[Update: Looks like the pissing contest ain't over, folks. GamePro circled back around and contacted that yay-saying Ubisoft repper who "apologized for the confusion, noting that the game currently supports only 1080i." Whoops! The GamePro pros are still trying to figure out why 1080p was enabled on their debug units. Just the software upscaler maybe?]
The Good Ship Microsoft has come about a full 180 degrees over the whole 1080p issue. First they laughed at it and called it impossible, then they embraced it and, and now Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Double Agent will be the first game to run in 1080p on the Xbox 360.
1080p support has been the most contentious point between the two consoles, with Sony constantly waving their banner "True HD" and touting 1080p as something that only their console will have. They've fired more shots back and forth about what 1080p actually means, harking back to Clinton saying, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" during the whole Lewinsky affair.
If the whole sordid world of HD gives you a headache while you sort it out, it gets more complicated. Shane Kim told us that while the software patch could upscale all content to resolutions as high as 1080p, Microsoft Game Studios themselves had no plans to produce gaming content taking advantage of this ability. He was similarly convinced that very few other developers would see the value in producing 1080p games, with the singular exception of Sony's first-party studios, eager to validate the value of the capability.
We're not sure if Double Agent is being rendered in 1080p natively or if it's taking advantage of the Xbox 360's upcoming upscaling ability. We've asked Ubisoft for clarification, since our drinking buddy Sam Fisher has stopped returning our calls.