Back in August of this year when Sony was touting the 1080p
functionality on its PlayStation 3, Microsoft was downplaying the feature saying that it was all
hype. Microsoft Director of Technical Strategy for Xbox Live had this to
say about 1080p support on the PS3 at the time:
PS3 has roughly the same pixel-pushing capabilities as the Xbox 360. Don't need
to take my word for it, it'll be obvious soon enough over the next year. Even
if this wasn't the case, consider we now live in a multi-platform development
world, and that the current sweet spot developers are targeting is 720p due to
the extremely similar system specifications. Simply put, a developer who is
planning to release their game for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 will aim for a
common attainable ground. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and predict that that
you won't see any 1080"x" games for the PS3 this year.
Well to the surprise of many in the gaming world, Microsoft
did a 180 at the end of September and said that it would indeed support 1080p on the Xbox
360 with a Dashboard update. Adding this feature to the console would at
least leave one less bullet-point that Sony could hold over Microsoft's head.
As scheduled, Microsoft released its Fall Dashboard on October
31 which added support for 1080p over VGA and component cables. So the Xbox
360 gets 1080p, all is right with the world, and we can all game in
Wrong. Almost immediately, complaints of problems with
certain TVs that were supposed to support 1080p over component not functioning
as expected with the update started to flood the internet. Others were having
problems with the VGA cable when hooked up to their monitors. All was definitely
not well with the 1080p update.
So on November 6, Microsoft's Major Nelson acknowledged
that engineers were working to solve the problems and that
another update would be on the way to correct the issues. Well, it appears that
the day is today and Microsoft has issued a patch to fix 1080p support on the
Xbox 360. According to Major Nelson, the new Dashboard Update (which is
available now on Xbox Live) addresses the following:
According to posters over at the AVS Forum,
it appears that Sony's XBR3 television can now correctly display in 1080p with
the new update. But on the other hand, Joystiq's
Christopher Gant states that VGA support still
leaves much to be desired.
despite the update's promise of "improved support for HD video output over
VGA, including 1080p resolution" this blogger still encounters a
significant (and certainly abnormal) amount of screen tearing while using the
VGA connection, not to mention the pale, washed-out colors that have become
emblematic of the 360's VGA implementation. But we're not the only ones with
problems. A quick perusal of the AVS Forums thread shows some other anomalies
that don't instill much confidence in Microsoft's upgraded upgrade.
So it looks as though it’s a mighty fine effort on
Microsoft's part to get things patched up with 1080p support, but the work
looks to be far from over. Microsoft opened up a whole new can of worms by
adding 1080p support, but hopefully they will see it through.