Microsoft's Xbox head: We didn't force 1080p support for Diablo III on Xbox One

diablo iii

Microsoft's Xbox head Phil Spencer went on Twitter Wednesday night to dispute some people's belief that Microsoft forced Blizzard to add 1080p support in the recently released Xbox One version of Diablo III.

Originally, the Xbox One port of the hit PC fantasy action-RPG was supposed to have a native resolution of 900p. However, in an article on Eurogamer this week, Blizzard's John Hight stated that after a demo of the game at that resolution at E3 in June, " ... Microsoft was just like, 'This is unacceptable. You need to figure out a way to get a better resolution.' So we worked with them directly, they gave us a code update to let us get to full 1080p."

Now the Xbox One version of Diablo III, after downloading a "Day One" patch, can indeed run on 1080p natively. However, Spencer, in a series of Twitter messages, offered a slightly different picture on those events, writing, "We didn't force any game to ship at 1080p. We work with devs to make the game they want to make on XB1." Later he added, "Diablo III was coming through during GPU increases in June, was good partnership to create a great Diablo on XB1."

Spencer says that utimately, the decision on Xbox One games in terms of resolution and frame rate is up to the developers, saying, "Studios decide, even our first party studios, I won't dictate a framerate and/or resolution on a game."

Source: Eurogamer, Phil Spencer on Twitter


Reader comments

Microsoft's Xbox head: We didn't force 1080p support for Diablo III on Xbox One


Sure they do, if public reception of the 1080p increase is negative, then they will want to blame someone. Blizzard had no need to meet Microsoft's wishes on 1080p.

Yeah but they just come off as slackers being pushed around by MS to make decent games, no point to lie to make yourself look stupid

Hahahaha, the same happened with Bungie xD They had to be pushed around by Microsoft for a long time.

when has 1080p ever received a negative reaction? that would only happen if they can't maintain a decent framerate.

That's what I want to know... was there something wrong with the 1080p support that is causing people to be dissatisfied with it? This article seems to be missing an important part of the story... why would anyone NOT want 1080p support?

Many people wouldn't want 1080p support if it causes significant reductions in frame rate. But the article isn't about whether 1080p is good or desirable. It's just presenting two contrasting arguments for how Blizzard and Microsoft achieved/decided on the 1080p resolution for Diablo 3 on Xbox One.

You don't know game developers like those of us who work in game business do. Publishers may impose some other guidelines to prevent studios from doing asshat stuff from an infrastructure perspective (where there is any, read MMO) but their contracts and relationships usually don't allow that kind of influence. There is something lost in translation here.

I believe both of them, because they both can be right. Phil said he didn't force 1080p, they said he asked it to be higher. Both can be right, as they're saying different things technically.

Yeah, people complain about it being lower resolution, then the same guy complains about higher resolution. It's pure insanity.

I don't. He's destroyed the original vision of the Xbox One in 8 months. I was sold a media device that also plays games. Now it seems it will only be a game console. So pathetic.

To be fair, they are probably reacting to the whining on the Internet.

Most people whined they didn't want Kinect. It was too expensive.


The only reason to whine now is the 1080p . 900 looks fine to my eyes, no real differences on my 50 inch screen, 8 feet away. So anyone whining is just a spectard fanboy. This new gen is amazing, I love my One.

Yeah, it's right up there hardware specs wise with hardware pc gamers had several years ago..

I'm running Titanfall on a core 2 quad thats more then 6 years old.. Runs flawlessly.

Umm. Did you miss all the media related announcements last week? They are adding new features monthly and are in no way abandoning that aspect of the Xbox One. DLNA, Media Player, and new mini-guide. The X1 will support more media codecs them the X360 ever did. Many of these new features are already available in the preview program and there is even more coming.

Given the amount of hate the internet spewed over the original vision the change was needed. This new vision is a game focused one but far from being a lesser media device because of it. It's an evolution of what 360 has become. Based on the constant stream of updates the X1 has received it will become something greater than what the original vision had intended in my opinion much like the 360 before it which was "primarily a game system" in 2005.

Would you prefer a media device that doesn't get the 3rd party streaming apps, or the one guide pulled due to lack of users?

They wern't getting the sales so they had to change something. The short term reality is if the console doesn't sell then that's what would happen. The long term reality is if they didn't turn it around Microsoft would dump Xbox and they would be right to do so.

Shame on him for turning the Xbox One around and getting it to actually be a desirable product for gamers. Microsoft should totally have sold the Xbox One as a media device and just let it tank and be the laughing stock of the gaming industry. Fo' sho'.

In that case why do phones have 1080p screens to go with those shitty graphics?? People are legit complaining about what they wanted before.

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Umm, no. Diablo III has a distant camera perspective, but the mobile platforms couldn't achieve the game's level of graphics just yet. Maybe in 2 years or so. Also, I don't think many people would want 20 gigabyte games filling up their entire mobile storage.

This Phil Spencer aka Microsoft is a douche. Why?

Every Xbox One friend and myself thought the fact that the Developer admitted that Microsoft basically forced them to get the game running at 1080p was the most "Gangsta" thing Microsoft has done since Xbox One launched.
So now to hear them saying we didn't, makes me smh.

If something makes you look strong keep your mouth shut (real talk).

Touche. He alone is almost solely responsible for the Xbox One's slow start--not because of the policies he came up with (they were awesome, actually), but because he was a total dick. #DealWithIt.

But its important to clarify so that if other devs opt for lower resolutions, people aren't complaining "why didn't MS force them to run at 1080"

I have no problem with them making developers step up. If they expect MS to charge $60, they better provide something worth the money. I'm rather tired of lazy developers releasing half assed low res buggy shit riding on top of previous one hit wonders and charging top dollar.
Gangsta? I call it Accountability.

You must be from Ferguson with all that "gangsta" talk. Just do me a favor dont cry and complain when you get shot because that's not "gangsta".

I avoid internet squabbles with internet thugs.
I just stay on point and move on. I spend MY money not yours so I'll speak on topics and in slangs of my choice. You don't like it? Keep it moving...... please.

Then please avoid glorifying being a thug and a gangsta by using that terminology. Your parents didnt sacrafice so much to give you a better life for you to admire and use the vernacular of the lowest of the low. Grow up and be an adult and write a post accordingly.

How about you grow up and be an adult. Im sorry, my people are being shot left and right. And I feel an obligation to do something. You don't think it matters ,it does.

My bad, I thought you were a young spanish kid and I wanted to help you out, but you're probably some white boy want to be , pretending to be tough.

Who the héll do you think you are? You sound like a kid, go take your antics to call of duty or some other part of the internet.

In case you didn't know, there are phrases and sayings that proliferate all levels of society. An example of a medium contributing to this is TV.

You can go now. Class dismissed.

It's possible they did if the game doesn't run as well at 1080p. Higher frames will always be better than higher resolution.

They should force 1080p and 60Hz in every game! 1080p is nothing new, we have that standard for several years now and those highly praised "next gen" consoles are fucking expensive. So at least get the maximum out. Everything under 1080p and 60fps is unacceptable these days.

And you want consoles to do that? I mean, I game on consoles, but get a PC for 1080p/60fps, the PS4 and Xbone will be able to sustain that, for maybe, the next year. 

Yes. I am able to game at 1080p/60Hz ony my PC right now and even get the games cheaper than for console (not talking about piracy). So why would a console be appealing? I mean, my PC is not even near high-end tier and those consoles are supposed to be the best gen available right now. Kinda sad that they made such a fuzz about them and yet they rarely have games in the appropriate resolution.

Resolution isn't everything. But if you're going to be a PC gaming elitist, I don't know why you'd want to think about or discuss consoles. It's not productive under that mindset.

Because that's exactly one of the reasons why I wouldn't choose a console. 1080p has been around for years, so why is it still the exception in console games? Why would I buy a console where the games for it don't even take advantage of what my TV is capable of?

And because I don't own a PS4 or XBO I can't write what I think about them? What's up with that attitude?

It's the exception - that is to say, some games meet that criteria while others don't, on the current generation - because the consoles don't just have unlimited power. Microsoft and Sony have to build a machine that meets a variety of requirements while still being cost efficient.

Meanwhile, game developers have the choice of prioritizing resolution, frame rate, graphical effects, etc. - different devs will make different choices, all to make the game look and run the best they believe it can with the development tools and time constraints they have.

It's not that different from how many PC games allow players to toggle settings in order to achieve their desired level of performance. Unless you spend like crazy on hardware, you can't just turn the resolution and effects (in more graphically intensive games) to max and expect the game to run at a playable frame rate.

I'm not saying nobody should talk about a console without owning one. But again, the elitist attitude that many PC gamers display is not constructive or becoming. "PC Master Race" isn't a compliment, it's a comment on how snobbish PC gamers can get.

Talking like that is quite a lot like telling the dude who bought the $15K car because it was the right model for his budget and needs that his car's not good enough because this $30K car is so much better. It does not endear the elitist to others.

Neither do PCs. The consoles are fine the way they are. It's the devs and publishers that screw up and don't take advantage of the console's resources. If they get a game out that's in 1080p, runs fluently and looks great (and also isn't just a graphics demo with almost no gameplay) they set a new limit. Devs and publishers will aim for that new limit and try to set a new limit. But right now I feel that publishers and devs are just half-assing on the current gen.

I don't have anything against consoles (I own a PS3 and XB360). There are pros and cons on both sides. And in fact, when it comes to games and graphics, PC gamers get screwed over more often or have to invest much more money and time to be able to play on the same graphics level as console gamers. Look at Watch_Dogs, Ubisoft screwed up big time when they restricted the graphics settings for PC just so it doesn't look better than on consoles. Blizzard used the PC as a public beta you have to pay for.

Not sure what's "elitist" about a crappy i3 CPU and low end GPU^^


Well you know, I see a lot of PC gamers make the argument that their PC can run game X at such and such resolution, and so consoles should be able to do the same. But that's not realistic, and it's really just a put-down.

That's cool that you play 360 and PS3 as well. I see you're not really the kind of PC gamer I was thinking about. :-)

It IS possible to run PC games on a much higher resolution and still have better performance.....but the amount of money you would have to spend to have the hardware that's capable of 4K, 120Hz, ultra settings... is just too much. We're talking GPUs that cost twice (or even more) as much as a console (Titan Z, R9 295X2). Now imagine the electricity bill you'd have, just for the sake of 4K^^ Also, most TVs still are 1080p, a higher resolution doesn't make sense like it would on PC (down-sampling).

It all comes down to what you want: no compromises but higher costs/need to upgrade -> PC. No need to assemble anything or worry about system requirements but less functionality -> console.

I just recently switched to PC gaming because my old PC was just not capable of running games in a satisfying quality (even old ones like the first Assassin's Creed or BioShock). Now that I'm able to play at 1080p with an average framerate of 50-60fps on my PC I want to take advantage of it.

Sounds like a nice machine! I have a gaming laptop, but it's about 2 years old so it's not especially beefy any more. But I mostly use it for video editing because playing phone and Xbox one games for work takes up so much of my time.

The Core i3 CPUs and R7 series GPUs are considered entry level. But what I love most about it is that you can customize it however you want (especially the case, my flashy orange Corsair 230T <3 ). I miss that with consoles, like the changeable plates for the XB360.

Editing is kinda heavy on the hardware too.

Do you realise that frame rate and resolution are almost meaningless? There's polygon count, texture quality, shadow quality, lighting, anti-aliasing (though I bet even the "next generation" of consoles still don't have this).
If the hardware isn't strong enough and you try to push 1080p with 60 FPS you have to sacrifice something else and in some cases the game would look a lot worse in 1080p and medium'ish everything else than let's say 720p and high everything else.
You could port a game like Half-Life 1 to Xbox One and it would run on 4kp with 120 fps, but it would still look like cr*p.

If you want 1080p, 60fps and a game that actually looks like "next gen" then you have to get a PC.
Otherwise you'll just have to pick between old-school graphics in 1080p, like Diablo here, or 900p and great graphics like Ryse.

Of course there are other factors but resolution and frame rate aren't meaningless. Ever tried playing a game with under 30fps?

I'm not saying they should forget about looks and just make it 1080p. That doesn't even make sense. But at least make use of the standards without introducing new ones (792p? Really, Ubisoft?). If you really were to play them in that resolution on a standard LED TV you would have a black bezel around the actual image. It's programed to run in 792p/900p/etc. but it will get stretched to 1080p. Kinda useless.

Not strong enough? The CPU should be more than powerful enough to do the job, the GPU-part....maybe going with an APU was a mistake. But when you can stream with no effort, maybe MS and Sony should get their priorities straight.


This whole debate is stupid! Frames and resolution come down to not only hardware, but how well the coding is done, what engine the game is running on, and how many variables are going on in game.

Really wondering how the Xbox One and PS4 hope to support 4K TV's once they become more mainstream. Seemed like it's a struggle to even get 1080p... Does anyone know if they've ever shed any light on how and if, 4K support will exist for the consoles?

Doubt any game made for current gen will run at 4K resolution, they'll just run at 1080P at max. Video is different matter and I imagine the hardware is designed so that it can display 4K movies without issues after software updates.

HDTV is still only now become barely affordable for people who aren't rich, worth no credit and not on welfare... So 4k isn't even in my headspace right now, it's all high roller lingo as far as I'm concerned =/

@MediaCastleX. Pretty much what you said. I can't even think of a single person outside of my similarly techy friends who even knows what 4k is. Still way too expensive and not enough benefit for the money yet.

4k needs a hell of a lot of power the X1 doesn't have they thought cloud would be able to help I've said for ages on the game side X1 is a mistake but people don't get it. If you took say the best graphics card Nvidia do price ???? It would take say 4 cost a couple of thousand

That's why some things shouldn't be told for the users.. people don't understand what is framerate and resolution...

look for example the Ryse game it's 900p/30fps... it's not that the developers was lazy... they decided for that resolution because they wanted the game to look better.. (smaller resolution means that they have less pixels to work on.. and 30fps means that the Xbox have 2x more time to work on each frame) and wich game looks better? Ryse or Diablo???

This is a clickbait drama. Game journalists know the 1080p thing draws interest especially by PS and XB fanboys. Making XB look bad because they may be pushing devs to not be lazy and go 1080 instead of feeding the PS fanbous with more ammo. If he did push them, good. Get off your butt and do it right Blizzard.

    1080P is better for everyone. It lets gamers know that the One can match the PS4 in terms of resolution which is good for Microsoft and it shows that Blizzard doesn’t give preferential treatment to one platform over the other.