South Africans listen up! The common wisdom is that Xbox 360 versions are typically better than their PS3 counterparts, But as you’ll soon see, that trend is changing…and fast.
I understand that the forums are flooded with Xbots (Xbox fanboys) who religiously force the fact that the Xbox is the better nextgen console, and it makes sense. They invested good money and time in their console and obviously will defend it. Having said all that lets get to the facts…
GamePro examines four recent multi-platform titles to determine which console has the better games PS3 or Xbox 360. What we discovered challenges the common wisdom that “Xbox 360 is better.” Read on!
PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360? PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360? It’s hard enough deciding which console to buy, let alone worrying over which version of a multi-platform game is worth your money. Games make or break any console, but when two systems have the same game, which version do you get? For anyone who has only one console, the answer is obvious. If you’ve yet to pick up an Xbox 360 or PS3, or are fortunate to own both, however, that choice can be a tough one.
The common wisdom is that Xbox 360 versions are typically better than their PS3 counterparts, and this is true in part. The PlayStation 3 2006 launch lineup was choked with quickie ports that did little to tap into the system’s power, and a few high-profile games (Madden 08, for one) were undeniably superior on the Xbox 360. But as you’ll soon see, that trend is changing…and fast.
By picking apart four recent, triple-A multi-platform games. Assassin’s Creed, Burnout Paradise, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and Devil May Cry 4. We’re aiming to settle the contest over which console has the advantage in multi-platform releases moving forward. This is more than just gazing at screenshots, we’re delving deep to discover the best controls, loading times, and online integration.
Control: The Xbox 360 excels with first-person shooters, but third-person action games…not so much. As such, the Sixaxis is better suited for free running about the ancient domains of Assassin’s Creed. Both versions are responsive, yet the control scheme makes more sense on a Sixaxis versus an Xbox 360 controller. For example, free running is done by holding down R1 on PlayStation 3, whereas you need to pull on the right trigger when playing on an Xbox 360. Using R1 feels better than having to depress the trigger-it’s an easy kill for the PlayStation 3.
Graphics: At first glance, you might not see anything that separates the two versions of Assassin’s Creed visually. Both exude an impressive amount of detail in their environments and characters, along with gorgeous animations. Switching between the two on the same display, however, shows noticeably differences in the lighting and slight variations in framerate. Xbox 360 fares well under Altair’s blade, boasting better lighting and a smoother performance. This isn’t to say the game’s a stuttering mess on PlayStation 3; on the contrary, it still looks fantastic. But you’ll notice minor slowdown when moving the camera in crowded areas and the lighting isn’t nearly as appealing. Overall, the Xbox 360 version just looks better.
Load times: Despite being an open-world game, Assassin’s Creed is a hodge-podge of loading times. Booting up the game on PlayStation 3 takes longer than on Xbox 360, but loading up some levels takes noticeably longer on the latter. It’s essentially a wash since both systems have a mix of short and long loading times.
Online integration: Assassin’s Creed sticks stubbornly to its solo experience, offering no online features of any kind on either platform. We’re going to call this one for Wii since it’s the only system that allows you to read this article using the console’s web browser while simultaneously playing Assassin’s Creed on either PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
EDGE: Xbox 360 version
Summary: If looks could kill, the PlayStation 3 version of Assassin’s Creed would be dead. The Xbox 360 version emerges as the definitive version because of a superior presentation, even if just barely. The Xbox 360 isn’t the ideal option for controls given better button mapping on the Sixaxis, but that doesn’t prevent it from being solidly responsive. It’s also worth mentioning that the PlayStation 3 version plays beautifully now thanks to a crucial patch; upon initial release, it had severe performance problems and lockups that were absent from the Xbox 360 version.
Control: Differences in control between the two versions of Burnout Paradise largely come down to preference. The game is incredibly responsive and tight with its controls. The Xbox 360 controller’s triggers feel better for acceleration than the L2/R2 buttons on a Sixaxis, but really, it’s a subjective point. You simply won’t find any gaps between the two games here.
Graphics: As with the controls, you’ll be hard-pressed to denote any significant graphical distinctions between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Burnout Paradise. EA Criterion has done a bang up job keeping the two games even visually. Both consoles squeeze out a fantastic 60 frames-per-second and the detailing on vehicles, buildings, and environment in general is superb.
Load times: Burnout Paradise begins to show favor for PlayStation 3 when clocking its loading times. Both versions require a lengthy initial boot up upon entering the disc into either console, but it’s slightly longer on Xbox 360. Even more, there’s a split second longer of a wait on Xbox 360 between hitting the triggers to enter an event and it actually beginning. To be certain, we’re nitpicking because the game does well in keeping things seamless. But in the end, the PlayStation 3 version is just a bit snappier.
Online integration: Surprisingly, the PlayStation 3 version of Burnout Paradise leads its Xbox 360 counterpart. How is that possible given the might of Xbox Live? A cleaner interface, easier access to online features, and smoother performance online afford PlayStation 3 the edge. Dedicated servers ensure stability during multiplayer races; moreover, the game was optimized for the console, so it just runs better on it when playing online. Alex Ward, head of EA Criterion, has long touted the company’s love affair with the open-ended PlayStation Network and it definitely shows.
EDGE: PlayStation 3
With controls, graphics, and loading times nearly identical between the two consoles, Burnout Paradise flips a bitch with superior online integration on PlayStation 3. It’s a shock, to be sure, given the dominance of Xbox Live over online gameplay; however, dedicated servers and generally smoother online performance means the PlayStation 3 takes pole position. Read more on Page 2: