’s will know that running SD on an HDTV looks considerably worse than when running on a standard SDTV.

When you take a game like Operation Flashpoint, with high levels of geometry and textures, the visual flare of the game is destroyed completely. The image was so blurry that most of the text was barely legible and the game itself looked absolutely horrendous. I peaked around the corner to see the upcoming title “The Saboteur” running in SD as well, and it was even worse.

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Now graphics aren’t what make a game but when it comes to a show where thousands of potential customers are walking around, you just can’t have your game looking that bad. It makes the game look bad and also makes the console it’s running on look bad. Should someone have just come from a stand running Xbox 360’s at HD and then made their way over to that stand, they would be under some strange impression that the PS3’s visuals are only on par with a Playstation 2.

This stand wasn’t the only guilty one though, there were quite a couple of them and I cannot fully understand how this issue was not picked up.

As I said before, Xbox 360’s have also had the inclusion of HD cables dropped as well which means that this may become even more of an issue at next years show as we may have even more consoles running at SD.

Hopefully some awareness can be made of this situation so that the same issues do not rear their ugly SD heads in future.

Did any of you see anything similar at rAge 2009? I know we had a few comments about it in Geoff’s roundup article yesterday.

Last Updated: October 6, 2009

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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