​Why It Matters That PS4 Games Are Higher-Resolution Than Xbox One

 Why It Matters That PS4 Games Are Higher-Resolution Than Xbox One

The graphics battle between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 has been raging for months. Here at the start of December, with the consoles finally loose in the wild, one thing is certain: several big games run at a higher resolution on PS4 than on Xbox One. And although it's easy to downplay the significance of that disparity, I've found that it really does make a difference.

Multiplatform games like Assassin's Creed IV and Call of Duty: Ghosts provide the easiest way to directly compare the two consoles, since we can look at the same game running on both systems. (It's more difficult to compare exclusive games like, say, Xbox One's Ryse: Son of Rome and PS4's Killzone: Shadow Fall.)

Here's a breakdown of multiplatform native resolution discrepancies, with resolutions mostly via Eurogamer's Digital Foundry:


Call of Duty: Ghosts

PS4: 1920x1080 (1080p) [Xbox One: 1280x720 (720p)] Battlefield 4

PS4: 1600x900 (900p) [Xbox One: 720p] Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Via The Verge)

PS4: 1080p | Xbox One: 900p

Need for Speed: Rivals

PS4: 1080p | Xbox One: 1080p


Just going by the numbers, the PS4 has got an advantage in all but one of those games. And although the Xbox One upscales games' resolutions to output to your 1080p TV, if you play the games on both systems -- which I've spent a good chunk of time doing -- the difference is evident. With the exception of Need for Speed: Rivals, the PS4 versions look sharper in a way that doesn't require high-tech capture software to understand. It's apparent to the naked eye.

Why is that the case? Time and expert hardware analysis will tell for sure, but as several developers have already explained to us, the PS4 is simply a bit more graphically powerful than the Xbox One. It's not a huge difference, but it's there. COD: Ghosts' developers even said that due to the different ways the two systems allocate system resources, they just couldn't get their game running smoothly in 1080p on Xbox One in time for launch.

The differences, many first reported before the consoles had even launched, have understandably been the cause of no small amount of fretting and general angst among the gaming community. At the same time, plenty of people in the press and public alike (including here at Kotaku) have said it's not necessarily that big a deal. These arguments rely on a litany of fair points: The Xbox One versions of those games still look good; you can only tell the difference if you put the two versions side by side; graphics have a reached a point where small differences don't matter to most people all that much; the original Xbox was more powerful than the PS2 and look how that turned out; and besides, it's more important whether or not the games are any fun… and so on.

All that stuff is fair. If you have an Xbox One, you're hardly getting a raw deal; the games listed above remain the same in most substantive ways. And as I laid out in our lengthy console comparison last week, the Xbox One does some cool stuff that the PS4 doesn't do or even attempt.

But it does matter that those games don't look as good on the Xbox One. I don't even mean that it matters because of what the resolution difference does or doesn't suggest about both consoles' future games, or what it means about how they'll sell, or anything like that. It matters in the most self-evident way: Right now, for some people (like me!), it makes a difference that the PS4 versions of these games look better than their Xbox One counterparts. How much does it matter to you? It matters precisely as much as you think it matters that one version of a game looks better than the other one.

I've played all of the above games on both consoles on my home TV, and I now play them only on PS4. Why? I like the controller, sure, but mostly it's because, with the exception of Need for Speed: Rivals, the PS4 versions all look noticeably better. (Rivals looks about the same on both.) Battlefield 4 is a fine-looking game, and the higher resolution on PS4 makes distant objects clearer on my TV. The colours look sharper, too. Assassin's Creed IV looks gorgeous on PS4, and it's noticeably crustier on Xbox One.

For reference, here's a gif made by chubigans on NeoGAF, drawn from two Assassin's Creed IV comparison images from a recent article at The Verge. (Click "expand" for the full-sized gif.)

 Why It Matters That PS4 Games Are Higher-Resolution Than Xbox One

You can view full-res images of the PS4 and Xbox One versions at The Verge. (I recommend opening both images and tabbing between them, or checking out the cool image slider near the end of this article.) The Xbox One version is upscaling a 900p image to 1080p and in the process appears to be making the image darker and muddier. If I had to describe how it looks in action, I'd say the Xbox One version looks a little filmy, like it has a touch of soot on some of its lines and textures.

Call of Duty: Ghosts looks very sharp on PS4, and on Xbox One it looks downright disappointing. (There have been some reports of framerate drops on the PS4 version of the game, but I've only encountered a few small hitches and Activision seems to have addressed at least some performance issues with their most recent patch.) On Xbox One the game is jaggy and blurry by comparison, and the overall experience feels a lot like playing an Xbox 360 Call of Duty game. If I'd bought Ghosts as the one big game for my new Xbox One, I'd be bummed.

Here's a comparison from Digital Foundry; you can check out their post for a bunch more:

 Why It Matters That PS4 Games Are Higher-Resolution Than Xbox One

See how much sharper the foliage and images in the distance are on PS4? It's the kind of thing I notice more and more as I play, but it's apparent from the get-go.

None of this is to say that resolution is the only thing that matters when it comes to next-gen gaming. Of course it isn't. Ryse: Son of Rome runs at 900p on Xbox One and it regularly looks wonderful, like a movie come to life. Meanwhile the Xbox One's Dead Rising 3 runs at 720p and has frequent framerate problems, yet it's still the most fun next-gen launch exclusive I've played.

This also isn't to say that in the future, game developers won't figure out how to get games running at the same resolution on both consoles. After all, Need for Speed: Rivals runs in more-or-less identical 1080p on both PS4 and Xbox One. I'm sure there are small differences in how developer Ghost Games got the job done, but to a non-graphics-expert like me the game looks very good on either system. Plenty more games could, and hopefully will, follow suit.

I do think the at-launch resolution difference between the two consoles matters. It won't matter to everyone equally. While it may mean that future games will look better on Sony's console than they do on Microsoft's, it also may not. It most certainly means that right now, several big games look better on PS4 than they do on Xbox One.


Comments

    Dat ASS... Creed 4 comparison pic.

    Ghosts just looks terrible. :(

    Last edited 04/12/13 11:02 am

    All this console wars going on and I'm still busy playing the last gen.

      Yeah, if you wait a bit after launch time, the consoles will get a price drop or two, and you're less likely to get stuck with the "wrong' format.

    I thought BF4 was 900p on PS4, not 1080p?

      They have some funky formatting issues. I got confused too.

      I thought Battlefield was 1080p on xbox and AC4 was 900p on xbox......

        No, BF4 is 720p on XBone. Not sure about Assassin's Creed, haven't paid much attention to that one.

        http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-battlefield-4-next-gen-face-off

    Ac4 is 1080p on ps4 since the patch weeks ago

    I guess they got... *slips on shades* ...xboned.

    YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    I 'really' don't care about the resolution comparisons, I'm having fun playing my Xbox One and that is all that matters.

      I'm with you socialitegamer. I am really digging my XBone and even if there are differences in graphic output, I will still dig my XBone. Kotaku needs to move on from this debate. It serves no purpose. From what I have read staunch PS4 fans will stick with sony, and the same for XBone fans, some people will change over because there friends have changed brands, and there are some people who have stated they will most probably get both. Either way this debate is moot and really serves the consumer no practical purpose other than generating hatred and spiteful comments between fellow gamers. Kotaku should be promoting constructive discussions between fellow gamers regardless of brand allegiances. This same topic raged when the last gen was released and dissolved into the ether. It's time to move on.

        It's not moot. That's not what moot means. A moot point is a point that is open for discussion.

          No it doesn't.

          http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/moot+point.html

      The musical equivalent of that statement would be:
      "I 'really' don't care about the musical talent, I'm having fun listening to Nickelback and that is all that matters."

        That's not really valid. The gulf between Nickelback and good music is much, much wider than the gulf between XBone graphics and PS4 graphics :P

          The analogy isn't quite valid, but I still giggled. :D

        No, the musical equivalent would be 'I don't really care that the file is in 320kbps instead of FLAC, I still like the tune and that's what matters'. Content and gameplay is what matters in video games, not how shiny the pixels are.

          That should ring true for most people, but unfortunately there is still the crowd that obsess over gfx. You know the ones....

          Last edited 04/12/13 12:21 pm

            Yeah the same mob who obsess over FLAC or owning something on vinyl (meanwhile here I am in my office listening to music on an AM station!!)

            This is not the point. The point is that in this day and age our hardware should be progressing!

            Its as if religion was the next 'technological' achievement and as time went on, scientific discoveries were made which broadened our perspective which in turn made the idea of religion (720p just incase you're not following), seem primitive. Why would we not want to push the envelope? Why would we want to stay with the same iteration of knowledge when we could have a much brighter, less pixelized future?!

            Graphics and gameplay can always be there, just in a higher definition.

            That's not really fair in this comparison. In this case, the music is the same, the only difference is the compression. I know I'd go for the higher bitrate version, and so would a lot of other people.

            If there were differences between the games other than graphics, then your comparison would be valid.

          But BF4/COD are the same games on each console, one is just shinier than the other.

          Why would you pick the one that looks worse on the console that costs more if apart from graphics they are identical?

            I wouldn't pick the console based only on the games unless there were a whole lot of exclusives I was interested in. Otherwise there are other reasons, like media capabilities, controller preference, all your friends play one and not the other, any number of things.

              My friends are all PC master race so its always been the exclusives for me, last gen I got the 360 first for Gears because it looked so damn good.

                Yeah, that's fair though I'd probably wait for a price cut if exclusives was the only reason. I got the X360 for Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed, which were both console-exclusive back then, and Red Dead Redemption is still console-exclusive now, which makes me sad. Would have made a great PC game.

                  If it came out on PC I would buy it again in a heartbeat. Probably my favourite console game of the generation.

          Of course, but some people seem to think the two are mutually exclusive.

          And the thing that annoys me is the people who don't care love to pipe up and yell "PFFF WHO CARES" are only serving to show developers and publishers that people don't care. Why can't they just stay out of the discussion if they don't care so that the people who do care can eventually get what they want?

          Last edited 04/12/13 11:00 pm

            True. But then if I want both, I'll play it on PC unless there's no version available. I just don't think comparing presentation quality with content quality was apt.

              +1 Amen to that brother!
              I've only touched a console recently due to rock*'s bastidity with GTA V...
              (I needed the sorta therapy that only GTA can provide)
              Bought a secondhand X360 & 44' LCD to play on (you hearing this rock*. wheres my damned PC version)
              My nirvana is only buggered by the consumate frustration that only thumbsticks can provide.
              I feel myself turning into Nick Swardson as the controllers death looms closer & closer.
              Several times while playing GTAO, controller has almost met TV screen.
              My dog now leaves the room when she hears the GTA loading splash sounds(100% true!)
              I got a FPS mouse/keyboard adaptor which rocks totally for everthing except driving. Am working on work around coz GTAV with mouse & keyboard feels like the way it shoud be.
              but truthfully the weapsons selection is just as crap coz the design won't allow it to be assigned to mousewheel. But deathmatches with assault shotgun & mouse control is almost unfair.
              Hell fun tho. Precision headshots(precision with an AA-12...riiight)
              =]
              ps. saw ya online . Nice pad. ta for the look around. hopes I didn't hog the strippers or bongs

        Haha, it would be if Nickleback released the exact same album just with 2 different mastered versions... Nobody would really be able to tell the difference except music reviewers that have both albums running simultaneously...

        You're still getting the same shitty nickleback songs.

          The snare sound is usually the key difference I find.

            hi-hats and cymbals for me too

              Yep, hats and cymbals for sure!

        I don't like Nickleback but if someone else wants to listen to it and enjoy listening to it then that is for them, it has no baring on my life whatsoever.

      I agree. Since I'm not going to have my PS4 and Xbone running side by side with each other why would I care which one looks better. After 5 mins the graphics become less relevent than the gameplay.

      I think you probably should. If your console can't do 1080p across the board now, it's going to be an embarrassment towards the end of its life. Hopefully the PS4 doesn't resort to releasing gimped versions of games so they play on XB1.

      Any you might argue that graphics aren't important, but games like The Last of Us, Uncharted MGS4 etc. would not have been as good were it not for that little extra bit of visual polish.

    What does this mean for the rest of the generation? Does this mean as above from the CoD developer that they simply didn't have the time to run the game at 1080p on the Xbone and if they had a bit more time they could do so, or does it mean that all future multi-platform games will run into the same problems with developers having to do that bit extra with games to get them running at the same resolution?

    I know it's not the same, but take the example of Skyrim. Bethesda found the 360 far easier to develop for compared to the PS3 and the game and DLC came out earlier (granted timed exclusive but it was dealyed after that on the PS3 as well I remember). If developers will have to be working a bit harder on Xbone games to get them running on a par with the PS4 will they make that effort and maybe we'll see delays in the Xbone games or will they take the easier options and run games at 720p and upscale them?

      I think since both systems are so similar in architecture now it's just that the PS4 has a bit more grunt as opposed to the XBone.

      Also the XBone's operating system is a bit more bulky than the PS4 one.

      Well, the Xbone has 768 shader units and the PS4 has 1152, though the Xbone runs them at slightly higher clocks to close the gap somewhat. So in computational power, the Xbone is at about a 40% disadvantage.

      However the more important stat may be the number of ROPs ('render output unit' or 'raster operations pipeline', depending on who you talk to), which take the computations and actually turn them into pixels to be sent to the screen. The PS4 has 32 but the Xbone has only 16 (again clocks close the gap somewhat, but not completely - it's going to be about an 80% advantage to the PS4 here).

      So no matter what computational tricks they do, the Xbone is always going to have a harder time actually putting pixels on screen. This can mean compromises in resolution, framerate or both.

        Good to know. I haven't paid a great deal of attention to the internals of either console. I knew that they increased the clock speeds of the Xbone but thought they had the same amount of shader units and ROPs. The PS4 having more definitely makes a difference. Like you say, overclocking the Xbone will help to an extent, but maybe in a few years this difference will become more apparent.

        It might also explain why Microsoft put an external power supply on the Xbone and Sony have gone with an internal one but why Sony didn't up the clock speeds when Microsoft did as it would start to run too hot

        You are being very misleading. That 40% you quoted is the theoretical performance. The key word being 'theoretical'. It doesn't directly translate as anywhere near 40% more performance. Yes the PS4 has have an advantage here, but it is not so black and white. Let's look at the last generation. The Xbox 360 GPU had the theoretically 36% more GFLOPs capability over the PS3, but as the generation draws to a close, games look almost identical. Now one might argue that this was due to the PS3 having a more powerful CPU, which is most probably true, but this time around, the Xbox One has the more powerful CPU (around 10% more powerful thanks to clocks). Furthermore, the Xbox One utilizes eSRAM that closes the bandwidth gap between both consoles by reducing the 'misses' in accessing blocks in cache.

        As for your ROPs argument, it is pretty much void. Who's to say the PS4s GPU is able to fully saturate all 32 ROPs? It may only be able effectively utilize 18-20 ROPs. How so, you ask? Put it this way. The desktop GPU, the HD7970, has the same architecture as the GPUs in both new consoles. This particular GPU has 2048 shaders (896 more than PS4 GPU), but still only implements 32 ROPs. Surely AMD would have increased the ROP count if they saw it as a bottleneck. This suggests that even with 2048 shaders, 32 ROPs weren't saturated.

        Before you flame me for being a 'fanboy', I'm have no real preference for either side, I just have an interest in the hardware. I'm going to raise these points, though:

        1. First waves games always perform average at best/look no where near as well as they could due to optimization. Example compare Perfect Dark Zero (360 launch title) to a newer release shooter like Halo 4.

        2. Developers tend to make cross-platform games for the lowest common denominator, so regardless of console power, they'll end up looking and playing pretty much the same. PC gamers often see this with ports.

        Last edited 04/12/13 7:08 pm

          I wouldn't call the ROPs argument void based on the fact that you don't know if it can use them all at once, you need something more substantial if you're going to void it.

          Let's for a moment pretend that these console are desktop gaming machines, because they just about are. You have AMD providing both GPUs - you can directly compare them, it's "AMD's to AMD's." The one with less hardware will be slower.
          You can somewhat compare the CPUs due to them being 8 cores each, but look at a PC - after a certain amount of CPU speed, you're mostly bound by your GPU's speed, and nothing other than lowering details or disabling highly CPU-bound processes can help you achieve higher framerate.

          The PS3 (as well as the PS2) were difficult to program for due to the strange Cell architecture. Xbox (original) was x86, the 360 was RISC - much more common, standard hardware to work with.
          The new generation of consoles are x86/64, and apart from some custom layouts of hardware, are using pretty standard hardware from the current PC generation - since everything else is equal, the console with the better hardware (PS4) has a large advantage over the other.

            I wouldn't call the ROPs argument void based on the fact that you don't know if it can use them all at once, you need something more substantial if you're going to void it.

            Well to say that it can use/saturate them all is more ludicrous (it most certainly couldn't given the shader count). I gave you a logical reason as to why it would be void; wasn't outright saying it would bring no improvement, but it would not be anywhere near 80%.

            Yes, they are closer to PCs, but they still have specialized hardware. For example PS4 has GDDR5 system memory and the Xbox One has DDR3 on a wide bus combined with on-die eSRAM. These have more play on framerate then you think. Bandwidth means a big deal. Also, games eventually get coded clsoer to hardware than on PC, so CPU and memory will most definitely have a bigger impact than on a conventional PC. As I said, not as black and white as you make out.

            PS3 and Xbox 360 have more in common than you think. Both are Power PC derived RISC microprocessors. The PS2s Emotion Engine is also a RISC chip. You have kind of contradicted yourself anyway by saying 'custom layouts of hardware' have will not lesson a large advantage. As I said in my original post, the PS3s Cell CPU helped it close, and in some cases exceed (usually first party titles),the Xbox 360 in games, even though the Xbox 360 had a theoretically more powerful GPU and eDRAM. So to say the 10% extra CPU power the Xbox One has will not be used to close the gap, again is just plain silly.

            I sense you have a strong preference towards the PS4.

            Last edited 04/12/13 10:19 pm

              I somewhat agree with the first two paragraphs, but where you say I contradict myself I don't agree.
              I think you missed the point I was getting at, so let me word it another way.

              Look at the history of consoles - very different, custom hardware. This meant entirely different technical challenges to overcome, and different tricks to squeeze the most performance out of each console.
              This was still true for the PS2 and its competitors - different, esoteric hardware.

              The PS3 and 360 were both starting to get closer to what PC's have been for a while now - some generic components, but still each different enough that you'd be comparing apples to oranges.

              The PS4 and XB1 in my opinion are too similar and generic - sure, they've got a custom mainboard layout, so do some of my servers - but they're still pretty directly comparable.

              When the hardware is so similar (and I count DDR5 and DDR3 as being similar since they're both common PC components), benchmarks will usually be better on the faster hardware.

              Personally, I'd prefer the XB1 to have better graphics - it's the one my friends want me to buy.
              I'm not saying graphics are everything, but I don't see much of a point buying what appears to be an inferior product - which is part of the reason the Wii never appealed to me, though it wasn't trying to compete with the same audience.

              Last edited 05/12/13 7:28 pm

          Well the numbers aren't theoretical, the PS4's GPU really does have that much more compute performance. I never said that translates directly to game performance.

          Don't take my word for it on the matter of ROPs if you don't want to, I'm following AnandTech's analysis here:
          http://www.anandtech.com/show/7528/the-xbox-one-mini-review-hardware-analysis/2

          The impact of ROPs on performance is indeed hard to pin down, because there aren't that many good examples of cards with different ROP configurations where memory bandwidth is not also a factor. One example though is the Radeon HD 5830 and 5850. Both cards have the same 128 GB/s memory bandwidth, but the 5850 has about 15% more raw compute performance than the 5830. Notably though the 5850 has 32 ROPs, while the 5830 has only 16. Accounting for clockspeeds, the 5850's max pixel fillrate is 23.2 GP/s, much more than the 12.8 GP/s on the 5830.

          When you look at the performance of these cards, you see about a 20% lead to the 5850, which is more than you'd expect from the raw compute performance:
          http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics-charts-high-quality/Sum-of-FPS-Benchmarks-1920x1200,2489.html

          Once you add in anti-aliasing (for which ROP performance is important), the lead stretches to 30%:
          http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics-charts-high-quality/Sum-of-FPS-Benchmarks-1920x1200,2491.html

          Now consider something like the 7790 and 7850. The 7850 actually gives away 2% in raw shader performance to the 7790, but consistently beats it in all benchmarks thanks to a 60% memory bandwidth advantage and double the number of ROPs:
          http://anandtech.com/bench/product/776?vs=778

          The Xbone's problem is that it is conceding ground on all three fronts here: it has less raw shader performance, less memory bandwidth (the ESRAM makes up some of the ground but not all - though I'm keenly waiting to see someone run some benchmarks on the final hardware) and less ROPs. It's inevitable that it's going to be playing catch-up for the whole generation.

          Edit: oh, and of course the other piece of information concerns the clock boost the Xbone got. The Xbone SoCs actually have 14 compute units in the GPU (for a total of 896 shader units), though two are disabled - this is a common strategy to improve yield (similarly the PS4 has 20 CUs, and two are disabled). Well as Mircosoft have stated, they did tests with the dev silicon, unlocking the two locked CUs to see what the performance gain would be, and they found that the clock bump would give more performance. That is, a 16% increase in shader performance did not provide as much benefit to final performance as a 6.6% bump in clocks - and that may well be because the ROPs benefited from the clock increase also.

          Last edited 05/12/13 11:41 am

    Crank the brightness up on AC4 and bam, they look about the same to me. :|

    Wow, lots of downvotes. Are people really that loyal to the PS4 or am I as blind as a bat?

    Last edited 05/12/13 1:40 pm

      same, though i think the water looks slightly better in the xbox version. everything else looks the same.

      But then how would I know my console of choice was clearly the superior one? =(

        you don't have to know, you just have to argue the point

        just practice your post purchase rationalisationing skills, then you'll never be disappointed with a purchase again

      Pretty sure those AC4 photos are under different lighting conditions.

    As the owner of a 60" 200hz 3D TV it matters a hell of a lot to me. I want the best looking games on my TV and that means either PS4 or PC.

      If you want the BEST quality on that setup only a PC is in the running!
      you cannot compare a PS4 to a PC., your comparing Kia's to Ferrari's.
      and before the console owners go WIBBLE. well I can upgrade by graphics in 6 months time? Can you?
      G'nite

    frankly, unless its an artistic game where im spending ages looking at intricate objects, the action is usually moving too fast to notice this kind of thing. Its not like im going to have both consoles on, and sit there comparing identical scenes in real life... Just buy the damn console that has the exclusives you want on it!

      Do you never play games with quieter moments? Low quality textures and "jaggies" are a sure-fire way of breaking immersion in those times.

    Kirk Hamilton, if you don't own a 4K monitor hooked up to a PC with 4 titans strapped to the motherboard you're full of crap and should shut your piehole.

    Inevitable PC Master Race comment.

      Explain to me how resolution matters between xbone and PS4 and not between consoles and PCs?

        BECAUSE WE HAVE MOAR~~!11

        Because the Xbone and PS4 are direct competitors while the market of PC builders has little overlap with the market of families and couch gamers who just want a box to play without worrying about compatibility, tweaking graphics settings, etc.

        My point was that the PC has been capable of resolutions greater than 1080p for quite a while now.

          I've been playing at 2560x1440 for the last year or so. From that perspective 1280x720 seems kinda sad.

          That's cool man, how far are you in Forza 5 on PC?

            Damn, you got me there. I really wanted Forza 4 again with all those extra microtransaction cars too.

              Cool bandwagon there, have you actually played it?
              DLC on that game sucks but I've sunk over 20 hours into it and am loving it.... without spending an extra cent.

    Funny how this is a pro-PS4 article, and it's sponsored by Pizza Hut which is, at the moment holding a PS4 competition...

    All this AC4 and Ghosts talk, and I'm still here jizzing myself over Killzone. Definitely don't regret getting it over Ghosts at launch.

    Articles like this should be borderline insulting to this sites readership because you guys are actually assuming we're a bunch of immature teenagers who would actually care.

    Some people act like the resolution difference will somehow negatively affect your lives. They're videogames for god's sake. Buy what you want and enjoy.

      So how will people know which is more appropriate if they dont read reviews?

        This isn't something you should be basing your decision on though. As a review it's not doing anyone any favours. There's a difference but it's not one of the competitive differences. Rather than blathering on about how the PS4 does slightly higher resolution you'd be better off talking about the stuff that actually puts the PS4 in a more likely position to be the dominant console of this generation.
        I mean lets face it, if the PS4 wasn't as graphically powerful as the XBOX One that wouldn't change many stances. After all the PS3 vs XBOX 360 comparisons were somewhat of a running gag last generation. They weren't wrong, the PS3 had more power, but they were seen as the last line of defense for desperate Sony fanboys grasping at straws to defend their console.

          But it's not desperate. The xbone launch period was so rocky that even airbag suspension won't help. Sony, on the other hand, seemed to do everything right. [Assuming primarily gamer perspective]

          So here we are, a couple weeks out, software/console updates pushed out... and the PS4 just plays games better. This article is more of an opinion piece, but there is a distinct advantage to having a PS4 at this point in time, if all you do is play games. That may change soon (as it did last gen), but people need to know.

            I think some people would disagree on the launch periods. Sony did a better job of acting like a business. Hiding flaws, and marketing benefits like they were the best thing ever.

            Microsoft got a little confused and showed us everything, without really telling us the benefits. Hence the DRM issues and rollback etc.

            Overall, Sony marketed their product better, they didn't make that much of a different product, they just marketed it to be so much more than what people thought of the Xbox One.

            In the end, that slight resolution difference on the Day One games won't really have that big of an effect. Its which console continues to expand and get better exclusives and online community that matters. And right now, all im thinking, is TITANFALL BABY!

              this pretty much sums up the reason why sony is having so much more success than MS this time around. they were smarter, and knew their market well. both consoles are almost pretty much the same.

              It wasn't marketing. Microsoft tried to pull some very anti-consumer shit and got called out on it. Then they went and proved that they didn't really believe any of it was necessary when they 180'd on it.

              And I guarantee you'll care about performance in a few months when XB1s start "RRoDing" because of the 11th hour overclock they instigated in a bid to catch up with PS4. But have fun with your Titanfall.

                Holy uninformed :L Your one of the many that I imagine petitioned against the horrible ideas Microsoft had, which were pretty much an improved Steam but for the console market... Yeah... I saw it as a great leap forward for next-gen, others saw it as change. And we all know change is bad!

                As for your concerns on RRoD's, do you not think Microsoft have catered for it? Making the box bigger to have better airflow, keeping the PSU external. Those things are to stop heating issues. Noticed how PS4's are getting BLoD's? I haven't heard any signs of the Xbox overheating, and its unlikely too. People like you who don't know how small a clock change it was, and how little that affects temperature... *sigh*

                Have fun bashing people for playing things they enjoy. i hope your satisfied with your slightly smaller identical black box machine.. aha :P

            You make it sound like multiplat games are broken on Xbox One.

            A resolution bump is barely noticeable to most people. Then for those that CAN notice, frankly, many won't care. A good game is a good game regardless of resolution (within reason before the hyperbolic jokes sneak in).

            A shit game at 1080p/60 frames is still a shit game.

              Yeah, but the same shit game at 720p/30 fps is even worse :P

              Couldn't agree more. All these people bashing graphical power. If we really cared about the most power in our box, we would all go build computers. We are buying consoles for the ecosystems, and exclusive games. If I want raw power, and the best resolution possible. I don't want to play at 30fps/1080p on a TV when I can play maxed out games on a beefy computer at 5760 x 1080 at 60 fps :D

                I just find the sentiment bizarre. Ditto for console wars sales arguments.

                It's fairly obvious at this point that the PS4 is going ti "win" this generation worldwide. But at what point does this render my WiiU and Xbox One conosles unusable?

                I obviously didn't get the memo that the Wii outselling the 360 and PS3 made my PS360 consoles useless.

                  Aha so much truth :P Wii clearly is the superior graphical console then!

                  Even so, graphical power has shown to be not the deciding point in sales, and if history is anything, the console selling less in its launch often catches up throughout the lifespan. Both companies will continue on, and make another generation of consoles (or whatever freak technology we have in "5-6 years" time.)

          They weren't wrong, the PS3 had more power... Overall system power was more thanks to CPU, but due to its complexity, it was difficult to develop for. The GPU in PS3 was actually less powerful in terms of theoretical processing power.

      being a blog, if there's something to discuss, and would get people commenting and viewing, it will happen!

      This is just one part of making an informed decision. If I don't care about Halo or Uncharted then resolution could be an important factor in making a purchasing decision.

    Who would have thought that it matters if you think it matters?!?
    Astounding!

    There’s been MUCH bigger power differences between consoles over the years and it’s never been a real deciding factor as far as sales goes. (PS1 vs N64, PS2 vs Xbox, Wii vs PS3).

    When they’re as close as they are I’d put graphics somewhere about 3 or 4 spots down on the list of factors to consider when buying a console.
    1/ Which has the games you want.
    2/ Which has the controller you prefer.
    3/ Which do your mates play.
    4-7/ Graphics/ non-gaming functionally/ Online systems/ ect.

      I will admit that the Wii's inability to play in HD killed the console for me. I find pretty much everything post SNES but pre-HD is borderline unplayable. Granted that's because I watch and play things in HD, so going back and forth is noticeable. If I'm being perfectly honest without side by side comparisons I can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p.

        I you missed Mario Galaxy 2 I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems and SD ain't one.

          I feel bad for me. I genuinely wanted to play a ton of Wii games. I brought a ton of Wii games. I just find that the gap between bare minimum HD and absolute best SD makes games look awful.

            Just think of it as a soft focus filter that make everything look pretty, if less defined, ;-)

              I found that the lack of power and slightly iffy controls hurt the gameplay of Wii games and that was worse than the shitty resolution.

              The lack of open world games or advanced AI really put a dampener on things for me. I did go out and buy proper component cables though, I think 480i would have been too much for me to be playing in 2011.

              Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 were brilliant though and Zelda Skyward Sword did a great job of fighting off the fact that it was built on 10+ year old hardware and the Wiimote+ was kinda unreliable.

                Yeah. There were other factors. Part of what I really like about the Wii U is the return to traditional controls. It's the first time in a long time I've been able to get really excited about Nintendo console releases. I just wish I could play Skyward Sword with a patch that upped the resolution and mapped the controls to the Pro pad. If they could do that with enough Wii titles it'd seriously up the value of the console.

        For me it was the Wii's inability to play Grand Theft Auto. Ironically all these years later I have a Wii and Mario Galaxy is still full price!

      Given that my x360 just died, if the xbone had backwards compatibility I'd buy one right now!
      At the very least I should be able to carry over my Live Arcade games.

      There’s been MUCH bigger power differences between consoles over the years and it’s never been a real deciding factor as far as sales goes. (PS1 vs N64, PS2 vs Xbox, Wii vs PS3).

      There were other factors at play there, though. PS1 launched much earlier than N64. PS2 launched much earlier than XBox. Wii launched at the same time as PS3, but was MUCH cheaper.

      Here we have a situation where PS4 is releasing at the same time, is cheaper AND is also more capable. That makes a fairly compelling argument for it as a platform.

        Agreed. MS is going to have to rely on getting other things just right (good exclusives, multimedia stuff, something good using Kinect one day) to make up for those discrepancies. It is a more capable console in some other areas, just maybe not areas that gamers instantly care about.

        Last edited 04/12/13 5:03 pm

    I'll be getting both eventually but the difference is a bit worrying especially considering the issue that Skyrim had on the PS3 due to difficulties working the architecture out. If it's the case that the Xbone is harder to get multiplatform games running on, then we can probably expect that a Skyrim case will happen on the Xbone at some point.

    I like how it's now a sin to expect a reasonable level of performance from 'next-generation' consoles. Colour me shocked that there are people flocking to the 'graphics are completely unimportant!' banner. Let's forget about the comparisons between the two consoles and focus on the overall problem.

    Last edited 04/12/13 1:04 pm

      Xbox fan arguing with a Nintendo fan: "LOL look how crappy your graphics are! Effing casual!".

      Xbox fan arguing with a Sony fan: "Graphics aren't everything. I just want the gameeeees!"

    Is the quality of your TV more important than the resolution of the console?

      wrong reply

      Last edited 04/12/13 1:38 pm

        Guess this comment wasn't directed to me lol

          i'm at a loss figuring out what he's talking about.

    My phone cuts off the edges of images, and in that Assassin's Creed 4 pic I was thinking "yeah, I assume the darker pic is the PS4 cause it looks better to me" but then I enlarged it and it turns out it was the other way around. Not that much of a difference to me. The exclusive games are the deal makers/breakers for me.

    Whats the deal with the map icon in the middle of the xbone version? Its as if the screenshot was of a opening options menu, which may explain the darker less defined image. I really hope there is not some kind of dark wizardry going on here Kotaku.

    its not just the games that look better on the PS4. I've been doing some independent research down at the sony lab. Turns out people who buy PS4s have 17% more sex appeal. Unlike those poor fools who got a Xbone which my research says will most likely have their significant other leave them.....because of the shame.

      XBOX users tend to use low-brow expressions like "Oh, yeah?" and "Come here a minute!"

        You deserve all the up votes for that Simpsons reference

    Resolution inconsistencies lay in the Developers hands - not the console hardware. To say the Xbox One is not capable of running games at 1920*1080 is nonsense.

    Forza 5 runs at 1920*1080 @ 60fps.

      And Pacman probably runs at 4K 30fps? Apples to oranges.

      Not really, its the type of game.

      Battlefield 4 is much more taxing at 1080p than a racing or a fighting game.

      I mean the PS3 ran Wipeout HD at 1080p but you wouldn't say that because that one game runs at 1080 Battlefield 3 should have run at 1080.

        Well Pacman does run at 60fps. Yeah, it's puzzling how much emphasise is put onto one aspect of an overall product that is awesome anyway! Personally I would like 60fps to be the main focus for devs this generation. Silky smooth with no screen-tearing, as any amount of detail is wasted if it rips and stutters up in your face! It's funny to think that in the 8bit & 16bit era, 60fps was standard.

        God WipEout HD is a beautiful game! 60fps too.

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