As we all pour over the specs and mandated rules from the Sony NEO leaks, the one thing that seems to be most bothering is the framerate requirement rule. This rule, as stated in the documentation that is now being widely reported, says that NEO games must run at an equal or higher framerate than the base version. Additionally, NEO games are not allowed to run in any resolution lower than 1080p.
At first glance this doesn’t sound like much of a problem right? The assumption is that most base games will continue to run at 30fps while the NEO games may run at 60fps. But what about those games that currently run on base PS4 at 60fps with a downscaled resolution? Battlefield 4, Battlefront, Wolfenstein: New Order, and Call of Duty are all examples of games that use scalable or sub 1080p resolutions to hit that 60fps mark.
One of the biggest questions then is whether developers will be willing to release a base version that is 60fps when they know that they have to equal that in the NEO version. Wouldn’t that be adding additional challenge to the development process? Would it even be worth it for developers to hamstring themselves like that? It is unlikely that developers would want to strip graphical features from the NEO version to hit the obligatory 1080p60fps. So isn’t it more likely that they would never target 60fps on the base version to begin with? After all, the additional power of the NEO might not necessarily give them enough to take a 900p60fps game to 1080p60fps. Why not instead target 30fps for the base version so there is no obligation to hit 60fps in the NEO version?
Another nagging question in this requirement is exactly what “equal or better framerate” even means for a game. What about games like Infamous Second Son, Last of Us Remastered or Tomb Raider Definitive Edition that have variable framerates that jump between 40-60 throughout the game? Does that mean a potential NEO version would have to be better than the low end or the high end?