SIONU: The Framerate Debate is Meaningless (to me)

A couple of things to know – I’m not one of the PC “master race.”  I am a console gamer.  Always have been, and so long as consoles exist and make games worth playing, I will continue to be.  My laptop (that I bought because it was cheap, and I am poor) can’t handle the kind of gaming that I do.  Not to mention, I like having my LCD tv that is all big and pretty and makes things nice to look at.  So yeah, the console is where I am, and for the foreseeable future, it is where I will remain.  Which makes all the drama right now on Steam a total disconnect from me.  I follow gaming news, because I am a graduate of journalism, and I believe in keeping on top of things.  However, I see this as an outsider.  Everything about this debate seems to center on PCs anyway, given that the current consoles have shown that they are just now powerful enough to handle it.

The other thing to know – I am currently all over Bloodborne.  This game is addictive.  I have gotten good enough at this game so that I’m able to play and be assured that I am not going to die every ten minutes.  Once you level up to a certain point, your godliness is more-or-less assured.  So yeah, there’s that.

I recently watched a video by Total Biscuit where he talked about the framerate debate, and I thought that I would give you all the chance to see his two-cents, and then counter a point that he made that I think is fundamentally wrong.  More proof that I can have disagreements with someone without doing what is apparently going all over the place on Steam and resulting in threats and name-calling.

I respect your opinion, TB, but I think there is a crucial flaw that you miss in your analysis of the framerate issue.  From what I gather, the whole 60 fps deal is about the smoothness of gameplay.  I have The Last of Us Remastered, TB.  It looks fine, but this smoothness that you talk about doesn’t mean a whole lot, to me.  It just means that the cinematic cutscenes from the original game are now looking just like everything else.  Which I suppose is fine.  The story is still just as good.  But that’s where your statement that 60 frames per second falls flat, in my eyes.  You say that it is objectively better, but you forget one group of people who play games – story-seekers.  I realize that I am in an EXTREME minority.  But for a person whose first major concern is the story and characters, what does 60 fps do for me?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  What does this framerate mean for me?  I’ll tell you – nothing.  It means absolutely nothing.  I couldn’t care less.

Don’t get me wrong, a game has to have gameplay that works.  But I can play games like Life is Strange and A Wolf Among Us and enjoy the experience just fine.  I don’t need to have a super-resolution 60 fps experience to improve upon those games.  From what I can see, the 60 fps truly comes into focus during online games.  That part I get.  For real, a game that one is playing online, where the gameplay is fast, I get why you want to have the best specs possible.  You want to get the most out of the experience.  But for a story-seeker like me, all of this uproar seems so pointless and juvenile.

That’s where you, my audience, come into play.  Since I don’t see the big issue, I will allow anyone to comment and pitch whatever position they have on this issue to me.  No holds barred, if you think I’m dumb, you can say that.  Or, if you maybe see where I’m coming from, then you can say that too.  Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle.  That’s good too.  I can already hear the PC master race people going, “if you wanted a game to be cinematic, just watch a movie!”  Yeah, go play with your toys, kids.  The grown-ups are talking.  But, if that’s your point of view, then I will let you have it, and comment it.  To anyone in my audience, feel free to hit me back and let me know.

Until next time, a quote,

“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.”  – David Levithan

Peace out,

Maverick

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8 thoughts on “SIONU: The Framerate Debate is Meaningless (to me)

  1. Didn’t TB state pretty clear why the consumer should be informed of framerate in games they’re going to purchase? Unlike on consoles, PC games are not restrained by hardware limit. Theoretically, 60fps is achievable in any game if your PC is powerful enough. They invest in their hardware, so they have the right to know if some games are going to take advantage of their investment or not. Also, some games are affected by fps count more then others. The enjoyment of many action games depends on their framerate. Higher fps count means better reaction time and controller input. For example, you will likely miss your combo in Ultra Street Fighter IV if the framerate ever drops to 59fps because the gameplay consists of stupid 1 frame links ( performing an attack at exactly 1 frame after another ).

    Also, in my opinion, while 60fps should have been standard for all PC games already, the Framerate Police is not advocating for that. It’s simply replaces a feature that Steam removed. As TB said, the FP is objective: it tells you if the game is 30fps and if the framerate is hardcoded or not. It’s simple. This is attacking no one. This is informing the customers.

    I get that framerate doesn’t matter to you. But it matters to a lot of other people. Console players don’t need to, and they don’t really have a choice in terms of framerate. But PC players do. So I’m glad that TB is doing this.

    • I get the informed consumer angle. That’s the only part of this that makes sens to me. I don’t think it’s attacking anyone. But I just don’t get the big deal with framerate. Is it because people are proud of the hardware they have? It’s all very strange, to me.

      • It’s not exactly because they are proud of their hardware. People with high-end PCs are not the only ones who care about their in-game framerate. It’s a topic of gamers who want >=60fps vs who don’t. Many console people also want 60fps in console games. It all comes down to this: to all these people, 30fps vs 60fps = not very playable vs very playable.

        I know framerate doesn’t affect you, but you are a rare lucky case. For many others, the issue is very real and is a legitimate concern when buying games. I’m curious, have you ever tried playing the same game in both 30 and 60fps? They are not exaggerating when they say 60fps is a whole new world compared to 30fps, although the experience varies a lot across genres.

      • I’ve been playing The Last of Us Remastered, which runs at 60 fps. I’m not seeing much difference, aside from the camera being smoother. That’s it. It plays the exact same way as the other game. What is this other experience that people talk about? This is a genuine mystery to me.

  2. I guess it depends on personal tastes, because that extra camera smoothness is the only difference between 30 and 60fps, and some people are more easily bothered by it than others. I happen to be very bothered by low framerate. Sure I’d be doing the same thing in the same game regardless, but 30fps is noticeable to me and I hate how I’d be stuck with it for the whole game, knowing my hardware can afford better and 60fps is almost always achievable with most of today’s PCs with some sacrifice of graphical infidelity. So perhaps in your perspective, many people are just being salty. But in our perspective, we like our games at above 60fps in the same way we like our coffee at above 60 degree Celsius.

    So, did the curtain get lifted just a little bit? No?

      • I can see where you’re coming from, but there will always be that disconnect between us, because of how I am a console gamer. I’ve had one game (that I know of) that runs at 60 fps and while it looks fine, it plays just the same. I loved The Last of Us on PS3, and I love it on PS4 in the exact same way. Sure, it looks a little nicer, but that’s just about it, for me. I suppose this is one of those things that you’d have to have a lot of exposure to in able to really understand it. I’m a story-seeker. I play games for good stories and interesting characters (with the exception of games like Bloodborne, because it is fucking ADDICTIVE!), and the visual fidelity is all well and good, but it should compliment the aspects I want. Not define them.

  3. I can agree with you on that, speaking as a mostly fighting game player. Those games, such as Ultra Street Fighter IV, are very reaction heavy with stuff like whiff punishes and frame-perfect combos. So in a sense, they kinda trained me to notice things like framerate. I’m a fight seeker. No, scratch that. The fight calls out to me. I face many opponents. Some very honorable. Others not so much. But the heat of battle is what I game for and come back for more.

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it. ^_^;
    On a side note, if even you like Bloodborne that much, then I guess I’ll have to check it out one of these days.

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