The lawsuit, filed on August 5th by Douglas Ladore in the U.S. District Court in California, seeks $5 million for false advertisement and negligent misrepresentation. He claims gamers complained that the game's graphics were "blurry to the point of distraction." Ladore's lawsuit is seeking to prevent Sony from continuing to misrepresent Killzone's 1080p specifications and performance capabilities, as well as damages for consumers that were deceived by purchasing the game under false pretenses.
Stated in the suit,
2. According to Sony, Killzone was a graphically striking game set in a dystopian future that took full advantage of the PS4's advanced processing power. Sony claimed that the PS4 was so powerful that its featured Killzone video game could display "1080p multiplayer graphics, a crowning achievement in the video game industry."
3. However, after the game's release, gamers quickly noticed and complained that Killzone's multiplayer graphics were blurry to the point of distraction. The cause of this burliness went unknown until a well-respected video game website reported that Killzone's multiplayer did not actually provide 1080p graphics as advertised.
The lawsuit went on to argue that,
Sony released a statement saying that Killzone's multi-player display wasn't intended to be in 1080p. Instead they opted to use a shortcut that would provide "subjectively similar" results.
Killzone: Shadow Fall was released last November, but controversy didn't begin until Digital Foundry reported that the game's multiplayer mode runs at 960x1080 at 50 frames-per-second—instead of the intended 1920x1080 at 60 frames.
Guerrilla Games, the developer behind the Killzone games stated that they used a technique called "temporal reprojection," which combines pixels and motion vectors from lower-resolution frames to give a similar 1080p image.
Killzone producer, Poria Torkan, wrote on the official Killzone website to explain how temporal reprojection works:
In both [single player] and [multiplayer], Killzone: Shadow Fall outputs a full, unscaled 1080p image at up the 60 [frames per second]. 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 frame to reconstruct a full 1080p image. If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p, then this technique is not native.
Temporal reprojection is a technique that tracts the position of pixels over time and predicts where they will be in future. These "history pixels" are combined with freshly rendered pixels to form a higher-resolution new frame. This is what Killzone: Shadow Fall uses in multiplayer.
On occasion the prediction fails and locally pixels become blurry, or thin vertical lines appear. However, most of the time the prediction works well and the image is identical to a normal 1080p image.
However, the lawsuit alleges that "temporal reprojection" is not the native 1080p that was advertised in the game. Sony marketed through videos, social media, and on its retail packaging that Killzone would offer 1080p graphics. "Unfortunately, Sony's marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction," the lawsuit said.
Microsoft has been Sony's main competitor for over a decade. With Killzone: Shadow Fall being a PS4-exclusive game, Sony amped up its marketing strategy to showcase the console's technical capabilities as a main selling point. The suit claimed the game's success was "imperative to Sony and the ultimate success of the PS4," citing a "console war" between Sony and Microsoft that relied on screen resolution as a leading indicator of the console's performance and next-generation experience.
The full lawsuit can be read below.
Late last month, Sony finally settled a 2011 lawsuit over a Playstation Network hack that left the service down for three weeks, causing users' personal information to be vulnerable to theft.
Do you think Sony should be held accountable for their false advertisement? Let us know in the comments below!