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Carmack Found it Too Hard to Obtain 60FPS on Consoles

November 27, 2011 Written by Jonathan Leack

John Carmack is well-known in the gaming community, especially on PC, for consistently releasing games of high caliber. Commander Keen, Quake, and Doom are just a few of his many projects, and nearly everything on his resume has received extremely high marks. His team’s latest release, Rage, garnered a modest reception, but if it did anything right it did so with its visuals. However, it it wasn’t easy making that happen.

Via Twitter, John Carmack replied with the following after being asked why the framerate is locked to 30 on the console version of Rage despite the PC version having no such cap:

Unless you can maintain 60fps almost all the time, you are better off locking at 30 instead of dropping all the time. 60 is hard.

There are very few games that are able to deliver 60 frames per second consistently, but those that are able to do so play extremely smooth (i.e. Gran Turismo 5, Modern Warfare 3, Burnout Paradise, etc.). However, visuals are usually jeopardized, which is why John Carmack was much more interested in finding a way to show off id Software’s new id Tech 5 at 30fps while retaining much of the visual brilliance found in the PC version. It’s a legitimate tactic, and one that Guerrilla Games also employs with the Killzone series.

Which do you prefer, 30fps with better visuals (ex. Killzone 3) or 60fps with decent graphics (ex. Modern Warfare 3)? Share your response in the comments below.