Battlefield 4 screenshot
Battlefield 4 screenshot

One of my main criticisms of Battlefield 4's campaign was that it did little to make the player feel as if they were a part of a much bigger war. But in reality, they are: simply by coming along for the ride, every Battlefield 4 player is a combatant in a far more significant battle. And with the console war heating up as we edge closer to the next-gen launch, DICE’s shooter may end up being a key factor in the war between Microsoft and Sony, with the PlayStation 4 version displaying a clear advantage over the Xbox One.

Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4 looks stunning, with DICE clearly utilising the console’s additional firepower to yield a superior image quality on Sony’s machine. Images are pin-sharp, appearing to run at a native 1080p and fluid 60 frames per second. But while the Xbox One version effortlessly maintains the same frame-rate, the image quality is perceptibly worse, sporting a softer, jaggier look that carries all the hallmarks of a game upscaling from a sub full-HD resolution. My suspicion is that the Xbox One version is rendering natively at 720p before upscaling to 1920x1080, although DICE opted not to confirm numbers when confronted about the resolutions of the two next-gen versions directly.

To some people, the difference will be negligible. Battlefield 4 on Xbox One is still visually astounding: the lighting and particle effects – particularly during the single-player campaign - are remarkable, and the fact that DICE manages to maintain a fluid 60FPS without a hitch is truly praiseworthy. Both versions offer a noticeable step up over the current-generation far beyond just the frame-rate, and while there are subtle differences in quality between the top-end PC version and next-gen console, few PS4 players will likely complain about the magnificent visual experience on offer here.

But to those that do care (presumably those of you reading this), the difference in image quality between the two consoles is clearly visible. In the Xbox One’s case – a hugely important launch title for Microsoft’s machine- it makes the step up to next-gen that little less spectacular, signifying a trait players have been used to for years on current-gen consoles and an obvious step down from PC.

As the video below shows, the visual effects between both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are largely on par with one another, making the trade-off in resolution the only real barrier between each console. [Please note that the PS4 & Xbox One segments featured below were shot at 30FPS 720p.]

The differences between the two versions will come as great concern to Microsoft. Just as it appears to be regaining traction from its fumbling Xbox One campaign, the revelation that at least one of next-gen’s major launch titles is noticeably weaker on its console will be enough to threaten to send the platform holder back to square one. It’s difficult to tell how big a problem it may end up being until we’ve compared the complete multiplatform launch line-up it, but if the trend continues with further releases (as last week’s Call of Duty: Ghosts rumour suggests it may well do) even players heavily invested in the Xbox platform could be prompted to starting look elsewhere.

It may just be teething problems, of course, and as developers grow accustomed to working with Xbox One, issues related to native resolution may soon become a thing of the past. But that goes both ways. With the PS4 off to a stronger start, the divide between the two consoles may remain a constant as developers look to push that GDDR5 RAM and impressive GPU in ways they simply can’t on Microsoft’s console.

And if such issues persist, with the alignment in policies making the technical prowess that much more important, the war may have already been won before it’s even gotten underway.

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9193bb's Avatar

9193bb

I think really people should be more worried about resolutions regarding the longevity of the console rather than pure fidelity. I thin statistically the most common PC res is 1366 by 768 really its all about frame rate for a good smooth game
Posted 16:36 on 27 November 2013
Whitewolf's Avatar

Whitewolf

i would say ps4 a little lighter (may be my tv) and sharper but other then that cant see anythink of note.
By no means do they look bad. i would be happy with either.
Posted 13:20 on 31 October 2013
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I'm with FM on this, I can't see a difference.
Posted 10:01 on 31 October 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I still can't see a difference, you could swap the XO and PS4 labels around on all of these videos 99% of humans probably wouldn't notice.
Posted 00:44 on 31 October 2013
nitro_feen's Avatar

nitro_feen

Also why is no one who is reoprting on this not talking about the missing assets in the xb1 version. I didnt notice them with the exception of a bird in very beggining missing from xb1 lol but after someone pointed it out on gaf I started noticing plenty of other stuff like large smoke clouds ,trucks that kinda stuff
Posted 19:32 on 29 October 2013
nitro_feen's Avatar

nitro_feen@ NathanSix

take a look at other videos plus these vids are compressed so its hard to judge. plus DF hand bad settings on both versions oddly even though they said it was a mistake the bad settings made the ps4 colors look faded and the xb1 version look darker hiding the jaggies. kind of strange but whatever. I think it wil be more obvious once in hands of gamer's and the higher res and poly count plus more stable frame-rate kinda is a hint that the ps4 version will be better. Also xb1 version was missing assets if you watch closely you can see several things missing in xb1 version but nothing major.
Posted 19:30 on 29 October 2013
nitro_feen's Avatar

nitro_feen

i am pretty sure ps4 version is running at 900p and xbox at 720 but more importantly ps4 has much more stable frame rates. DF showed xbox one version dip from 58fps to low 30's
Posted 19:23 on 29 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland@ x1xCLUTCHx8x

Well 'PS boasting better visuals' is certainly a change from the past 8 years when 360 was the best place for multiplatform titles. I hope PSN does get closer to XBL with multiplayer though, chat was such a flaky goddam mess on PSN last gen.
Posted 17:27 on 29 October 2013
x1xCLUTCHx8x's Avatar

x1xCLUTCHx8x

It'll be the same as it's been for the last 8 years. PS will continue to boast better visuals and single player campaigns. Xbox will continue to be a better platform for multiplayer gaming.
Posted 17:23 on 29 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

Sorry Nathan6 the difference is obvious but not as stark as 1080p versus 720p, from remarks and pixel counting the PS4 is running at 1600x900 upscaled and the XB1 is on 1280x720. If you look at the Digital Foundry article on EG you can see that perf is higher on the PS4 version too by a factor of 2-4 fps on average and almost 12-15 fps in heavy scenes (warning DF capture solution + weird XB1 full range output has crushed blacks and screwed the gamma ramp so use the VG vids for IQ comparisons)

DICE have already confirmed they are adding Ambient Occlusion to the XB1 build which wasn't present in review build but 720p is here to stay. If it's not an issue for you then fine but to pretend that anyone pointing it out is 'fanboy baiting' says more about you than VG.
Posted 16:14 on 29 October 2013
NathanSix's Avatar

NathanSix

Your video proves they look identical. Anyone still trying to find ways in which the PS4 version is superior needs to ask themselves why, why are you doing this? Level heads should be focused on the fact that the two versions, regardless of technical details, look identical to anyone playing them. Your only fanboy baiting with the crap your saying.
Posted 15:26 on 29 October 2013
keyzersozey's Avatar

keyzersozey

I have a MMO Games Design Degree and i will admit you have done a great article very well balanced and whats is so decent to see is the way in which you spread the info thus to make people who who are getting either console (or both like myself) feel that they should "Just Be Happy" as they will have differences.

XBone will have great content which it will have strictly for themselves i.e. PvZ GW early and including XBone specific features and PS4 will have the likes of KZSF which maybe just that huge difference (depending on game types plus worrying bottle necked maps).

Well done people - Good Job all round. By far the best and fairest i have seen
Posted 11:52 on 29 October 2013

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Battlefield 4

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