Make PS3 games use 1080p?
February 6, 2009 8:08 AM   Subscribe

How do I force PS3 games to play at their optimum resolution?

I've got a PS3 hooked up to a 1080p native TV (Philips 42" LCD, can't remember model number) via HDMI. When I leave all the PS3 video settings alone, 720p-capable games play at 720p, but 1080p-capable games also play at 720p. If I disable 720p output from the PS3, then 1080p games go up to 1080p, but 720p games go down to 480p. I'm getting sick of switching the video setting around every time I play a different game, and I feel like I have to be missing something here. Why won't 1080p games use that resolution normally? How is this supposed to work?
posted by Who_Am_I to Technology (11 answers total)
The only game that I have that uses 720p when I have both enabled on my system is GTA4. And yes this is annoying, but I think it's a bug (which may be fixed in a patch since the last time I played it).

All the other games I have which support 1080p actually use it when I have all modes enabled.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:03 AM on February 6, 2009

*The only 1080p game that...
posted by jozxyqk at 9:05 AM on February 6, 2009

Response by poster: Hmm, maybe it's not all games that do it then. I had noticed it with Call of Duty 4 and GTA, I'll try some others when I get home.
posted by Who_Am_I at 9:09 AM on February 6, 2009

How are you determining if a game natively supports 1080p as opposed to upscaling? Admittedly I haven't checked any manuals from my games, but I googled for a list that showed that very few PS3 games were actually 1080p. I can confirm that with 720p and 1080p enabled, the only thigns to output 1080p are fl0w and the PS3 dashboard.
posted by valadil at 9:49 AM on February 6, 2009

valadil: For example, GTA4 says 1080p on the box :)

I found the advice to disable 720p to get it to run in 1080p on some websearch long ago, from someone else who had the same specific question about that game. I can't find the link anymore.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:53 AM on February 6, 2009

But you are right, valadil, there's no way to verify that it isn't just upscaling anyway, despite what the packaging advertises. Either way, it looks nice.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:55 AM on February 6, 2009

The list mentioned by valadil is missing Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, which runs natively in 1080p. (Not that it'd make much difference.)

My experience is similar to jozxyqk's: when playing a 1080p game with all modes enabled, the game switches to 1080p automatically.
posted by Prospero at 10:00 AM on February 6, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah I've just been going by what it says on the box, but Wikipedia has a list of about 100 games that support 1080p. It actually mentions the 'disable 720p' trick, but only for 8 of them. I guess that means that most of them work like they should. Too bad there's not a fix though, we play a lot of CoD4 in my house ;)
posted by Who_Am_I at 10:12 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: The box for GTA4 says that it outputs up to 1080p, not that the game is native 1080p resolution. In this context, "output" strikes me as a weasel word. I'm not sure how reliable the "pixel-counting" methodology alluded to here really is, but there was a nerd consensus when the game came out that in terms of pixel resolution the images were nowhere near 1080p resolution — in fact, on the PS3, significantly less than even 720p.
posted by Joey Bagels at 10:48 AM on February 6, 2009

Best answer: I'm reasonably sure that "trick" only works for games that are really 720p, and the 1080p listed there is only 720p rescaled up to 1080p. COD4 definitely seems to be a 720p game no matter what the box says.

If so, all your trick is doing is forcing the PS3 to dedicate some of its hardware to rescaling the game in order to scale the final image in the PS3 instead of in your TV. And there's no point in doing that unless your TV has an awful scaler.

Rent Lego Batman or Lego Star Wars and see what happens when you enable all resolutions.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:52 AM on February 6, 2009

Response by poster: Well I got home and tested a few things: when I enabled all the resolutions, Lego Star Wars and Gran Turismo 5 played at 1080p just like they should. Grand Theft Auto and CoD4 both ran at 720p, despite the boxes claiming "Supported HD video output: 720p, 1080i, 1080p." Seems like some BS to me, but I think Joey Bagels has got it.

ROU_Xenophobe I think you're right too, but the weird thing is that games that only claim to be 720p will play in 480p when I disable 720p, instead of upscaling. I mean, if the PS3 can upscale a 720 image to 1080 like it's apparently doing for CoD4, why doesn't it do it for all games?
posted by Who_Am_I at 1:48 PM on February 6, 2009

« Older Synonym Finder?   |   QuizzoFilter Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.