Digital foundry: Final Fantasy XIII Endgame

Final Fantasy XIII on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was one of the biggest Face-Offs we've produced, but more than that it was an analysis of one of the biggest games - in terms of actual scope - that we've ever had to cover. In putting together the original piece, we were about a week ahead of the release: enough to do the game justice in terms of the comparison coverage, but not enough to see the whole game through to its conclusion, let alone on both platforms.

Over a month on, we're now ready to cover the entirety of the game, reporting additional technical differences we didn't in our original piece, while at the same time providing new insight and better understanding of the basic logistical challenges that Square Enix undertook in converting the game across to the Xbox 360.

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Chris3994910d ago

Beats the rotten horse carcass.

Icyhot4910d ago

So he spends the entire article in finding different ways the 360 version could be better by adopting a different COMPRESSION technique... So much for the Blu-Ray is not needed lol. Play B3yond without any compressions on the PS3.

thor4910d ago

Err... Icyhot don't spread misinformation.

The PS3 cutscenes are compressed just like any other video or movie.

Otherwise 3 1/2 hours of cutscenes would take up:

210 (minutes) x 60 (seconds per minute) x 30 (frames per second) x 1920 (horiz. res) x 1080 (vert. res) x 3 (bytes for 24-bit colour) = 2351462400000 bytes = 2.14 terrabytes

Icyhot4910d ago

Yup, obviously compressed (So I stand corrected), but not by Bink and the Sub-HD level... 1080P vs 576P THATS HUGE!!! In short, they compressed 1080P file to 576P... Isn't this the HD era?

I remember 360 fbs saying blu-Rays not needed compressions can make a file real small enough for DVD.

Vivi4909d ago

Holy **** look how choppy Pulse is on th 360 compared to the PS3 version in framerate.

Nautilus is very bad also.

Bordel_19004909d ago


It's compressed, but it's worth to notice that it's is lossless. So absolutley no compression on-screen.

thor4909d ago

I'm not saying the PS3 version is bad or anything, I just don't want people to be misinformed. Lossless video would still take up a lot more space than is available on the blu-ray. You've likely pulled that 'fact' out of your arse.

I'll put it this way. Every blu-ray film ever released uses LOSSY COMPRESSION. Otherwise you'd only be able to store a few minutes of video. What FFXIII has in cutscenes effectively amounts to a film's worth of video. So it will also have lossy compression to be able to fit on the disk.

Now, you might not be able to tell the difference between this lossily compressed video and the raw video, but differences there will be.

wicko4908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

It isn't lossless. Lossless is rarely ever used for video (if ever), however the audio is definitely lossless for PS3 FFXIII. Thor's formula is spot on.

HolyOrangeCows4908d ago

Is there compression on the Ps3 version? Obviously some.
Anywhere near as bad as with the 360 version? Heck no.

Nicholas Cage4908d ago

i agree, but we will see how ffversus comes out.
also, before this page blows up with 100 comments of fanboyism. i feel like im in a parellel universe and im surrounded by dumb people, and the dude who tries to justify the 360 version is their leader.

iamtehpwn4908d ago

But at Grand Pulse, it was simply an awful framerate for the xbox360 version. In some cases 10 frames lowers than the Ps3 version. Not to mention the 360's ground textures were *VERY* poor, and there seemed to be a coat of blurryness on the 360 version.

Brklynty14908d ago

SE did not rush any port, they had over a year to do it. It just shows when a game is made for PS3, it isn't capable on 360. The fact that the PS3 was dumbed down, from the previous screenshots prove it. SE even said they didn't use the engines full capability on PS3 "just to be fair". WOW. When I read that comment, the first thing that came to mind was "WTF?" I bet when it was all said and done Nomura looked at Wada and said "I told you."

Pika-pie4908d ago

Ouch, Pulse gives the 360 a really hammering.. Glad its smooth on the PS3

MNicholas4908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

DF, as usual, correctly assess video performance but fails to understand the effect of hardware. The 360's trouble with the crowd scene is a clear indication that it was shader limited. It simply didn't have enough gas in the tank to run all the additional geometry as well as the extra pixel shader work.

The reason the PS3 version runs so much better (at times, when accounting for resolution and frame-rate, rendering twice as fast) is not because of PS3 specific shader code (360 runs PS3 shader code just fine, but the reverse isn't always true), but because the Cell processor significantly reduces the shader load on the RSX, the RSX is able to, effectively, perform like a much faster processor than it really is.

As for the engine not taking full advantage of the PS3, it's quite possible. As pretty as FFX13 is, from a purely technical standpoint, God of War 3, Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2 are more impressive. Yet even those games don't truly max out the PS3.

UltraNova4908d ago

Did anyone encounter that lava-like Titan which appeared on the CG movie just when you enter Gran pulse? The one that killed those huge dinosaur like things?

kancerkid4908d ago


They had "over a year" to port it, a game made specifically on one architecture and then ported to another, and you think they could have done it well in a year????

Thanks for showing you have no idea what you are talking about.

On track: DF shows that SE dropped the ball on the 360 port and in fact say they have seen nothing in game which could not have been done on the 360 if SE had more time and was more of a competent 360 developer. I don't know what all the fuss is about with people saying 360 can not run this game

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 4908d ago
thor4910d ago

Haha these guys are still fanboys in denial.

The 360 version's cutscenes are 576p confirmed, and they are STILL trying to say that the 360's cutscenes could have looked nearly as good as the PS3 version.

They are still trying to say that "nothing could be done with Bayonetta, it couldn't be ported, don't blame the developers it was the PS3's fault waaaaaah waaaaah" yet still claim that more effort should have been put into the 360 version of FFXIII and it could have looked much better.

PirateThom4909d ago

Meh, don't sweat it, Digital Foundry suck.

Lens of Truth are much better for game anaysis, they give hard facts about what the game is, not vague opinions about what it could be "if".

raztad4909d ago (Edited 4909d ago )

DF does a good job spotting which version is better, but they are pretty biased on their opinion on why that version is actually better.

When PS3 version is weaker, or show some shortcomings: DF take on that is: "PS3 hardware is weaker"

When xbox version shows shortcoming: Their take on that is: "Developers could have done more"

One of their funniest comparison is GT5P vs Forza3, those DF guys went through hell trying to explain why the definitive Forza3 is owned by the old Prologue.

Ninja Gaiden 2 vs Sigma, where just for starters Sigma got 720p was heavily spinned by DF in favor of the xbox.

There is not spinning around FFXIII xbox being sub-hd. Do they really think the xbox version was some sort of a late port? come on, the original White engine was scrapped for a multiplat engine to accomodate the xbox. I'm pretty sure SE did their best on their favorite system.

wicko4908d ago

They blamed the PS3 for Platinum Games' terrible port? Are the PS3 exclusives (and even a few multiplatform titles) not enough to debunk that kind of argument?

IHateYouFanboys4908d ago


Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was looked upon less kindly than the Xboxs Ninja Gaiden 2 because while Sigma 2 had better graphics, it could only have something like half the amount of enemies on screen and had no blood.

i much prefer playing the game how it was meant to be played over playing a cut-down version of it just with better graphics.

HDgamer4908d ago

Thats a bold face lie, the only reason they chose it over NGS2 because there was no blood. Everything else is pretty much the same except the ps3 version clearly has better features and upgrades that the original didn't have. Aside from the horrible story the game is really good.

yewles14908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

Hold it HDgamer, I remember this article almost perfectly. Brought up the game being 718p (black boarders) less enemies (but with tougher AI), wetness one the 360 version AND blood. In the end, they chose the PS3 version practically because of...

Ayane's breast... no joke.

IHateYouFanboys4908d ago


no, its not a lie at all. have you even seen both games next to each other? here, ill provide you with a few comparison pictures to show the difference in number of enemies on screen at once.

Example 1:


Example 2:


the PS3 version is also capped at 30fps, whereas the 360 version is uncapped. it can go anywhere from 30fps up to 60fps.

i think youre also forgetting what their outcome for the comparison was.....

"On balance, the PS3 version is the one to have: polygon reductions aside, the improved bling is simply gorgeous throughout the game. Not only that but there are bonus playable characters, online support, plus rejigged boss encounters."

so they chose the PS3 version as the better one because of its extra stuff and better graphics outweighing the reduced number of enemies on screen. personally, i prefer more enemies as i care about gameplay more than graphics.

ClownBelt4908d ago

" Not only that but there are bonus playable characters, online support, plus rejigged boss encounters"

" i prefer more enemies as i care about gameplay more than graphics"


Godmars2904908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

You, realize you're talking about enemies in cutscenes and not actual gameplay, right?

Why they didn't bother with stuff like that, like they toned down the blood, is confusing considering all else they added, but its inconsequential.

Dude, considering the exact context of your argument, you make me wonder if you've ever played the game. The PS3 version anyway.

IHateYouFanboys4908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

im not seeing your point? i prefer the game with tonnes of enemies on screen as thats how it was originally intended to be. have you ever thought why they dropped the resolution on the 360? because to get it running with the amount of enemies they wanted it wouldnt work in 720p.

then for the PS3 they do it in 720p, and surprise surprise, it doesnt have anywhere near the action it did on the 360.

i prefer the harder version with more enemies over the one that looks prettier and runs at a slower framerate. ninja gaiden is all about frantic over the top action against tonnes of enemies. the PS3 version strays from this in order to get better graphics. like i said, i prefer gameplay over graphics.

@below: the 360 version is how they wanted it, the PS3 version is what they did to try and sell copies to PS3 owners who already had the 360 version and people who didnt play it on the 360. they made it prettier at the expense of the 'hardcore' gameplay of it.

The Time Reaper4908d ago (Edited 4908d ago )

Where's Ninja Gaiden 3?