Originally Posted by defdog99
If you have a Plasma or an LCD then your TV already upscales the signal to make the picture fit the fixed width display.
(aka convert the 720p game data to a 1080i or 1080p format)
The TVs aren't using anything more than pixel doubling to upscale (go ahead and watch SD content on a 1080p LCD - you'll see what I mean). GPU hardware, on the other hand can offer FSAA/MSAA options, trilinear filtering, and a host of other effects, which look far
better than the TV's pathetic scaler.
Unfortunately, even for the PS3, which trounces the XBox 360 for horsepower, many games really are resource limited. Take one of my favorites, Star Ocean: The Last Hope International for example. It's native 720p. Because its textures are very clean and already somewhat anti-aliased, the TV's built in scaler (whcih it invokes anytime 720p material is detected) doesn't look too bad. But the game would look astounding at 1080p...until you saw that it ran at a paltry 10-15 FPS.
Remember one other thing - when upscaling, when you double the resolution, let's use 640x480 to 1280x960 as an example, you actually quadruple the basic data throughput required. This assumes 2D. Factor in 3D with Z-Axis material and you actually multiply the required RAM/throughput by at least 16 times
its original rate.
So why can the xbox 360 upscale (to 1080p with the latest firmware) and the ps3 can't for games? The 360 isn't using AA upscaling. It's applying its 3D options and simply increasing pixel count the same way pixel doubling works. There's no way the 360 could handle the textures in realtime at 1080p otherwise. Depending on the set you have (TV/monitor), the result ranges from slightly better to somewhat worse.
One thing to consider is that clear 720p will always
look better than scaled 1080p. Always
. The next generation of consoles will likely have the power to do native 1080p games. The PS3 can, for less complex games, but sadly none of them use that resolution. I've yet to see a single 1080p PS3 game. At least 360 owners can choose whichever looks best to them.
That said, I'll take a 720p@60FPS game over a 1080p@30FPS game any day.