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DA's Input #2: Console Graphics..... can't WE just accept it all?

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:

The PS3


Nintendo Revolution

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.

The PS3

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

soxfan20054973d ago (Edited 4973d ago )

PS3, being a year newer technology than Xbox 360, is capable of slightly better graphics. There is no question about that. However, the difference between the best graphics on the 360 and the best graphics on PS3 is a LOT smaller than many PS3 fans make it out to be.

While gamers who follow internet forums (like we do) can easily tell the difference between PS3 and 360 games, the other 99% of non-hardcore (but not necessarily casual) gamers would be hard pressed to notice differences. If you took the five most graphically impressive PS3 games and compared them to the five most graphically impressive 360 games, I'd be willing to gamble that most people would not notice any differences significant enough to declare one console to be "superior".

I do take exception to your declaration that the PS3 produces games with better graphics and gameplay. As I said, PS3's newer technology does produce slightly better graphics. However, the ONLY source of great gameplay is talented developers. Xenon or Cell processors are NOTHING without talented people creating great games. I can find dozens of NES-era games that have better, longer, and deeper gameplay than some of today's games. It has nothing to do with processor power. Fortunately for all gamers, there are LOTS of great developers creating amazing games for all of today's consoles. Unlike in past generations, this time around no single console has a monopoly on the best games.

Also, you condemn that "gaming media" for being anti-PS3, then you praise them for giving Uncharted 2 many GOTY awards. I think this is simply a case of Sony having been on top for so long that some fans can't handle the equality that exists now. After all, Sony received so much good press during the past 2 generations when they controlled 75% of the market. Now, the ratio of good/bad coverage is simply more reflective of the current market positions. However, this "swing" makes some PS3 fans feel there is "bias" when, in fact, it's just a normal trend.

Jinxstar4970d ago

I don't comment here much anymore as it's not much fun to argue anymore. I just play GOW3 and marvel at how amazing it truly is compared to anything I have ever seen. Because graphics are more then just polygons. Graphics are aesthetics as well. Someone out there may prefer bioshocks "Graphics" as they encompass not just scale, scope, size, color, poly count but also graphic art...

However Soxfan you seem to see things through a certain color glasses that I truly can't understand

"the difference between the best graphics on the 360 and the best graphics on PS3 is a LOT smaller than many PS3 fans make it out to be."

The same argument could be said for "PC is only Slightly better then PS3" yet 360 fans make it seem like MILES above the rest. 99.999% of the time mentioning Crysis... I have Crysis on my PC and truthfully there is a little bit of neatness to be had but running around a jungle and breaking scrap metal shacks is not all that impressive. Building things with the engine itself can be really neat but trying to implement it in game causes more slowdown then is worth the 4000$ or more PC rig you'd need to play made up scenarios that aren't part of the main game...

That being said I have yet to truly see anything come anywhere near the scale I have seen in GOW3 on any platform. There are numbers published and statements made by PS3 developers like "A single character model in KZ2 has more polygons then an entire level in KZ1" or how Kratos is pushing over 22K polygons and a character in the almighty Crysis is between 15 and 20k. How about this "Kazunori Yamauchi: “We had maybe 300 polygons in a car in the first game. Now we have about 500,000 polygons in each car. Back then, pieces of the car were more like symbols. Now they are real and reflect light.” on GT5...

When I first saw the Gears of war 2 trailer where the main protagonist is riding on the back of some vehicle going to take out the bad guys and he looks down over the rail at all the enemies running around I was impressed... Then I saw the GT pop block and how when his reticule crossed over the enemies it didn't turn red... Truthfully there were only like 2 or 3 enemies on the screen the whole time with a dynamic background... Kind of like being in a room with 3 other guys and having movies projected on the walls around you that make the world look big but really it's not...

Now you may prefer the gritty color pallate of Gears 2 over Uncharted 2 anyday and thats a preference that many have and thats fine but comparing the 2 is simply insane from a technical standpoint...

"If you took the five most graphically impressive PS3 games and compared them to the five most graphically impressive 360 games, I'd be willing to gamble that most people would not notice any differences significant enough to declare one console to be "superior"."

I HIGHLY doubt this. Especially if we count GT5. At the same time who is the judge? Who picks what games and what are the criteria. I say 5 games from different categories and call that.

Racing: GT5 vs Forza 3

Action: GOW3 vs GeOW2

Shooter: KZ2 vs Halo Reach(?)

Adventure: Alan Wake vs Uncharted 2

and... I dunno. Kids? Ratchet and clank(not kids but cartoony) vs Banjo nuts and bolts(?)

(Hard to make a fair list)

Out of all 5 PS3 wins(Might be able to argue kids) from a technical standpoint from what we have seen so far. From a personal preference thats all up to the individual but I doubt very much that if you took some old guy from Siberia and showed him the most impressive parts from each game he would probably prefer the PS3 in every case... Probably... Until this test is conducted however it's a big unknown...

"I think this is simply a case of Sony having been on top for so long that some fans can't handle the equality that exists now."

Very good observation. I had not thought of this before. Honestly though I was never a Sony Diehard until this gen though so it kinda doesn't apply to me...

Overall though I do feel that with everything the PS3 offers out of the box is of such a great value and in the end to match what a PS3 offers as close as it can the 360 will cost a lot more... The main argument anymore that I see is "Cross game chat"... Thats about it. But that also costs a monthly fee...

I am a PS3 die hard and sorry about the wall of text but I can not see the value in a 360 unless you REALLY love halo and want to play with your friends. Then I would even recommend to anyone like that to get a 360 over a PS3. I am not above helping someone get what they would enjoy more. From a technical standpoint the the PS3 is not just "Slightly better" but miles beyond and pushing more and more all the time. RE setting the bar non stop. KZ2, UC2, GOW3 and next GT5. None have yet to be matched and each offering new and amazing tech that the devs can share and build off of... It's an amazing time to be a PS3 owner and while I wont be playing Alan Wake regretfully as it does look great I do not regret trading in my 360 to upgrade my PC...(However if the jet set radio rumors are true I will be upset...)

Ru4969d ago

you might as well write a blog yourself!

Jinxstar4969d ago


Written quite a few. I actually like writing blogs on things other then the console wars. I wrote one on that but yeah... Can never think of things worth blogin about though anymore. Check em out if you like.

GrieverSoul4968d ago

The old saying: -The grass is greener on the other side- aplies here.
The console war is a fact! Both SONY, MS and NINTENDO are "fighting" for our money. They try to surpass the other by innovating or simply providing better quality products.

The PS3 was treated like the cool kid who is football captain in school but suddenly loses the spot to another kid. The PS2 was respected and everybody loved it! SONY was great, the games were great and even the superior Xbox didnt dent the graphics the PS2 could output. The PS2 is the cool kid i mention earlier. Than, the X360 comes out and the PS2 cant keep up (of course!) and then the hate lurking goes toward the PS brand. Everyone now looks at the best of the class with envy and start showing their true colors.

Cmon, deep down inside everybody hates the cool kid but everyone acts like they like them just so they can be cool too.

ukilnme4967d ago

I see the PS3 in sort of a different light. The PS3 is the fully loaded super cool car that everybody wants. Unfortunately, a lot of PS3 fanatics are the ugly fat chicks riding shotgun beside you pregnant with your child.

hoops4966d ago

Funny how fanboys on both sides had different views about graphics and gameplay just last generation?
The differences inn graphics between these two systems is not that great. Why? Because hadrware is similar on both systems and both use the same amount of ram and have about the same amount of bandwidth.

Lat Generation when the Xbox1 clearly had the graphic advantage over the PS2, Xbox fanboys would rant on how GRAPHICS MATTERED.
PS2 fanboys would say GAMEPLAY MATTERS.
Now that the PS3 has the graphic advantage, the PS3 fanboys say: GRAPHICS MATTER. XBOX3600 FANBOYS SAY GAMEPLAY MATTERS.
Translation? Both fanbky camps are hypocrites.


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