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The Battlefield 4 next-gen showdown

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Battlefield 4’s internal rendering resolution is as follows:

  • PlayStation 4: 1600 x 900
  • Xbox One: 1280 x 720

Digital Foundry and others have also found the PlayStation 4 version does a better job maintaining 60 FPS.

I don’t care about how well the PlayStation 4 version fared compared to the Xbox One. I want to know why that is the case. Why did DICE need to render the Xbox One version of the game at 720p?

  1. Was it the inherently weaker GPU?
  2. Was the ESRAM bottlenecking their engine?
  3. Were the SDKs not mature enough?
  4. Did DICE just run out of time to properly exploit the Xbox One?
  5. Is the hypervisor getting in the way? After all, anyone with virtualization experience knows that some hardware performance is lost when passing through a virtualization layer
  6. Did Microsoft reserve too much GPU resources to serve their OS features?

These are just some of the questions that I doubt we’ll ever get an official answer on. I was hoping to get some of those questions answered with this early Digital Foundry comparison but nothing resembling actual analysis materialized.

Throughout the day I read some idiotic statements made by all sorts of clowns. From the die hard fanboys who are blinded by loyalty to those who dismiss this sort of analysis needlessly meticulous.

Here are some of my notes addressing some of the reactions I’ve seen on NeoGAF and Twitter:

  • Comparison videos on YouTube are worthless. There’s too much compression which makes the differences difficult to discern.
  • As Digital Foundry found out, gamma problems ruins comparisons
  • Differences may not be evident on typical desktop monitors, laptop screens or tablets — resolution difference will be more pronounced on a 55″ screen.
  • These comparisons help consumers make educated purchasing decisions.

Well now that we know what to expect, let us all enjoy this wonderful multiplayer trailer:

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