Gamespot editors have just published a second iteration of their comparison of XBox 360 and PS3 graphics, wherein they post photos from identical games from each of the two systems. In December 2006, one year post-360 release and just after the November 06 PS3 release, Gamespot conducted a similar comparison. The December 06 comparison concluded:
- “The Xbox 360 had better graphics in almost all the games we examined.”
- “[T]he Xbox 360 games generally offered better framerates.”
The result of Gamespot’s June 07 comparison? While the PS3’s game graphics have improved, the 360 still offers the better graphics of the two systems. In detail, after the jump.
Here’s the editors’ June 07 conclusions:
- Xbox 360 offered better antialiasing (cleaning up jagged lines) overall
- Xbox 360 offered better texture quality overall
The games compared are Armored Core 4, Def Jam Icon, NBA Street Homecourt, Virtua Tennis 3, Oblivion, Spider-Man 3, and MLB 2K7. Click the links to see the comparisons. Note too, as I’ve mentioned before, Bethesda provided higher-quality character models for the PS3 version of Oblivion, and is rolling out an automatic update for the 360 providing the same higher-resolution models displayed on the PS3 version. The one game where the PS3 had value-added, unsurprisingly, was Oblivion–and that added value pertained mostly to the sharper textures, which after Bethesda’s upcoming automatic update for the 360, will be mooted.
The results of Gamespot’s latest comparison are unsurprising. Despite the to-do’s attempting to compare the XBox 360 Xenon processor’s teraflops processing power to the PS3’s Cell teraflops performance, game developers largely agree that the 360’s Xenon is the far easier processor to program (“[unlike with the Cell,] porting between multi-core PC platforms and the Xbox 360 will be fairly trivial”), and its three powerful general purpose microprocessors offer more flexibility to programmers than does the Cell’s single main processor/seven specialized processors combo.
Those concerned about number crunching power are missing the bigger picture: the two systems are, overall, on par with each other. As Sega Racing Studio boss Guy Wilday said just last week: “We’ve sat [programs we’ve developed for each platform] side by side and you’re really hard-pushed to tell the difference. I think that’s a testament to where you are with both platforms.” The PS3 offers a more innovative design but is difficult to program, Wilday said, while the 360 is powerful, very simple to program, and has excellent programmer support.
As Anandtech deduced (a must-read for those who want to understand the two systems) early in the game when conducting a technical analysis of the relative merits of the finalized motherboards of the two systems in great detail: any performance difference between the 360 and the PS3 is basically “a wash.” Each system has its merits, however, specifically the PS3’s ostensibly “greater” processing power, due to drawbacks in Sony’s implementation, leaves the PS3, as the sum of many processors and parts, basically equivalent (performance wise) to the 360’s very flexible and programmer-friendly implementation of the 3-core system.
So if the systems offer essentially equal performance, it comes down to three things: the online experience, the games, and the price. Reasonable minds can differ, but for my money, the 360 is still offering consumers the best buy in each of those categories.
- E3 Price Drop for the 360? And, 360/PS3 News Roundup
- Microsoft writes-off $1 billion to repair RROD problem: savvy or setback?
- PS3 vs. Xbox 360 Costs/Benefits Comparison;
- Review: Xbox 360 Elite