For the past year, the internet gaming community has been plagued by console wars as the result of the release of two behemoth consoles, Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4. Among a variety of points constantly raised about each consoles strengths and weakness, a common and, as of late, highly publicized one is a games resolution and framerate. This arose as the result of games being released on both consoles, but not always equal on the tech side, with the Playstation 4 often proving superior in a technical regard, with either a higher resolution or a higher framerate. While you may have an opinion on how much either matters, the recently released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare offers an interesting perspective on the situation, as related by Digital Foundry.
After some development issues where the game seemed like it couldn't push past 900p on Xbox One, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was revealed to use a dynamic scaling model - rendering at resolutions between 1360x1080 to the full 1920x1080, depending on the intensity of the in-game action. The Playstation 4 was revealed, at the same time, to be running full 1080p. On the Xbox One's side this is a significant upgrade from last years Call of Duty: Ghosts, which was locked at a 720p resolution, which the Xbox One then upscaled to 1080p (Which both consoles do for anything running below 1080p). Framerate on the other hand has always been key to Call of Duty, and it has been 60FPS for several installments now, and neither Ghosts or Advanced Warfare were an exception on any console. This left the game running at an advertised 1080p/60FPS on PS4 and 1360x1080-1920x1080/60FPS on Xbox One.
But Advanced Warfare offers an interesting difference between the two games. While the Playstation 4 has a higher resolution, it appears that the Xbox One has a more stable framerate, especially during moments with high action, commonly dipping down into the 50's and even high 40's. It's unknown what causes the issues on the Playstation 4's side (As the Xbox One's lower resolution is attributed to the weaker hardware) but it could be that it just comes down to poor optimization. The biggest disappointment however comes from the fact that these framerate issues also plagued the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, and were just as big of a concern then as they are now.
As I mentioned earlier, Framerate is key in Call of Duty. While it can be argued fairly that resolution is important in immersing oneself in a world or being able to line up that shot on that faraway enemy, Call of Duty has long prided itself on it's 60 FPS capabilities, especially as a higher energy, arcade shooter. It's extremely disappointing to see that a large section of the fanbase will be plagued, for the second year in a row, by framerate issues affecting their game.
There is a shimmer of good news however. Digital Foundry, my source for this information, has gathered most of this info from the Campaign, and very little from the Multiplayer. They plan to do further testing, and hopefully will find that where 60FPS matters most, the problem is much less existent.
You can read a more in depth look at both the resolution and framerate of both consoles here