While it seemed as though the whole thing with Killzone: Shadow Fall’s multiplayerbeing sub-1080p was behind us, a man from California has filed a suit against Sony Computer Entertainment America, alleging that Sony falsely advertised that the game would run at native 1080p resolution, but instead “used a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide ‘subjectively similar’ results.”
Reportedly seeking $5 million, the lawsuit highlights the “deceptive marketing,” which includes Sony advertising Killzone: Shadow Fall as 1080p on the game box and social media, but “unfortunately, Sony’s marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction.”
This all stems from a March 2014 Digital Foundry report that revealed the Killzone: Shadow Fall multiplayer resolution as being below 1080p, prompting Producer Poria Torkan to send out this response:
In both [single-player] and [multiplayer], Killzone: Shadow Fall outputs a full, unscaled 1080p image at up to 60fps. Native is often used to indicate images that are not scaled; it is native by that definition.
In Multiplayer mode, however, we use a technique called “temporal reprojection,” which combines pixels and motion vectors from multiple lower-resolution frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image. If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native.
Games often employ different resolutions in different parts of their rendering pipeline. Most games render particles and ambient occlusion at a lower resolution, while some games even do all lighting at a lower resolution. This is generally still called native 1080p. The technique used in Killzone: Shadow Fall goes further and reconstructs half of the pixels from past frames.
Addressing temporal reprojection, the suit says it “is not the ‘native 1080p’ that Sony promised,” and Sony has yet to update their packaging and marketing to reflect the sub-1080p nature of its multiplayer.
Class allegations in the suit include negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition and fraud in the inducement, with law firm Edelson LLC filing the suit. Known as Edelson McGuire in 2011, this same firm filed a suit against Sony and EA after they failed to give PlayStation 3 Battlefield 3 owners their free copy of Battlefield 1943. Edelson PC is also behind the Aliens: Colonial Marines suit.
Sony has yet to respond to these allegations.