Straddling game generations is always interesting from a software standpoint.

For example, let's say for the sake of argument that the Xbox 720 comes out well before the PlayStation 4 (which at this point doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility). Might it be possible that late-generation PS3 titles will compete graphically with the new Xbox games?

Of course, we have no idea how powerful Microsoft's new machine might be, so this question could be absurd. But for the time being, I think it's quite obvious that the PS3 is head-and-shoulders above the 360 in terms of exhibited graphics potential. Nothing on the 360 (and I've played the best that system has to offer) can even come close to competing with the last two Uncharted s, for instance, and I think games like God of War III and Heavy Rain have helped set the current generation bar as well. I think that's a given.

And in the future, we have the amazing-looking God of War: Ascension , Beyond: Two Souls , and The Last Of Us , the latter of which easily blows away anything on the 360 at this point. Then we might see more impressive graphical productions in other PS3 exclusives like Killzone 4 , Gran Turismo 6 , and Metal Gear Solid 5 . All of that is only speculation, of course, but if they all came out for the PS3 when the Xbox 720 was on store shelves…I mean, would it be totally out of bounds to make the comparison? Or will the new Xbox just be that much more powerful than the PS3?

Let's not forget that late-gen PS2 games made launch titles for that system look like crap; Final Fantasy XII , Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and God of War II were damn impressive; I often wonder how much more developers could've gotten out of the PS2…

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

In a word, yes.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

No way.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

At the very least it should compete with launch titles.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
8 years ago

I think World is right. When talking about visuals, we are talking about a lot of things.

I do not think even the latest PS3 titles will compete with the 720 in terms of screen and texture resolution but, I am pretty sure the effects, the mood, the animation, the art direction and modelisation of key characters in games like Beyond and The Last of Us will still be on par or way superior to the first few efforts that will release on the 720. A quality production remains quality even if the competition released stronger hardware. Look at the Wii. Somehow their way *graphically underwhelming games* still get 9s and up in the graphics category lol. That is because of the art direction and how you feel when you play it.

Any1 agree?

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

@Neo:
Mood, art direction and stuff like that has very little to do with technology, that's artistry. Just look at Limbo… It could have been a game played on your mobile, yet it's one of the most atmospheric games I've played in quite a while.

So from an artistic point of view there's plenty of games on the PS3 that will beat many titles that will come out for the PS4. Just like earlier generations.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 8:32:44 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Here's the thing, the games on 720 are going to be almost exclusively multiplat (if I may create that phrase) and so they would be on PS3 too (if PS4 doesn't launch at the same time) so they will be comparable.

Any 720 actual exclusives wouldn't yet be taking full advantage of the hardware. So 2+2=4.

wiiplay
wiiplay
8 years ago

As a game developer myself, I have to agree with Neo_Aeon666's point of view. The current generation of video game engines and capture technologies allow for the PlayStation 3 to render graphical levels that can, in theory, match that of a true next generation console, such as the Xbox 720 and even the PlayStation 4.
However, that would greatly limit the PS3 to rendering a single area of the game at next gen quality, which would, in turn, greatly reduce the graphical detail to the other in-game objects, most specifically the textures that the game uses.

So, even though the PS3 is capable of matching next generation quality graphics, developers would be required to focus on one specific detail of the game, in one specific rendering area, thus reducing the graphical balance. In the end, applying next generation graphics to a current generation machine is, although technically possible in certain areas of development, no way a wise developmental decision, and would result in reduced detail to other aspects of the game, such as the game worlds or character models.

However, that isn't to say that comparing current generation technologies with the next generation isn't going to be fair. Early game engines for new hardware and configurations tend to borrow heavily from last generation code, as to avoid a complete rewrite of the engine for the new hardware.
Therefore, if the developers are lazy, and not much time was put into the next generation engines, it is quite possible that the next generation graphics of early launch titles could in fact look very similar to current generation video games. Although I highly doubt Microsoft would allow this kind of lazy design, especially not for a brand new next generation console, the possibility is still, technically, there.

Anyways, good article Ben. I love reading about this kind of stuff. ūüôā

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

@wiiplay: It's correct what you write but your conclusion is kinda loses all logic. When A PS3 can only render a single area at PS4 level, at the expense of the entire rest of the scene those two renderings are not in any way equal or even comparable.

It's like me claiming that my drawings are photo realistic just because I'm good at drawing realistic eyebrows. That doesn't make my entire drawing equal to a photograph.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 1:25:48 PM

wiiplay
wiiplay
8 years ago

@Beamboom: The PlayStation 3 does not have the power to completely utilize next generation resource requirements, but can theoretically produce realistic next generation graphical details if these details are applied to a specific gameplay aspect, such as character models.
Producing realistic next-gen quality character models that are 'true to life' would take up a large amount of the processing capabilities of the PlayStation 3, therefore, it would only be able to render certain elements at a time without any kind of serious performance problems.

So, although your eyebrow analogy is, more or less, accurate, you seemed to miss the initial point, which was, quite simply, if the PS3 were to render a certain aspect of the game at next-generation quality graphics, the other aspects of the game would have to be greatly limited, as to maintain stable performances.

YashaZz
YashaZz
8 years ago

Theoretically, no.
But the fact that PS3 is the colossus of it's time would make the future 2013 releases look like next gen titles.

There is chance they will look AS GOOD as 720, if not better.

xenris
xenris
8 years ago

No, if the 720 is easy to program for and similar to a PC then there are going to be devs out there who use the new cryengine, and Unreal engine 4 to make games that even the PS3 can't come close to matching.

Remember how awesome the Final Fantasy Agni engine looks? That is in game real time, I saw the video where they paused, moved the camera fiddled with things etc.

If the games coming out on the 720 look even close to that then they already have the PS3 beat.

The question is, are launch titles going to be this visually impressive? I think they have to, otherwise why will people buy a new console? There has to be a selling point, and I think insane graphics is going to be part of it.

Just my two cents

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
8 years ago

I love my PS3, has great things to come for sure, but if the quickness of technology has any meaning I will say no the last PS3 games will not be able to compete graphically. As for story and what we get with PS3 titles that'll be the deciding factor. I foresee that the next Xbox will just milk old franchises, while the devs with Sony will just continue to bring new ideas and stories. My take on it anyway.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

My prediction for the next Xbox has me thinking somewhere along the lines of this:
x86 AMD CPU (custom Windows 8 OS)
AMD GPU
4 GB Ram
Hi capacity memory stick storage for games, similar to Vita.
No optical drive
Kinect with every box

I believe MS is looking to encroach on Nintendo's turf by bundling a Kinect with every Xbox, but leveraging the value of "family" entertainment that comes in more forms than just games, Xbox LIVE content services. I also see MS making it powerful enough to please their hardcore base.

PS4
PPC cpu
Nvidia GPU with massive CUDA cores
4GB+ of ram
Blu Ray
BD Media

I predict the PS4 will trump the next Xbox from a power stand point. I believe Sony is well aware that much of their PS3 base recognizes the PS3 as a higher powered machine, capable of more premium products. I don't think they'll let go of this ethos and will want to transition as many PS3 owners smoothly to the PS4 and continue to grow an eco-system of franchises that will promise strong returns in sales, making them less contigent on 3rd party partners.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/21/2012 10:37:32 PM

Ludakriss
Ludakriss
8 years ago

Man I feel ignorant. Well, I am but just on that one word – contigent?

Otherwise. Machines of such power, evidently won't even come close to running the Unreal 4 Engine but, will be pretty entertaining.

I have to say though. A lot of more mature players, by the sound of it, you are one of them. They mostly make Sony sound like it's the elder brother of games, you know?


Last edited by Ludakriss on 8/22/2012 8:12:23 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

I still think that there is a chance that Sony will counter any 720 (or whatever) hype with a treasure trove of AAAA exclusives followed 6 months to a year later by the PS4 with even more, plus PS3 compatibility. Not sure how big a chance it is, but there is a chance…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

There better be PS3 B/C

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I agree. I want all of my PSN only crap to come over to PS4, sooner or later. I'd say after this next-gen, it just might not be worth it anymore to uproot and restart anymore. I don't like the idea of out with the old, in with the new for every console generation.

Kevin555
Kevin555
8 years ago

@TheHighlander,

I agree with what you say here. Most of the time launch line-ups are fairly standard anyway. I mean, both PS3 & 360 didn't have very enticing launch games at all that would justify the quick purchase & if the PS3 can capitalize on this with some end-console cycle PS3 exclusives of their own before they let their new model out of the door then that would be a very good start for them coming into the new gen.

As you say, it's a chance. & when we're seeing games like God of War Ascension, Beyond, The Last of Us & *maybe, hopefully* The Last Guardian (if it still exists) in 2013, it is a very realistic possibility that this could happen. It would be a very smart move by SONY to do this.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I would kill for ps3 compatibility.
But if the rumored architectural change is true then I don't see how that could be realistically done.
Unfortunately!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 3:14:24 AM

stay3r1337
stay3r1337
8 years ago

@Ben Dutka: Are you a complete idiot? Naughty Dog achieved that on ps3 because of their sheer talent and by efficiently using ps3's power. Not all the studios has time and money to do that. In terms of raw power even the Xbox 360 GPU is way more powerful than the ps3's one. Ps3's cell processor is a double edged sword. Not all developers are capable of taking advantage of that CPU and thus we see similar or subpar graphics on multivplatform games. I've been buying/selling/tuning pc for the past 13 years and I know what I'm talking about. If Microsoft had a talented studio like naughty dog 360 would have pretty games like uncharted too. Soo no! It's not possible because it's a generation gap which seems like something way beyond the learning capability of your brain.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

If you've been alive more than 13 years you should know better than to insult the guy who runs the site. My opinion.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

@stay3r1337: I agree with the essence of what you say there, but that form of communicating has no place around here. Take that attitude with you to somewhere else, or try to communicate like an adult.

Unless that's way beyond the learning capability of your brain.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

stay3r1337: Half of what you say is completely wrong, the other half means you can't communicate as a mature adult.

Either way, here's a warning and shut up.

Leafs25
Leafs25
8 years ago

PS3 is great but to compare 7 plus year year old hardware to the rumored 720 specs would be absurd. No offense but your talking like the ps3 completely demolishes the 360 in terms of graphics. Ps3 has the edge but not by a landslide.

This gen wont compare to next gen in terms of graphics.

And really. just think about it. I know we all love our ps3, but to even suggest that games might look as good as compared to the 720 is 100% Fanboy. Even though we don't know the specs yet.


Last edited by Leafs25 on 8/21/2012 10:58:15 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

Resolution won't change much Leaf. Photo-realistic graphics at 1080i/720p don't look that much better at 1080p. So unless the NextBox comes with a 2160p screen, it's limited to playing in the same ball park as the PS3.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

The instant you use the word "fanboy" you disqualify yourself from intelligent conversation. Children use the word. Not adults.

kay Oss
kay Oss
8 years ago

I think you are forgetting on crucial thing about your argument. The reason why most current games on the ps3 and xbox is comparable is because they are multiplatform games. Most games are develope on the xbox because it will be easier to port to the ps3. Its harder to port a game developed on the PS3 to the xbox because of the different in power. If developers goes all out to develope on the PS3, that game would be very hard to port to the xbox. If you look at exclusive games between the xbox and the ps3 you can clearly see the different in graphics between the two systems. I might be wrong but from what i see the PS3 may look as good as "early 720" games. I honestly have to say that developers have not fully tapped into the full potential of the ps3. Just look at beyond two souls… if I didnt know better I would think its a next gen game.

Kiryu
Kiryu
8 years ago

Could Xbox 360 games compete aganist PS3 titles.

Could Xbox 360 games compete aganist early PS Vita titles.

Seeing how it went.I'm sure late PS3 titles can surely outbeat early next gen games.

Leafs25
Leafs25
8 years ago

I don't get your logic.

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

I think in production and overall quality, yes. We'll see this a lot, I think. The next systems will surely bring their inherent processing strengths to the fore right from the beginning (1080p and many effects). But I think overall production quality and execution will take some time for the new system's to eclipse the old by the majority of content providers.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/21/2012 11:21:37 PM

Kevin555
Kevin555
8 years ago

@Kiryu,

What?

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Hehe – wow.

Could x360 games compete with PS#? Obviously, yes.
Could x360 games compete against Vita titles? Uhm… Dude?

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
8 years ago

Have you ever played an Xbox 360 game? The Ps3 certainly has it beat, but it's not exactly night and day.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

All things being equal, assuming that the same game is implemented on PS3 and 360 and that the dev team for each properly optimizes the programming and design for the platform, the PS3 will beat the 360 more or less every time.

On the other hand, the Vita, as amazing as it is doesn;t have the hardware to compete with the 360. But…it's a closer match than you think simply because the core designs in the Vita are 7 years more advanced than the 360's hardware. Quad core CPU vs tri-core CPU. 360 has higher clock, but quad arms are more efficient per clock cycle, the 360 is still faster, but not by as much as you expect. The quad core GPU in the Vita is a compeltelty different animal to that in the 360, I'm not aware of a way to compare their hardware and/or performance directly. However, each of the GPU cores in vita has multiple units on board. Much like the CPU comparison, I suspect that the 360 still has it beat, but not by as much as you think. The Vita and 360 have similar amounts of RAM, so that's a wash.

Leafs25
Leafs25
8 years ago

@ Ben, the instant you say '' I think it's quite obvious that the PS3 is head-and-shoulders above the 360 in terms of exhibited graphics potential'' is well, I hate to say it, but i have too, fanboyish.

We all know the ps3 has the edge in terms of graphics, but heads and shoulders is a big over statement.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Quit with the PC game police. It's hardly an exaggeration at all. The Last Of Us makes the 360 look like a last-gen piece of hardware, plain and simple. And as for current available hardware, both of the last two Uncharteds are doing things no 360 software ever dreamed of.

None of that has anything to do with bias. I can see. I have eyes.

sirbob6
sirbob6
8 years ago

Well, considering late PS2 games could compete with launch PS3 games it wouldn't really be that out of line.

matt99
matt99
8 years ago

No they couldn't, not graphically at least. I can't count how many times I died in Resistance and CoD because I was just looking at the stunning visuals. In terms of overall game quality then yes, late ps2 games could easily compete. But there was a very clear step up in graphics (as there should be).

kraygen
kraygen
8 years ago

I'd say it's definitely possible. People keep mentioning rumored specs for the 720, but in truth we don't know what it will have.

Even if the new specs are fantastic you have to consider that games will probably still be on dvd which means any spectacular graphics would require either pc like installs or more discs than Microsoft is willing to allow.

Plus you have to consider that most consoles launch titles aren't graphically that much better than the previous gen's late titles.

Therefore considering 360's graphics have been maxed out for years devs multi-platform games will probably play on ps3 if the 720 comes out first. As for exclusives who cares how good halo for 720 looks.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I've read several places that the next Xbox will feature a blu-ray drive. It's the only natural thing to do too, so I'd be surprised if that were not the case.

kraygen
kraygen
8 years ago

Hearing a rumor from multiple people doesn't make it true. MS once said they would never use blu-ray in their console, so I'm still waiting to see if they're willing to pay the blu-ray association.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

lol – dude, you can't seriously mean that you believe Microsoft will release a new console without the capability to playback HD movies? The blu-ray format is the new standard format now. It's got the same status as the DVD had back when the x360 were designed.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I guess that during the transition period from one generation to another there will be a few titles that in practise are X360 ports.

But the X720 will be able to play games like Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 in a quality the PS3 will never be able to even think about doing. That's what matters here.

I believe the latest screenshots from the next GTA was an indicator of what kind of a leap we can expect – and that even from a game who traditionally can't be a graphics showcase, due to its size. It would not surprise me the slightest if GTA5 were a launch title with the X720.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 12:56:41 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

You are putting WAY too much stock in what we see at the start of a new hardware cycle.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Am I really?

If we assume that the next consoles has a performance that at least has a performance that is *comparable* with high end PCs on launch day – and I really, really hope they will be – then we already know the gap between Battlefield 3 on consoles compared to the PC footage we had seen.

Now, have you seen that latest ingame video snippet from Crysis 3, with the protagonist appearing over the hill? If that is, as they claim, realtime rendered then I believe we've already seen what we can expect at the start of the next hardware cycle. I can guarantee you that Crytek are working on their engine for the next gen consoles as we speak.

Add to that the GTA5 screens who obviously are rendered on current technology and we got two examples of titles that in each their way represent the level of technology *today*. Is the PS4/X720 even in production yet?

So no, I don't think I've put too much stock in what we will see at the start for the next console generation at all! I expect Crysis 3 / GTA 5 quality to be where we begin with the AAA titles on next gen.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 1:56:36 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Yeah, you really have. Just trust me.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

But what exactly are you saying here?

Do you think that the PS4 version of GTA5 (if there will be one, of course) will not look as good as the PC version? Or if Crysis 3 are released for the PS4, do you think it will then look and play worse than the PC version we see video from today?

If the PS4 versions looks like something that could just as well have been released on the PS3 I have to say I will be very disappointed…!


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/22/2012 3:05:03 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Looking back in history, I think there's some merit there, Beam. Early PS1 games looked really bad… like… REALLY bad. Some SNES games looked cleaner and crisper. MUCH more, in fact. Same with PS2… early PS2 games were crap too. For the entire first year. And the same thing happened with PS3. And in all cases, (Xbox included, although it's got no where as much history) late gen of the old gen was almost always better than the early games of the newer gen.

Some of the late PS1 stuff was way better than anything PS2 offered in it's first year. Same with PS1 and the SNES or Genesis before it. And the PS3's first year was very slow as well (although Resistance: Fall of Man seems to be an exception).

Clearly, the 720 will be a better all-around spec. system than the PS3 (At least it sure as hell better be), but I don't think it should be surprising to anyone for the better late PS3 games to look and play better than the early games of the next gen. Late XBOX games looked better than early 360 games too, ya know. Each gen seems to have an initial year FULL of "meh". PSP was the same, and the VITA is doing that too. PSP turned out to be pretty impressive for it's time, and the VITA will likely do the same.

SO far, nothing that's happened is all that surprising, and I wouldn't be surprised if that trend continued with this gen just as it has all past gens.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

I think I understand what you guys mean; It takes some time before the new hardware really shines. I just think both of you underestimate these years gone by during the lifespan of the current gen consoles.

And please notice, I do not in any way say that what we see at first of the next generation will be anything like how the games will be on those platforms a few years later.

All I am saying is that GTA5 and Crysis 3 both shows what current hardware *today* can do. And if the next consoles are roughly based on todays technology then it should be pretty safe to assume that those mentioned titles will look like what we've seen today. And that is a *significant* improvement from the current consoles. Especially Crysis 3. That videoclip I refer to here (I posted it on the forums a while back) is simply mindblowing.


Last edited by Beamboom on 8/23/2012 5:35:26 AM

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
8 years ago

Do you remember the 360's launch, it was just full of last gen titles like Call of Duty 2, Gun or Tony Hawks: American Wasteland. Meanwhile I was getting Final Fantasy XII (Even though I hated it), Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition & Kingdom Hearts II. People tend to forget how bad the 360 started off too.

Even if XBOX does start of early, look at the PS3 now, it is a far more powerful and of course has the Blu-ray!