About Those Xbox One Vs PS4 Graphics Rumours…

About Those Xbox One Vs PS4 Graphics Rumours…

For the last few weeks, with little hesitation, game development sources have been telling Kotaku that the PlayStation 4 is more powerful and easier to develop for than the Xbox One. You may have heard this before. But our best sources don’t expect that to have a huge impact on the graphics of games on both consoles.

“I think this is not going to be an issue in six months,” one reliable game development source who is not affiliated with Microsoft or Sony told us. “It’s just a bumpy time for launch is what it is.”

This same source corroborated reports that multiple multiplatform launch games will launch running at a higher resolution on PS4 than Xbox One. Still, they don’t expect any major, noticeable graphics differences to be long-term. They attribute this to gradual improvements made to the Xbox One hardware over the past year but more because they expect developers to overcome any headaches they’re having developing for the new Xbox as they did with last generation’s onerous PS3.

From what we’ve seen and heard about the graphics of games on both consoles, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are outputting impressive-looking games. The Xbox-only Ryse and the PlayStation-only Killzone: Shadow Fall both appear to be visual standouts.

Here’s a video of each, though the comparison is imperfect. The Xbox game shows gameplay intercut with interviews. The PlayStation game is a story trailer. Both appear to have been shot and captured during the summer, ages ago in game development time.

Nevertheless, for much of the past week, restless rumours have pegged the multiplatform Call of Duty: Ghosts as having an inferior performance on the Xbox One. While we’ve not seen the games in action on finished units, two development sources have both told us that the scuttlebutt is true and that Ghosts runs at 1080p resolution on the PS4 and at 720p on the Xbox One. That’s due to the power differential favouring the PS4’s graphics processing unit and the ease of development on the Sony platform, they say.

The resolution difference is not close to the whole story. It remains a challenge to get a clear picture on how meaningful any launch day graphical disparities will be. Are they more due to the ease of development issue and are they therefore resolvable? Will developers wind up having to program for the supposedly weaker system going forward? Or, perhaps most meaningfully for gamers, will players find the differences noticeable enough to care?

Over night we got a decent case study to consider the consoles in comparison: captured video of EA’s Battlefield 4 running on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We had not seen the games running on either next gen platform, though we’d heard that that game too was running at a higher resolution on PS4.

One of our sources on the resolution disparity, disagreeing with the one quoted above about the significance of graphical outputs on both platforms, had warned us that we’d spot differences.

Well, here’s side-by-side video, captured by IGN:

Some gamers may look at the comparison and see the same game or a game that looks impressive enough on both machines. But others will surely spot differences, subtle as they may be. It likely depends on the extent to which gamers care. For the moment, at least, it doesn’t look like we’re seeing as stark difference as we would between, say, a PC game and an PS3/360 game.

Both Activision and EA reps did not comment to us on their games’ performances on the two next-gen consoles (we tried!). We did ask Microsoft to share their thoughts on the graphical prowess of their machine in light of concern about lower resolutions. They shared this statement from a Microsoft spokesperson:

Thousands of fans are currently playing Xbox One games via our Area One tour and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. With launch a couple weeks away we encourage media and fans alike to play final games and judge for themselves. We’ve created a new generation system that offers amazing games that will run at 1080p either natively or upscaled. It is up to individual developers to determine what resolution best fits their design goals at launch. There is no single metric that can accurately predict how games will look and perform and it’s much more than just pixel count. It’s about the entire experience including game fidelity, how you access your games, your friends, the multiplayer experience and other new generation experiences only available on Xbox One. We believe Xbox One will be the premier place to play the new generation of games.”

In previous generations, the relative power of competing consoles has not been a deciding factor. The PlayStation 2, ostensibly weaker than the Xbox, easily crushed its competition. It had the advantage of being out a year earlier and not being a new brand, of course. Both of those advantages are not in play in this new generation, which features an Xbox and a PlayStation launching, for the first time, essentially simultaneously.

For now, we’re all seeing different pieces of a the graphics comparison. Kotaku staffers, for example, have seen Assassin’s Creed IV running on various iterations of PS4 hardware but never on Xbox One. Some Battlefield 4 reviewers have seen the game on PS4 and Xbox One, but, in the case of YouTuber JackFrags, we’re left with more than four hours of next-gen footage that shows us PS4 multiplayer and Xbox One single-player. Not quite apples to oranges.

Further complicating these questions is that, although numbers tend not to lie, they can easily mislead. While Forza 5 on Xbox One, for example, runs at 1080p according to Microsoft officials, Ryse, running at a 900p resolution, is the game about which we’re hearing visual raves. For those interested in going down a rabbit hole of comparisons, gamers on the NeoGAF message board have been assembling GIFs that flash between each version. Some differences pop; some don’t.

We’re interested in discerning the extent to which any architectural differences in the two consoles pose any long-term differences in how games will run on the systems and will let readers know what we find out about that in the weeks and months to come. We’ll also be keeping our eyes wide open when we finally get our hands on these consoles and start playing the games.

Also, remember the good news that no matter what games look like on day one of a console launch, games on that console five years from now will look wayyy better. Remember those launch 360 and PS3 games? GTA V they ain’t.


  • Uggh! I dont know about everyone else but in my opinion graphics now come second to that of story/characters and gameplay for me. The graphics are going to be epic regardless of what platform you are playing on. Lets just get our hands on some good quality story telling and gaming experiences and worry about the graphics once the industry can get those right first and stop picking at individual pixels.

    • I have to agree. There’s a point where minor differences in graphical quality and consistently high frames per second is really just a pissing contest, and has has no impact of the enjoyment of the game. It’s been that way for at least 6-7 years if not longer. I know that in another ten years we’ll look back at today’s graphics and wonder why were so impressed (I look back at some PS2 games and wonder how I ever played stuff in standard definition), but right now there’s just no point in having the debate when everything looks great.

    • As much as I hate to admit it though, if graphics didn’t matter, then there would be no real need for new gaming hardware (apart from hardware that introduced new controls or something). Like it or not, a lot of people are going to judge titles based on how good they look first, then gameplay/story second.

      If graphics don’t matter, then you can stick with your PS3 and/or Xbox 360. They aren’t going to suddenly stop working (red rings of death aside).

      Yeah gameplay IS the most important element, and that’s what a game should be judged on first and foremost. But gameplay isn’t a good indicator of how powerful gaming hardware is, and debates like this one are focusing on just that…the power of the hardware. In a few year’s time, once the dust has settled from the various console launches, nobody will really care about the hardware and graphics capabilities, but because the two new consoles are…well…new, that’s what a lot of this is currently focusing on.

      • But what about the ability to have more powerful AI, larger levels/maps/worlds, and so on. Things that can be improved with increased specs other than graphics? I’m no expert on it, but surely there is the capability there to improve gameplay as opposed to only graphics.

        • Beat me to it. It’s not really the bump in graphics that has me excited, it’s games like Skyrim that have cities filled with NPCs instead of being sparsely dotted with a dozen characters. I’m excited about better physics, better water, less texture pop-in, more advanced AI, shorter loading, bigger open worlds. All that stuff.

          • I’m glad you can phrase it better than me. Better water and better fire! Water looked sick in GTA V (with obvious room to get even better,) but yet to see a game where the fire blows me away.

          • Deep Down from Capcom and the Unreal Engine 4 have shown some mighty improvements when it comes to fire over the current gen of games. Whether or not these effects make the transition from teaser trailers to in-game graphics or not is to be seen, but I’m more hopefully that finally we’ll see realistic as hell particles, fire and water.

            But yeah, it’s the ai and NPC improvements I’d want to see. Developers are starting to create massive gameworlds that’re aching to be filled by believable characters and like @shadow said, more than a handful in each settlement. The ai side, it’s not so much how characters react while fighting or what have you, I feel what’s been lacking is how NPCs react to your actions in game. At the moment (thinking along the lines of Bethesda games), they throw out the occasional sentence out of 3 or 4 choices. You just killed a dragon in front of me? ‘I hope I don’t see any dragons around here’. Of course that would make games bigger to write, but it’d make them more believable

        • AI and larger levels isn’t really based on hardware, it’s how well the algorithms are written. You can create huge worlds and very smart AI on pretty primitive hardware. Take a look at the size of the maps in some SNES RPG’s for example, some of those were huge. What about the size of the map in Final Fantasy VII, compared to, say, Final Fantasy XIII? Take a look at the AI in a game like the original FEAR (which many modern games *still* can’t match), or fight against that Brood War AI mod that some guys put together. Go back to Street Fighter II and try to beat Bison on your first attempt, he’s not exactly any easier to beat than he is in Street Fighter IV.

          New hardware can certainly help with this stuff, sure, but it’s a linear curve that it follows as the graphics get better and the levels get more detailed.

          • AI is held back by hardware. For example, you are limited to the amount of unique animations you can show on the screen. In AC3 I (from memory) believe you could show 5 unique animations on screen aside from walking. So imagine a marketplace full of people, only 5 different actions can occur. That’s why you often see half a dozen people dancing in the exact same way. Greater hardware would increase the amount of various actions NPCs could perform.

            Also, bison is not advanced because he is hard to beat, he’s a cheap character that reacts to you inputs the instant they are made. Hard AI =/= complex AI.

          • AI is held back by the low value placed on it in production. The only reason why AC3 can only handle five unique animations is because adding the capability to display more wasn’t seen as important enough to spend the time to add it to the engine.

            Computers are capable of much better AI than what is currently implemented and the only reason better AI isn’t in existence is because nobody has fronted the cash to create a standard API to handle it and publishers don’t want to pay for it on a case-by-case basis.

            The only reason Physics engines are the way they are now is because of Havok and PhysX. AI needs a company to follow the examples of those physics engines.

      • Tbh, graphics has its limit and we are getting closer to that limit every year ( the max limit is making a person as real as the real life. That’s it! You cant get any more real than that) however, other aspects such as badass AI, lower loading time, higher fps, flawless dynamic environment; we are still far from the limit. This is why upgrading is important, but to those who doesn’t understand much of the tech, graphics seem to be the only way to express the power of new consoles

    • This is hardly about graphics, it’s about being a complete joke at this point. I’ve been playing games on my PC in 1080p for the past five years and if consoles still can’t manage that, why should I switch? Is there any actual benefit? It’s something that ought to be a given at this point and I don’t see why I should spend my money for something that will be outdated as soon as I buy it.

      And before someone accuses me of being PC elitist, no. I don’t give a shit what platform you own, all bloody power to you if you enjoy it. I just want to be able to buy a console and have it play 1080p games out of the box. It’s laughable that the Wii U can do this and the Xbox Done can’t.

      • Just buy another PC and plug it into your TV if you want a really powerful console.

        The Xbone and the PS4 will both sell at a significant loss and they aren’t exactly cheap (even if they aren’t as much as previous generations). You’re getting good value hardware for what you’re paying for.

        They will both run 1080p no problem if developers want to design games so that they will. The only reason they wouldn’t is if:
        A/ Developers are lazy and don’t consider 1080p to be that important (most people don’t care that much)
        B/ Developers decide they’d rather sacrifice 1080p to push the hardware in other ways
        C/ Developers are incompetent/ on a stupidly tight timeframe (see COD: Ghosts)

        I’d imagine that most next-gen console games (not counting WiiU) will run at 1080p once the launch window passes and developers get better with the hardware and can better manage their release schedules.

        Having a cry and saying “the Xbox Done can’t do it!”, when CLEARLY it can because several launch titles are is almost as pathetic and childish as calling it the Xbox Done in the first place.

        • Having a cry and saying “the Xbox Done can’t do it!”, when CLEARLY it can because several launch titles are is almost as pathetic and childish as calling it the Xbox Done in the first place.

          It “can” do it, but several titles such as Ryse, BF4, Killer Instinct I believe, cannot. This does not bode well for future games on the console. If you can’t get a game that basically looks the same as Battlefield 3 to run on specs that are supposedly “next gen” on 1080p at 60fps, then you do not have solid confirmation that the Xbone can handle these games “out of the box, no problems”. It can, but under specific circumstances and seemingly in games that do not require that much power to begin with. Not to mention 4k is right around the corner and it will NEVER be able to handle that.

          Just buy another PC and plug it into your TV if you want a really powerful console.

          I play my consoles on a monitor anyway. If that was my problem don’t you think I’d have already done that? My problem is console exclusives that I can’t enjoy to their full potential because I can see the individual pixels on the screen.

          • I’m with you, it would be nice if the Xbone was hammering out poorly coded games at 1080p just on raw power.
            Remember though how bad the 1st gen PS3 games ran until devs got the hang of it? From what I’ve read it sounds like the Xbone development kits are pretty shit.

            Launch games have always had framerate issues, it’s great that the PS4 seems to be coping with most games but I wouldn’t worry too much about the Xbone.

          • And just so you know man I do understand where you’re coming from. I’m a huge Nintendo fan and it shits me to tears that they keep releasing crap hardware.
            It is frustrating. It’s just that I think these new consoles have both had rushed launches and I think judging them by launch games is unfair.

          • To me the biggest frustration is HD remakes, like the Halo CE anniversary. That game would have looked spectacular were it not exclusively 720p, and since it’s already been release on 360 it’s never going to happen again. Unless you buy the original PC version of Halo CE, it’s never going to be in 1080p, much less have updated graphics.

            I understand it’s a small issue to some/most people but I just can’t believe that resolution has barely advanced in 7 years for consoles.

    • I don’t think it’s about the graphics…. it’s about the difference in graphics. Why do two (or 3 if you include PC) competing systems that are very similar spec wise, run the same game at different performance and visual levels.

      It’s not about comparing an ugly but fun indie game to an AAA visual masterpiece, it’s about asking why it looks good on one platform and terrible on the other. You have to compare apples to apples. In this case, same game, different platform, different results…

      In the case of PCs, that’s understandable, we have different hardware and are able to modify our settings and components as we see fit. With a locked down console however, it doesn’t make any sense.

      It’s either marketing PR bullshit that “our console looks better” while the other guy says “our console runs smoother” while PC gamers say… “why not have both?”
      The hardware and specs of the two consoles are vastly different and one simply can’t supply the power required for certain games with certain resolutions/settings…. If that’s the case, someone really dropped the ball.

    • The only question that matters when considering your choice of next gen console should be which exclusive games you want to play. If you want the best graphics then you need to buy a PC.

      • This is the only response needed to this article, and all conversations like it.

        Want graphics? Play PC.

        Want exclusives? Take your pick.

      • That is kind of like saying, if you want the best graphics then you need to buy a 4K projector and a pair of Titans in SLI mode. If you don’t spend the 10 grand to do so, you haven’t got the best graphics.
        There is always something better than whatever rig you own, the cut-off point for everyone of dollars vs value is different.

        • If you want native 1080p at 60fps though (which next gen consoles evidently can’t handle in these instances) you’re looking at something far more modest.

          And if you really want to get into the costs thing, then remember to factor in the price differences for the games, plus perks like Steam sales and the ever more present bundle deals. And minus subscription fees to play online etc.

      • The main question for me was a new way of controlling my entertainment center and only one console does that.I just hope some NSA guy doesn’t post a vid of me scratching my balls lol

    • What I don’t get though, is why are these consoles struggling with 1080P?
      The 360 and PS3 weren’t far off being able to do 1080P in games, these new consoles have what, 16 x the RAM and the PS4 has (roughly) 2 TFLOPS vs (roughly) 0.25 TFLOPS for the 360, so around 8x the processing performance. I know the numbers are rubbery, but we are talking a massive performance increase over a 360 or PS3, it is confusing that the games aren’t native 1080P with that sort of performance under the hood.

      • It’s honestly pretty disappointing. I was planning on getting a PS4 but it seems that my PC can outperform it anyway, and my PC isn’t ludicrous spec. I know that as devs have more and more time with the systems they’ll be able to pull more performance from them but it seems like they’re going to be behind PCs all the way this generation.

        Anyway, I’m sure I’ll pick up a console later down the line but right now there isn’t a single exclusive that I must have. MGSV might be the game that gets me but that one may have a PC version yet. I’ll keep playing on PC for now.

        • I feel exactly the same way. With constant discounts on Steam I’m building up my games library faster than I can play through them and I’m spending on average about $5 a game! Add to that I have an embarrassingly large 360 pile of shame…

          At this stage of the game I have exactly zero interest in the console next gen.

          IMHO the Occulus Rift is the beginning I the REAL next gen. For me “next-gen” gaming starts when my Virtuix Omni arrives in February ^_^

    • I agree. You can have graphics and storytelling but the focus is totally on graphics in the media and on the internet, so you know damn well what devs and publishers are talking about in their planning sessions and where they put their resources.

      GTA V on PS3 has adequate graphics. I don’t need anything more than that. Just take that game’s graphics and lock them into 60 fps and put more cars/people/detail/physics/animations in there and I’m golden.

      I am excited about next gen for the technical improvements, but pixel counts and lighting effects really aren’t what I care about. I want physics, audio, less load screens, bigger worlds, smoother frame rates. Last gen is realistic enough for a game to tell a story. Let’s focus on the other stuff now.

  • And lets not forget neither are released and I know at least on the BF4 side there were statements development was a few steps behind PS4 anyway? I just want these consoles released so we can go back to having fun and enjoying our games on your platform of choice.

  • I prefer when a game has a good style rather then more pixels. Can easily have a “realistic” style that looks good. Halo: Reach still looks great, Halo 4 already looks dated.

  • I dont care about graphics per se, I do want a constant crisp 1080p running at 60fps though because on a 56″ screen you can easily see the difference from 720p and 60fps is essential these days I believe.

    • Man the vast majority of games don’t run at anywhere near 60fps and I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.

      I know some people care but to most people (and developers) performance above 30fps would be better spent on extra geometry, character models ect.

      I think it’s a pretty looking screenshot thing. You see a similar thing with disappearing bodies in games too.

      Games have had bodies that disappear for years and everytime hardware gets better there’s always developers who decide it’s a better idea to up the detail on the enemy models than it is to save that space so that their bodies can pile up.
      I was playing Bioshock Infinite on the 360 the other week and it looks amazing for a 360 game but the bodies all disappear and leave much less resource intensive ‘lock-boxes’.
      It’s straight out of 1994 but it shows where developers priorities lay. If it’s not going to be apparent in an online gameplay video or in a screenshot then unnecessary features such as frames 30-60 are often going to be shafted for something that will be.

      • I know some people care but to most people (and developers) performance above 30fps would be better spent on extra geometry, character models ect.

        And that’s the key point there – there will ALWAYS be a trade off between things like resolution, frame rate, geometry, post-processing effects etc. There is a a limited budget in terms of processor cycles etc available to draw each frame. By halving the frame rate, you basically allow twice as much time to render each frame, which then allows you to do things like increase the resolution or add additional effects or more detailed geometry etc etc. Likewise, lowering the resolution reduces the amount of time required to render each frame, allowing a higher frame rate (or more effects at the same frame rate).

        Saying “but I want everything at 1080p/60fps on next gen!” is missing the point. You could have had everything at 1080p / 60fps on CURRENT gen, but it would have been at the expense of the overall quality of the graphics. The same applies on next gen consoles – the same trade offs are still there, they just start to bite at a higher starting point than on current gen.

        • But that is what I am saying, I would prefer overall lower graphical quality to achieve 1080p with 60fps. The tech is already available but they wanna keep costs low and make money like apple by building a 3 year old pc spec console that every fanboy/parent will by every gen…

  • The most concerning point is saying MS has added new hardware in the last 12 months, that is awfully short term to be reworking internals.

    • Did they actually add new hardware? I thought they just increased clock speeds a bit on the existing hardware?

      • Even if that is the case 12 months is not nearly enough time to test the hardware extensively to ensure it can handle it. Sounds like corner cutting is the order of the day and that was the cause of the whole RRoD issue.

        • really? 12 months is an eternity in hardware development times. They could easily have millions of hours worth of testing time on the hardware.

          • How long does that hardware sit used in a consumers house? 5-6 years ideally (to the consumer) so no, 12 months is not an eternity in testing, stress testing hardware can be extremely different to how that hardware is treated in the wild.

          • It is when your simply upping the clock speeds.

            Same hardware, more clock speed = better results then your previously tested ones, or the same.

            Theres no *loss* in terms of time here, because its the same hardware, just putting out a bit more.

          • more clock, more power, more heat, more wear and tear, lower life span. They either tested the hardware and went “this is the optimal clock to ensure longevity” then went “shit we need more power lets up the clock, hardware capabilities be damned” -or- “we could up the clock and sell a faster machine” “no, lets just lower the clock for the hell of it” then “oh shit PS4 is faster lets get that clock back up so we can be seen as competing”.

            I don’t know which one is more disturbing, you cant just arbitrarily up the clock on a processor without generating more needs for that processor (power, heat dissipation) so sacrifices were made somewhere.

          • It wasn’t a huge upclock. Perhaps the chip would have lasted 12 years and now is down to 11. They might have estimated things too consevatively. We really don’t know. Hell for all we know now the PS4 will have a shorter lifespan than the X1. It is smaller and reportedly more powerful, after all.

          • Research overclocking. because the amount of fear you have for such a small clock change is concerning on its own. Theres heat barriers that they need to safely meet to ensure longevity, they wouldn’t of pushed the console past that. And the reports of its power/sound makes it seem like the clocks havent burned the machine down.. aha

  • It really comes down to the extra level of detail they’ll be able to cram in. Realistically the graphics in GTA5 on console are shithouse, but goddamn if it isn’t one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen.

    • I noticed that, too. Any of the particular textures or whatnot were fairly unimpressive but somehow they combined to create something greater than the sum of its parts. The impression of realism if not the appearance.

      Some sort of voodoo magic brain short-circuiting. Plus, I’m guessing, no small amount of willing participation in self-delusion. I mean, we were able to visualize lush and rich environments in NES games which appear utterly primitive today.

    • Ha… It was the first game in ages I bought on my 360…. been PC’ing with a GTX 670. I had read lots of reviews and bought it weeks after release. Booted up…. ARGH JAGGIES… But then I mellowed. But it’s now on my pile of shame.

  • “For the last few weeks, with little hesitation, game development sources have been telling Kotaku that the PlayStation 4 is more powerful and easier to develop for than the Xbox One. ”

    Why? They’re running exactly the same architecture (maybe with different specs). They’re basically glorified PCs under the hood.

    • I don’t know anything about coding so correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m of the understanding that the development tools are still unique to each console? Like they share similarities but are still different?

      It sounds from what I’ve heard like the development kits for the Xbone aren’t as polished and that could be giving developers grief. I’m expecting that developers will eventually get used to both platforms and we’ll get similar performance out of both, just as we did last gen.

      • I think its more likely we will get lowest common denominator coding.

        Both video cards are Radeons, one is just a 50% more powerful Radeon. How can you work around that?

    • My guess would either be better development tools or more immediately useful/accessible APIs. I’d imagine either would greatly increase development productivity in the first year or two of the console’s lifetime.

    • They are similar CPU/GPU’s but there are differences in their memory architectures and even in how hardware resources are split. MS are running two OS’s, Sony may do something similar but they may also be allowing more to go towards games.
      Being easier would be a function of the API’s, tools, support and the fact that you don’t need to optimise as much on the PS4 because of the power disparity. The XBone having the eSRAM(?) if that is something the devs have to manage themselves may factor into it.

    • The development tools are unique for each console, and each has unique hardware which both has it’s own challenges.

      The two consoles feature different RAM set ups, and the Xbox One RAM is a slightly more difficult set up to manage from a game development point of view.

    • You might read some Digital Foundry articles or GAF threads. The differences are that the PS4 has more Compute Units, more ROPs, faster RAM and a simpler RAM setup (Xbone has ESRAM plus RAM). I’d say the ease of development could in part be due to the RAM setup.

  • The XBox 360 was markedly easier to develop for than the PS3 and that never resulted in a noticeable difference in quality across the two systems. There were a few devs early on who swore off developing for PS3 because it was a pain in the butt to work with, but I don’t think Sony lost anything particularly amazing out of that.

    • On multuplats in the first two or so years the Xbox version usually looked and ran better, it took ages for the ps3 to catch up. Exclusives always looked better though

  • I’d be curious as to why MS has an apparent embargo on MP footage of BF4 until just before launch date for their console.

    MP is where the BF games happen, the SP side of things is nice window dressing, but no-one buys them for the campaign. Not allowing MP footage out seems a little dishonest.

  • Wasn’t the PS3 supposed to be significantly more powerful than the 360? That was my understanding, yet you still saw games on both systems outdoing each other over the space of the generation.

    My understanding is that about 6 years into the generation Crysis 2 on the 360 was probably the best looking game on either console. Mass Effect 3 looked better on PS3, the original Assassins Creed was developed for PS3 first but the Xbox version ended up superior. Skyrim on PS3 was a MESS.

    I think the PS3 probably has the marginally better graphics now but seriously, if it hasn’t mattered for 7 years it’s too late for it to really matter. If you wanted Xbox games but bought the PS3 because it was more powerful then you really made a foolish decision.

    At the end of the day the difference between a brilliantly coded game like Halo 4 and a game that doesn’t make good use of the hardware like Perfect Dark: Zero at the 360 launch is going to be a bigger leap than any discrepancy in power between the Xbone and the PS4.

    Both systems are going to look similar at launch, both systems will improve tremendously and both systems will share plenty of very similar looking cross-platform titles. Buy the one with the better games/OS/controller/whatever!

    • The PS3 is still considerably more powerful than the 360, on paper its theoretical computational power almost matches the PS4, the issue is the component that gives it this advantage (the Cell CPU) couldn’t be implemented to its fullest and is much much more difficult to work with because it is completely unique to every other major processor.

      The difference this generation is that Sony went with a more standard processor type and is still (theoretically) the more powerful machine, though making the decision this early on which will have MOAR BETA GRAFIX is based on pure theory, and yes you will see cross platform look pretty similar initially, there is the chance that this theoretical advantage the PS4 has could be very real and ultimately make the PS4 a much stronger machine, not only in visuals.

      Most people tend to forget that more power doesn’t only mean better graphics and that all sides of a game use a portion of the hardware’s power. With more computational power comes the potential for bigger worlds, smarter AI, more realistic physics etc etc etc.

      • Most of the stuff you mention at the end is CPU based. The consoles have almost the same CPU with the X1 having higher clock and more CPU friendly RAM, not to mention their focus on Cloud.

        GPU is where the PS4 has an edge, and it will be limited essentially to GPU functions. You could use that spare power for CPU, but it won’t be as efficient for those calculations.

        Really large worlds will come when a dev runs the game logic, AI, physics, in the cloud and frees up CPU/RAM locally. PS4 and X1 will both ultimately dabble in this, even if only MS is spouting about it at the moment.

  • If you’re buying your next-gen console on the basis of a very marginal and variable difference in graphical fidelity, you need to think very seriously about your priorities. There are many things that are likely to be much larger differentiators. Controllers, game libraries, media capabilities, game libraries, multiplayer, game libraries, openness of platform and of course game libraries.

    • Well said man, well said. Unless there’s some serious hardware limitations or differences which there aren’t.

      Plus I’d argue that those who are really serious about gaming/graphics will probably end up owning both consoles anyway.

    • The point is that with the PS4 you get a more powerful machine for a cheaper price. Game-wise, it’s going to be swings and roundabouts, personal taste and all that, but you can reasonably expect better performance and/or better appearance on PS4, at least with multi-plats.

      • And yet after all that, the controller still hurts my hands to use.

        So i guess i’m one of the many consumers that will still be picking the Xbone (which fortunately is actually cheaper in my country), because of my personal likings towards Xbox’s exclusive lineups, and because I enjoy my hands when they are not hurting.

        They are consumer marketed consoles, its all about preference. They are both far to identical to argue otherwise.

  • Graphics DO matter. It’s not a question of graphics OR gameplay, it’s a question of both. Shit graphics? GTFO. Shit gameplay? GTFO. Shit both? GTFO. Great both? Stay.

  • Well im getting the Xbox One and this very much matters to me. I will not be buying COD (had it preordered) or any games with lower quality graphics. I will buy it when i pick up the PS4 after its first price drop or when it gets hacked (only reasons i would buy a PS4)
    Gaming is only an after thought when it came to me picking the console I wanted. If games look and perform better on a different console i will wait and buy it for the best console.

  • There has been a detailed analysis of Battlefield 4 on next-gen consoles by Digital Foundry.

    They have deduced that the PS4 is technically superior in overall graphical performance, both in frame rate and visual presentation. The only part where the Xbox One looked better, is in the upscaling. Both games were upscaled to 1080p, however they were natively 720p for the Xbox and 900p for the ps4. It seems as though the upscaling technology in the Xbox is slightly better than the PS4, where the PS4 seems to have a slight ‘haze’ in some still images, this is due to post-process upscaling.

    • It’s funny though that Jackfrags’s vids don’t seem to have the haze…

      It could be due to that fact that DF captured it on their own equipment, rather than the stuff supplied by EA.

    • Most of the differences there look shadow related, and I do think you can find that DICE developers have said the Preview Build that they used for BF4 on Xbox One was several steps behind the PS4 Build (most likely due to ease of development issues people have stated), and that Ambient Occlusion and other lighting effects were missing. Only other thing I notice is the clouds in the distance not being as well rendered, but again, could be shader/shadow related.

  • People need to stop being so dismissive over hardware limitations because “it’s about the gameplay”. Yes, it’s about the gameplay… but if you had great gameplay on the Super Nintendo, why get a PS1/2/3/4, Xbox/360/Bone? Why get a PS5/6/7 if you get a 4 or already have a 3? This applies to the PC master race too… you can’t just buy a PC and have the world for the rest of your life. You need to upgrade.

    I remember when Streetfighter 2 came out on the SNES/Megadrive. The magazines had comparative screenshots of the games too. Why would you care about 4k televisions when you have 1080? Why would you care about Angus burgers when you have Spam in a tin? Why WOULD you care about 100Mbps NBN FTTP when you have 25Mbps NBN FTTN?

    In terms of the differences between the consoles, it MIGHT not be that big, but it depends how discerning YOU are.

    Xmen vs Streetfighter on the Playstation… because of memory limitations they had to butcher it(the PS1 was more specialized for 3D). On the Saturn, you needed the extra memory cartridge to run it. If you play Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom on PS3/360… the 360 is slightly better. If you weren’t pro at the game, you might not know that because it’s a very very slight, but also noticeable difference. It’s small enough that people still use the PS3 for tournaments. The Vita version doesn’t have animated backgrounds because of hardware limitations(e.g. the Resident Evil Lickers don’t move at all). I recently has to spend $50 on a laptop hard drive for my 8Gb PS3 because there wasn’t enough space to install GTA V.

    If, as an example, the PS4 has 85/100 graphics capability, and the Xbone has 75/100 graphics capability… you really might not care because it’s a slight difference… but if the developers have intended it to be at say 80 or 85/100… then there definitely is the issue of whether they make different versions of the same game, or the same inferior version. As given in the examples above; it’s happened before! And as a last point… a lot of reviews often break down how games go in sections. E.g. Graphics 8.5, Sound 9.0 Gameplay 9.5 Replayability 7.0.

    • You don’t NEED to upgrade.

      The ONLY reason you THINK you need to upgrade is because you’ve been made to think that by marketing departments.

      Many millions of people don’t upgrade. Many millions of people didn’t upgrade their Wii’s to Wii-U. Even more millions of people didn’t upgrade their PS2 to PS3.

      Many millions of people were quite happy to stick with whatever they had.

      If you want to play the latest games, you need to upgrade, but I think you’d have a serious fight on your hands if you’re going to say modern games are better than older games.

      (and for PC that’s not strictly true anyway, as there are many brilliant indie games which don’t need to run on high end PCs, not to mention the thousands of browser games which simply need enough power to run a browser)

      • If you’re one of those people that are still happy with their original Gameboy… then more power to you. I’m a gamer, and for me it’s about the gameplay. I prefer some old games, but even those old games are newer than games older than that… and they’re made possible by better tech. That was the point of this article… hardware limitations vs your gaming experience.

  • I don’t have a BluRay player… I have been waiting to get one of the next gen console (hate having too many devices and don’t have $’s for more than 1 console so been living with Xbox 360). Anyway, I was feeling down about not having the latest tech and having to hire/buy/borrow DVD’s and not getting the full HD experience at home. A mate said to me –
    “It’s all about perspective”
    And he was right – when I sit and watch my TV or play a DVD I don’t see the lack of image quality – because that’s all I have. In fact sometimes I watch something and think how clear and good it does look.
    So in answer to above – I will get 1 of these consoles (at some point probably NOT at launch) and I will be happy with either one. It will play the game/s I want to play and the movies via DVD or BluRay or streaming. They will look great and I will be content, happy even.
    It will be better than my current Xbox360 and that will also make me happy… that’s what a new system is all about – new frontiers and new games and new fun – stop comparing and be happy that you have a choice…

  • I’m probably gonna get laughed at, but my household liked the kinnect hence why we choose to stay with Xbox….i have 4 kids under 12……ok its been said…lets move along now

    • Not at all mate. Don’t jump on the bandwagon of PS4 vs XBone just because internet. If you got kids (I’m the eldest of 8 kids, me being 16) ,they enjoy Kinect, and will in the days to come – buy it.

      Wii U/Existing 360 and PC are the consoles for Christmas because guess what, PS4 and Xbone do not have the games to play these holidays – a.k.a. the time when 60% of the years gaming hours are spent.

      PS – I know about Wii U’s pitifull library however, Pikmin 3, Rayman: Legends and Zelda: Wind Waker provide all the gaming hours for many months in a household where gaming is done on a weekends only basis during school terms. (yes, everyone down to the 6 year old game…a lot.)

  • Resolution only needs to go as high, as to accommodate the maximum resolution of the textures rendered by the artists. The texture detail, is only as good as the skill of the artists on the project.

    Also, on a more general note. NBA2K14 runs at native 1080p @ 60fps on both Xbox One and PS4. How does this fit into the logical fallacy?!

    Same for Forza 5.

    • Sorry but that’s incorrect. Take a look at this, it shows what can be assumed is the same asset being displayed at three different resolutions (I doubt the artist made three different versions looking progressively more jagged). http://i.imgur.com/unODSa7.png

      There is obviously some AA involved as well but the higher resolution image looks much better.

      And take a game like Minecraft for example. The textures on each block are only 16×16 pixels. If you wanted to match your screen resolution to that then anything not viewed head one would have extremely jagged edges. Zoom in on this image so that it fillls you monitor, then consider that it is still comparatively high resolution to what you suggested. http://i53.tinypic.com/vy2olg.png

      • No. There IS a limit to the maximum resolution textures have been (pre)rendered at for any given game. Most devs DO (pre)render multiple versions of the same textures (say low/medium/high), though the easy way is to (pre)render “high” and downscale (though would be pointless on a console game to store textures, that exceed the maximum resolution of the full scene that can be output). There is more too it all than this, though the basic premise is once a scene reaches the amount of pixels needed, anything above is really just a form of upscaling and pushing frames (PC). Image quality can always be increased, but the amount of pixels needed will always reach a point where the artists have not actually created art assets above a certain resolution, that the devs have decided on. Devs have to limit themselves somewhere otherwise no games would get finished, coz they can “always make it better.” Like Duke Nukem Forever…

        • You don’t get it. Let me explain another way that higher resolutions can help.

          Imagine a texture. Now keep rendering it moving away from the screen. The higher the resolution of the display, the further into the background that same texture can still display with visible detail.

          Your idea of limiting the screens resolution to match the resolution of the textures could work if you also limited the viewing distance, such as by having your levels being a series of short corridors. Or you could accept that things look nicer at higher resolutions.

  • don’t care which one performs better – im going for ps4 cos xbone spy on you and sells your info to nsa so they can market products better to basement-dwellers and drive the war economy while oppressing all non-cis blacks in their way imo we cant let them go this far they have to be stopped before it will be illega; to practise witchcraft and animal sacrifices in thw name of my tumblr feminazi 2 spirit gods

  • I’m picking up both machines, so I really don’t care about graphics comparisons all that much. My only concern is that if one of my machines doesn’t sell well. I want both to be successful obviously.

    One thing that I find insane about this debate is that nobody compares last gen to this gen, only the differences between this gen. I honestly don’t think the graphics jump is that huge next gen, and that the differences between each next gen console is only a small fraction of what already isn’t that big of a difference. Both systems have the same CPU and amount of RAM, so literally the ONLY technical difference is pixel count, which is already in serious diminishing returns mode when playing on a TV.

    Meanwhile the PC versions of the games still look better, so you’d think people who really cared that much would go that route anyways.

    I don’t know, people are just very passionate about their console preferences and therefore the smallest details get blown up like the two systems are totally different.

  • The graphics on both ps4 and xbone are unbelievably unimpressive and it’s looking more and more like this generation, the power difference is going to be like Gamecube, ps2 and xbox. The Wii U is really the best choice at the moment, there really isn’t any argument.

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