Upon joining N4G, I've always wondered why it was so difficult for gamers (usually 360 fanboys) to accept that the PS3 is superior when it comes to console technology. Arguments about CRYENGINE 3 and Alan Wake comparisons usually ends up being flame-bait material. Thanks to the fanboys-lot, the arguments have shifted and even turned into a web of different arguments that ends up usually has nothing to do with the subject. But before I continue, let's face the facts, the Xbox was READILY accepted to be the superior gaming machine technology console at that time, so the real arguments back then was boiled down to gameplay and games. Not such with the case today.......
Before 2005, the whole concept of "HD gaming" was about to be widely promoted through gamers around the world. The "standard" at that time of course, was none other taken by PC gamers (backed by sufficient powered rigs of course). However, not many have such, and because of this, the news of "next-gen" gaming boasting superior graphics and technology that push way further than what the PC was capable of at that time allowing MANY more gamers to experience such - the idea of course - was preposterous, surely they would not see THAT much of a difference in such short period of time. Oh, how wrong they were.....
Many gamers were very excited of such a prospect and who can blame them. Back when MGS2 was showcased boasting the graphics at that time shocked many and obviously had many anticpations on the of what "next-gen" consoles coudl bring to the table. And before 2005, there were 3 consoles that would define the term so definitively - namely:
Naturally of course, the gaming "rules" has somewhat been modified. Back then it was based to how many quality games and exclusives you can push. Now it's all about pushing graphics EVEN further. Call it what you want, but let's look at the lot of gaming arguments/articles shall we? Time after time, no matter HOW good a score or reception a console exclusive would get, eventually graphics will always be a main "topic-of-discussion" ranging from "will it best killzone 2"? "is the <insert console> at it's graphical limit?". I just can't help but facepalm in most of the scenarios here but let's go on with the subject at hand:
To start off we shall focus on the 360. As the initial specs were released, they were immediately compared to that of the "what-would-be" the superior console aka the PS3. Nobody would find this debatable, after all, it was widely reported that the PS3 will utilize a new high-capacity disc technology (which would be known as Blu-Ray) followed by a new type of processor known as "The Cell". However, news follows that Microsoft got IBM to work on a Tri-core processor known as the "Xenon", on top of that there was news that Epic Games convinced Microsoft to increase RAM to 512MB (twice the amount the PS3 has) and to top it off, they boasted a more superior GPU chip.
With those 3 subjects in mind, it was quite clear that Microsoft was obviously trying to be on-par if not push their console even further than the PS3. Because of such, attacks on the PS3 began to intensify EVEN before the PS3 was released. News such as "PS3 could not run Gears" simply due to the fact that it has lower RAM (reference here). Of course, this was just a based off the "technical" specs that was released then, but it was more than enough to convince the 360 fanbase that once again an Xbox would hold the title "Graphics King", and until this very day, it has been the "root" foundation of their arguments.
The Nintendo Revolution (renamed the Wii):
Ever since the GameCube's ineption, it was quite obvious that many would think the next reiteration would be competing with graphics. After all, with games like Biohazard Remake (aka Resident Evil Remake) and Metal Gear Remake showcased graphical and technical acheivements on a console. However, it turns out that it wasn't the case at all.
In fact, Nintendo shocked all gamers by claiming it would go "casual-friendly", meaning that graphics will "not" be a main forwarding concept used in "next-gen". On top of that, they renamed the console to a much more casually named: Wii. This did put off a lot of the hardcore gamers, as many would recount the history of excellent games back in the NES and SNES days, news like this was a total backstab to all those who have supported the console franchise. Despite it's immense lead over the current HD consoles, sadly most of the Nintendo franchise exclusives would sell: Namely Mario and Zelda. And by this, we can safely discount Nintendo out of "teh Graphics" argument.
Seriously, I HAVE NEVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE GAMING LIFE to where a very well respected console franchise being treated like the "village-idiot". Granted the fact people are aware of the arrogance SONY had in the last 2 gaming generations one cannot deny the quality of games it has produced and their portfolio is nothing to laugh about.
To counter that negative perspective, PS3 showcased the likes of Eight-Days, The Getaway (cancelled, yet news resurfaced of being in development again) and even the "all-famous" Killzone 2 CG trailer that led people to believe that it is achieving "the impossible".
But that didn't stop the likes of Gabe Newell (a gaming Dev elite) to fuel the fanboy wars by claiming the PS3 was nothing more than a "TOTAL DISASTER" and a "do-over" (reference here). This of course angred many of the PS3 loyalists, especially to those who have put their faith and trust on a brand that was successful TWICE in a row.
It also didn't help that the Cell was extremely difficult to work on, on top of the already high-price, it also got it's share of very nasty shoddy ports casting doubts on devs especially gamers thougout making the argument that the Xbox360 would once again take the title "Graphics King" more and more convincing. The PS3 was at the point that was humiliatingly called... "an overpriced blu-ray player".
And such, the PS3 was under it's tremendous scurnity at that period, no exclusives and games was showcasing it's power. Even "so-called" devs have taken the Gabe Newell's stance making it sould like the PS3's Cell was simply "hyping" material that never was. Gaming media/news outlets also took part of this shameful bullying noto to mention lot of hard-hitting PS exclusives move on to the 360 (one of the most damaging franchises known was Final Fantasy and it stilll leaves a bitter taste in many mouths).
However, hope was somewhat regained when the Uncharted: DF was released. It was an amazing technical achievement for a console then, merging cinematic, voice-acting and gameplay into a movie like experience. The graphics were not something to laugh at too, beautiful vistas, lighting, water effects, clothes effects and even character animation was nearly unheard of in the gaming world. Sadly, the negativity from the gaming media did not allow such a gem to properly shine but it was then rightfully taken by it's successor "Uncharted 2". A game that would spawn more than a 100+ awards with many GOTY titles along with it.
It is until Gamespot and IGN, the two biggest gaming media brought forth unanimous perfect scores to the PS3 exclusive "Metal Gear Solid 4", the game had tremoundous cut-scenes, a powerful story, a very intense and cinematic gameplay that blended so well. A newfound respect for the first time has found it's way on to the PS3 and the game received many allocades and awards and was very envied by the 360 fans.
Little did the gaming world know, that their another "powerhouse" exclusive is on the rise. It would then be the biggest "slap" to the face to every doubter who believed the Cell "that never was". That exclusive was inFamously (pun-yet-no-pun intended ;p) known as Killzone 2. It was an extremely rude awakening to many, especially to the developers and media that doubted the "overpriced blu-ray player". It is still recognized today as the "benchmark" for graphical and technical achievement on any console. It was only "back-and-forth" competed against the likes of Uncharted 2 and GOWIII. Much to the delight of the PS3 fans who put up with the miserable history.
Now looking at the history of all 3 "next-gen" consoles. We can clearly see that the PS3 is producing the best when it comes to games, showcasing both "Graphics" and "Gameplay" with it. The Cell did live up to the hype and anyone who says otherwise is still living in denial.
Now some people would say that the Xenon and Cell are no different from each other, they've even got the the IBM lead-desiginer to testify to that statement. What they don't know however, is that the Cell was designed by 3 companies: Sony, Toshiba and IBM an alliance known as "STI". Obviously, one cannot determine the Cell's potential when you're part of a 3-man team especially when one does not "create" games for the said processor. But sadly, many fanboys would use this as their base material to even out the power between both systems.
It started at a weaker, to on par and finally superior than the 360 console. But many would still argue that the 360 still is as powerful, escpeically with news headlines such as "Crysis 2 would reach PS3's graphical celing / equal on 360". And the moreso "Alan Wake" articles (a 360's graphical showcase after the GeOW).
In any case, many would accept that the PS3 still holds the "benchmark" when it comes to graphical and technical acheivements today. The said games so-called trinity: GOWIII, Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2, still have yet to be contested by the 360.
That is NOT to say games like Alan Wake is (teh sukkzzzzerrs). In fact, Alan Wake is an AMAZING AMAZING looking game for the 360. Just like how GOW I & II was AN AMAZING AMAZING looking game for the PS2. But you don't hear the PS2 was in equal-footing or superior to the Xbox did you? So why can't the logic be applied here. Fact is, more research is pushed for the PS3's technology to be better than the current consoles. Let's look at some of the details why:
1. PS3 is the first console to promote HD gaming. Despite having a small core-base for HDTV's, the console was boasted to push true 1080p NATIVE games and visuals (only some games support this but that's not the argument now). Naturally, pushing HD Gaming also meant power, not to say the 360 can't do HD but let's face the reality here. If the 360 was meant to showcase power, shouldn't they go IN THIS DIRECTION?
2. Blu-ray capacity. Granted that the disc itself adds nothing to the graphics, it does however gives developers a lot of space. A lot of high-res textures, uncompressed audio and the like can be placed with almost no-limits (only Kojima had a dream so big that a 50GB blu-ray did not suffice). Now many peope would say that it can be properly compensated by multi-discs (a concept that has not been seen since the original PSX). But, if you think about it the PS3 have TO rendera lot of content in Blu-Ray at one point, if anything, just adds more stress to the PS3, and yet it still manages to play games smoothly in HD and a steady frame-rate (not bad for a 256 ram based model, eh).
3. Online..... whooops, I did not mean functionality. Surely, it is agreed that XBL has a better interface than the PSN but that's not the argument at all. I'm talking about games that pushes the boundaries beyond the normal deathmatch. From Killzone 2's simultaneous 32 players (while maintaining graphics and tech) with Uncharted 2's 3 player co-op with no visual downgrade, to Resistance 64 players online and EVEN a 256-player battle on MAG without or almost no lag.
4. 3D gaming. This is actually quite new and if we're going by technical details here. 3D gaming is going to require a lot of power especially if you want graphical competitive games to match those of the "trinity". But can be said yet until this is properly showcased. But going by the argument, it's still a testament to showcase "Graphical Power".
Darn that was a long piece. In your final thoughts, why are a lot of 360 fanboys not contended with their own "graphical" achivements. Why does one ALWAYS have to be compared to the PS3's exclusives? Honestly, if everyone just accepted this as fact just like the previous consoles wars, than the only argument you have left to compare with is Gameplay and Technical achievement. At least more games can be respected in both sides just like how the Wii's "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" and "Dead Space Extraction" are very visually and technically striking and that is not debatable. Does it really matter to be so concerned that the 360 NEEDS to be more powerful than the PS3?
It would be more interesting to hear more points of view to the argument. As for me, I'm signing off. Have a great gaming time.
-End Blog Statement
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