Introducing The List

With the increasing popularity of UHD TVs in the market and the Xbox One X’s awesome backwards compatibility support, I’ve been working on a small side project over the past few months to make sense of the increasing complexity of console and handheld gaming. Today I’m launching a public spreadsheet which I’m calling The List. Consider it a console gaming “optimization” guide.

The List is linked under a new Reference section of the blog, which I will be expanding over time to include various tech-related reference information. The goal is to list the best version and means of playing almost every (good) console or handheld game ever, within reason. For example, I’m guessing not many people would realize that the best way of playing of some original Xbox games is through an Xbox One X connected to a 1440p FreeSync monitor.

I’m sure this will disappoint some people, but I am not including PC games. This is for a couple reasons. In general, 95+% of multi-platform games will of course run best on the PC (on Windows, specifically), so there isn’t much value to add in that regard. Also, optimizing software settings for PC games and all their potential hardware configurations can be maddeningly complicated if you truly want to play without compromises.

Console gaming is just complicated enough that I think a simple guide has merits, especially with the advent of the PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One X, and even Nintendo Switch. This guide was initially inspired by the confusion created by the various output display modes of some games as part of their support for the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Unsurprisingly, I am heavily leaning on the excellent analysis of the folks at Digital Foundry, who are the best at head-to-head comparisons of games. While graphical and audio comparisons are fairly straightforward, comparing ports on features and overall quality is much trickier and more subjective. I will try my best to be thorough and fair.

I’m launching The List with 100 games to start with. I’m not sure if more than a couple people will find this project of value, but it’s worth a shot. It would be awesome if anyone would like to contribute suggestions or help out, but I am by no means expecting anything. And if anyone has any specific games they would like to learn more about, please do message me on Twitter. Thanks.