Sony is being sued in the state of California over its claims of 1080p resolution in Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Word comes by way of Polygon, which cites the lawsuit being filed in Northern California by a man named Douglas Ladore. Ladore’s claim is simple: Sony advertised the PlayStation 4 launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall as running in 1080p resolution, but instead “used a shortcut that was supposed to provide ‘subjectively similar’ results," particularly in multiplayer.
Killzone: Shadow Fall Video Review
As you may recall, the hullaballoo surrounding Killzone: Shadow Fall’s resolution occurred well after launch. Shadow Fall came to market in November of 2013, but it wasn’t until March of 2014 that claims began circulating that Shadow Fall’s multiplayer, in particular, didn’t run at 1080p or 60 frames-per-second, as claimed. Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry reported that while the single-player campaign runs at 1080p, multiplayer ran at 960x1080 at around 50 frames, as opposed to 1920x1080 at 60.
At the time, Digital Foundry wrote the following:
Shadow Fall uses a horizontal interlace, with every other column of pixels generated using a temporal upscale - in effect, information from previously rendered frames is used to plug the gaps. The fact that few have actually noticed that any upscale at all is in place speaks to its quality, and we can almost certainly assume that this effect is not cheap from a computational perspective. However, at the same time it also confirms that a massive reduction in fill-rate isn’t a guaranteed dead cert for hitting 60fps.
Sony retorted, claiming Shadow Fall uses some tricks to reach 1080p quality parity. The game’s producer, Poria Torkan, said this:
In both SP and MP, Killzone Shadow Fall outputs a full, unscaled 1080p image at up to 60fps. Native is often used to indicate images that are not scaled; it is native by that definition.
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.
Games often employ different resolutions in different parts of their rendering pipeline. Most games render particles and ambient occlusion at a lower resolution, while some games even do all lighting at a lower resolution. This is generally still called native 1080p. The technique used in Killzone Shadow Fall goes further and reconstructs half of the pixels from past frames.
We recognise the community’s degree of investment on this matter, and that the conventional terminology used before may be too vague to effectively convey what’s going on under the hood. As such we will do our best to be more precise with our language in the future.
Such an explanation was not enough for Ladore, who is purportedly suing Sony Computer Entertainment for more than $5 million for false advertisement, amongst other charges.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment, and will update when we hear back.