Xbox backpedals on HD requirement, further validates Wii relevance


_image4When the Xbox 360 launched four years ago, developers were required to make high-definition games. Not any more, says Split/Second developer David Jefferies, in a guest column for Develop Magazine. “Now we are free to make the trade-off between resolution and image quality as we see fit,” he said.

The news comes after a report revealed that less than half of Xbox 360 owners own an HDTV, validating Nintendo’s position to exclude HD when releasing the Wii in 2006. “The irony of all this makes me laugh,” said tipster Kyle Kale Menges in an email to Infendo. “Nintendo might know a thing or two about making game consoles, huh?”


  1. “Nintendo might know a thing or two about making game consoles, huh?”

    Gee, do ya think? I love validation like that.

  2. Since the beginning of this generation I though “how amazing games could be made with such power if they were not forcing everyone to take this stupid HD path”. Guess I was right. I like good visuals, but there is so much you can push at a certain resolution.

    This does not justify the lower processing power on the Wii, but makes the HD stuff less relevant. Too bad it took so long for them to notice it.


  3. This basically means that 360 games are about to get a LOT prettier in certain cases.

  4. Microsoft’s been rather two faced this generation about a whole raft of internal and external policies. Their TCR (Technical Certification Requirements apparently), have included the afformentioned resolution requirements, but they’ve been willing to break their own rules they expect 3rd parties to meet. Halo 3, Project Gotham Racing 3 and a couple others 1st party titles have been demonstrated to run significantly sub-720 (not that Halo 3 is even technically impressive). They instituted a rule that all games had to be playable without a hard drive, before allowing several games that demanded one (FF11, Championship Manager I think). They instituted a pertinent rule that all games had to be playable in SD, including all texts being readable, before forgetting about it on Kameo I think, and not enforcing it on Dead Rising. They also had a hardware rule in Japan that said all SKUs had to have a hard drive before they broke it.

    Most important, in lieu of any genuine innovation (or the ability to rip off from their competitors at the time), back in 2005 Peter Moore gave us 3 unbending rules on what the platform stood for:

    Always Wireless
    Always HD
    Always Online

    I consider this pretty laughable. They’re the only company who:
    even offer a wired controller
    even offer a wireless adaptor (and it’s exhorbitant)
    don’t conform to blutooth standards.
    charge for online gaming.
    sold a version of their console unable to go online out of the box (the core ‘tard’ pack needed a hard drive)
    They don’t have an HD drive. They don’t pack in HD cables. At the start they couldn’t offer HDMI standards.

    Basically Microsoft’s always stretched, warped and snapped rules on product standards and versions. It’s something I think much of the public distrust them for, and something they could learn from Nintendo, and not from Sony. Their PR says yes. Their MO says no.

  5. I do think it was some incredible market forsight on Nintendo’s part, moreso than just making a console. Or, maybe they’re lucky the world’s in a recession right now. Who knows.

    Universal acceptance of HD is coming, but certainly not as fast as was anticipated.

  6. Silly Microsoft, video games are for Nintendo

    Don’t you just love how Microsoft copies the ideas of everyone else?

  7. Dude…you misspelled my name…..

  8. “Universal acceptance of HD is coming, but certainly not as fast as was anticipated.”

    See, I think this is a matter of opinion. HD TVs are obviously the standard now, and make up close 100% of the available market for high end buyers. Go ahead – just walk into any Sony Style store and try to by a SD TV!

    Oh wait… not everyone is a high end buyer? And people don’t automatically throw away old stuff that still works fine to pay thousands of dollars for new stuff? Hmm… go figure.

  9. @skeptical

    What I really meant by “universal acceptance” was more of acceptance in people’s homes. Basically what you said in your last paragraph.

    People who are going out an buying to a new TV will probably get a HD set (especially if that’s all that are available) but they won’t necessarily do that until they NEED one. If their SD set is working just fine, people may not see a need to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. Or, won’t upgrade just because the Sony Style wants them to buy their new $1000 42″ Plasmas or because the TV companies want to make all channels HD/digital for that matter.

  10. yeah the wii’s done really well.

    i’d note that the wii and 360 definitely were built to target different demographics (blue ocean and whatnot)

    so yeah, the historical market of “traditional” (or whatever we’re calling them now) gamers just hasn’t made the hd transition. which is why i kinda like playing 360 on my computer monitor. the resolution is just gorgeous….

    though if i werent in school i’d totally buy an hd tv.

  11. The thing is, less than half would have been less than 1/4 if the 360 and PS3 weren’t HD, it encourages people to upgrade their TV, I for one wouldn’t have bought a HDTV if I didn’t get a PS3. If all 3 consoles had been SD, HD may not have come into full fruition until years later than it will.
    Nintendo made a good move sticking to SD resolutions, but only because the other 2 companies didn’t, it’s kind of a paradox I suppose..

    Microsoft and Sony, are pushing technology in terms of on screen visuals for that I give them praise, using up current technology before moving on (Wii) is admirable and is a great business move, but doesn’t push things as far.

  12. This is like the over-anticipation of the coming of broadband Internet, which left Microsoft at the altar when they bet so much so early.

  13. @ Jamie

    Is this a good thing? Sony not only forced you to pay more than ever for their next console experience, but they forced you to buy a brand new television to get that new experience out of it. It may be nice, but it’s bloody painful.

    As for pushing things, well yes, they sort of pushed things technologically (they fit more transistors in then 4 years ago – am I impressed? I guess?). It looks pretty, if you find hi-res brown and grey dirt pretty.

    I’d argue art is king, making much of Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy prettier than anything i’ve seen on the other consoles, but that’s a bit subjective.

    But MS and Sony have done little to nothing ideologically, save for nickel and dimeing on DLC that should be on the disc. Little big planet’s nice too. But seriously, Motion sensing and better integration of the users input is the way to go in progressing gaming, and if it weren’t for Nintendo, we’d be stuck with a Dual Shock 4 on a PS4 with the same limited derivative design thats pervading us for 15 years. Nintendo have turned the market – in fact two markets – on their heads with interface technologies people called insane. If that’s not pushing gaming technology then what is?

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