Sony being sued for Killzone resolution lies

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Killzone: Shadow Fall is, like most Killzone games to be honest, style over substance. It’s a pretty, futuristic-looking shooter with a couple of neat and a more than competent, but ultimately underplayed multiplayer. And it’s that very multiplayer that’s the centre of a lawsuit against Sony – for misleading advertising.

You probably thought PC gamers were the most profoundly pedantic and pernickety pixel pollers, but some console gamers are even worse. The problem, you see, is that Killzone: Shadow Fall was advertised as being a native 1080p game. While that may have been true for its single player campaign, the same could not be said for its multiplayer.

In truth, the multiplayer used a sneaky method of making the game look like it was a full 1080p, when it was indeed not. It rather controversially used a method called temporal reprojection, running at an actual resolution of 960×1080. It sounds like something out of Dr Who, but isn’t.

“In both [single-player] and [multiplayer], Killzone Shadow Fall outputs a full, unscaled 1080p image at up to 60 FPS. Native is often used to indicate images that are not scaled; it is native by that definition,” Said Guerrilla Games’ Poria Torkan, in defense of the scliang method.

“In multiplayer mode, however, we use a technique called ‘temporal reprojection,’ which combines pixels and motion vectors from multiple lower-resolution frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image. If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native.”

How is that different from a simple upscale of the images?

“When up-scaling an image from one resolution to another, new pixels are added by stretching the image in X/Y dimension,” Torkan added. “The values of the new pixels are picked to lie in between the current values of the pixels. This gives a bigger, but slightly blurrier picture.

“Temporal reprojection is a technique that tracks the position of pixels over time and predicts where they will be in [the] future. These ‘history pixels’ are combined with freshly rendered pixels to form a higher-resolution new frame. This is what Killzone Shadow Fall uses in multiplayer.”

This distinction is enough to land Sony and Guerrilla Games in a spot of legal bother, with California resident Douglas Ladore and his legal team at Edelson PC.

“Unfortunately, Sony’s marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction,” the lawsuit says.

They’re looking for over $5 000 000 in damages.

Last Updated: August 7, 2014

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.

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