Halo 5's steady 60fps comes at the expense of a stable resolution

Halo 5: Guardians

Update: DigitalFoundry has broken down the algorithm behind Halo 5's real-time rendering, and has done an excellent job pointing out the finer points of how the game looks and feels while playing it. We've added the video below for your convenience.

Halo 5: Guardians won't be in stores for another few weeks, but according to executive producer Josh Holmes that despite it being one of the biggest games in 2015 it might not have the highest resolution of any game this holiday season.

Holmes wrote a post on the Xbox Wire today describing something he calls "the progressive resolution system" that allows the game to scale the resolution based on how many objects are on the screen at once. Using this system, he says, Halo 5 will be able to run at 60 frames per second both in every mode - a huge accomplishment for the series.

The team has re-engineered the game engine to look at all the objects on the screen - the enemies, vehicles, other players and terrain - and slide from a lower resolution during times of complete on-screen chaos to 1080p when you're by yourself enjoying the view.

"Without this system, we would need to either reduce the scale of our most intense combat encounters or lower the quality of content across the game in order to stay at 60fps at all times," Holmes wrote. "With progressive resolution, we get the best of both worlds: epic scale experiences that look incredible while running at a consistent 60fps."

While games usually lock in a lower resolution to ensure a consistent experience, Halo 5 is opting to follow in the Witcher 3's footsteps with a dynamically rendered resolution. That said, the difference between 900p and 1080p is a small one, and Halo 5 certainly isn't the only next-gen title to turn down its resolution.

Halo 5: Guardians comes out on Xbox One on October 27, 2015.

Via Engadget

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.