Ratchet & Clank Dev Debates Graphics vs. Framerate, 'Probably' Not Making More 60 FPS Games

By Chris Faylor, Oct 29, 2009 5:08pm PDT Following an analysis of review scores and the value of a fast framerate over graphic quality, Insomniac has stated that just-released platformer Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3) is "probably" its last game to run at 60 frames per second.

"There is virtually no advantage in sales or reviews of a 60 fps game versus a 30 fps game," reads a blog post from Mike Acton, the studio's engine director. "However it does appear that gameplay scores are also influenced by graphics scores. i.e. Better looking games appear to be more 'fun' to reviewers."

Acton explained that "only a minority...notice framerate as a significant issue of any kind" and noted that some players even view slowdown "as a reward for creating or forcing a complex setup...as in, 'Damn! Did you see that? That was crazy!'"

Though "framerate is still important to us" and "should be as consistent as possible and...never interfere with the game," Acton concluded that "it's not on the same pedestal it was before" and "A Crack in Time will probably be Insomniac's last 60fps game."

"The correlation with review scores is clear," he added. "When there is a clear choice between framerate and improved graphics, graphics should win."

Curiously, Insomniac's study also "found no direct correlation between gameplay scores and final scores." The independent developer has yet to formally unveil its next project, with a recent sign implying that the studio is readying a new Resistance entry.

Click here to comment...


35 Threads* | 105 Comments

  • i don't really think it boils down to a "nobody cares about 60 fps" thing, there are a lot of factors going on. It really depends on the type of game, for example i couldn't really imagine playing f-zero gx on anything less than 60 fps since that game was so quick and having things look fluid and smooth helped you be precise when you were racing and it really added to the whole experience of the game. For slower paced games i don't really think 60 fps is a necessity (although if it can be pulled off easily then it's a cool bonus) since having an interesting environment to wander around through is probably more intriguing to the player than having a less detailed area that you traverse a bit smoother through.

    There are also tricks that are probably available to developers to make a game running at 30 fps look a bit smoother so the difference between 30 and 60 fps won't really matter as much. It really just depends on the experience that the developers want to present to the player and the fps is a side effect of that

  • I call bullshit on this. First of all, 30 fps is too low for some games. Any game with constant, supposed-to-be-smooth movement of the camera looks like shit to me at around 30 fps. Second of all, how exactly did they come to the conclusion that it doesn't effect sales? I know plenty of gamers, especially old school gamers, you know, the young adults with money now, who have skipped many games based on them being locked to a low fps. I myself tend to put games instantly on the local ebay instantly if I feel it doesn't run well enough.

    I don't play their games, so I wouldn't mind if they weren't making sweeping, pulled-out-of-their ass statements like "There is virtually no advantage in sales or reviews of a 60 fps game versus a 30 fps game". Maybe not for your bouncy bounce, bang bang games, but hell will freeze over before I or most of my friends lay down bucks for a 30 fps car simulation, for example. I'm looking at you, Forza 1.