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:

PC Targets vs Next Gen Consoles

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watch-dogs-initial-reveal

watch-dogs-e3-2013

The initial E3 2012 reveal of Watch Dogs was running on a PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. The E3 2013 showing was running on early PlayStation 4 development hardware. The initial downgrade is substantial but I do believe the downgrade will be temporary. I believe in time, games will reach a similar level to that of the original Watch Dogs demo. In some cases, it may even exceed it.

This NeoGAF thread brought these comparisons to light. There are other comparisons including the Unreal Engine 4 and Capcom’s Deep Down but both have underwent recent porting efforts to consoles.

It’s early but these comparison shots do remind us of the realities of what is possible and what’s not immediately possible with the next generation of consoles.

Checkpoint: 2010 Gaming Expenses

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

checkpoint-2010-gaming-expenses

I need to get this 2010’s gaming expense post out of the way as soon as possible. I’ve already begun spending money in 2011 and only two days have passed! You can thank Mafia II and Steam — damn you, Steam!

And damn Steam indeed! Just look at this breakdown of my purchases:

2010-purchase-breakdown

55% of my purchases were for the PC? Crazy. Thanks to digital distribution vendors for their mega sales and complete packs! Keep in mind that I didn’t play that many PC games, but when it’s cheaper to pick up a complete pack of 10+ games for just the one or two that I want: that’s going to ramp up the PC title count.

As for how much I spent during the past year? Here’s the breakdown of that:

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Checkpoint: Framerates and Image Quality Edition

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checkpoint-framerate-iq-edition

Having grown up with limited funds to obtain the latest and greatest PC hardware to play games on, I’m used to wringing out the most performance possible out of my hardware and software. If this means I need to do some overclocking of the hardware, I will do it. I’m not afraid to do registry hacks, toy with configuration files or go through anything with a guide in order to improve framerate or improve image quality.

I wanted nothing, but the best framerate and image quality my hardware and I could muster. I wasn’t willing to settle and I certainly couldn’t simply go out and pick up a $300 video card. And although my gaming now occurs primarily on the consoles, I still want that smooth framerate and high image quality out of my games. But with console games, I cannot tweak or overclock the hardware to make them run faster. The best I could do is to choose the right platform or choose not to buy it.

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