Editor's Note: Despite having already played and reviewed Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 on PS4, Xbox One impressions were under embargo until 12 November. Below are Steve's thoughts on Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dave's thoughts on Battlefield 4 and how the games shape up on Microsoft's new console.
VideoGamer.com has opted not to give an official score to either game as neither was played in its entirity on the Xbox One. We believe, however - horrendous unknown issues aside - that neither game would get marked down.
Call of Duty: Ghosts - Click here for the next-generation review
Much has already been made of the shortcomings of the Xbox One version of Ghosts, and so it will probably come as no surprise to hear that the Xbone version is lacking in the visual department. It's not just resolution that has suffered, however, although that in itself is fairly disappointing.
In the single-player game, at least, texture quality can range from average to very poor, and geometry itself can look clipped and badly aliased, giving the game a jaggy, muddy look that does nothing to tell you that your £429 investment was a good one. In some cases, elements of the world look barely textured at all, as is the case when the battle cruiser is seen at the end of the 'Fort Santa Monica Beachhead' mission. It was so bad that I navigated to the dashboard to ensure that the machine had been set up correctly. It had...
Multiplayer also looks demonstrably worse than in the PS4 version, with similar problems afflicting the look of the game. Mechanically it is identical, and at least the game ran stable enough to keep me blaming myself and not the frame rate for any kills I may have suffered. (Although I had no problems with the PS4 build, some users are reporting frame rate issues on Sony's machine.)
Still, whether through rushed/overstretched development or hardware problems (or a combination of both), Ghosts has ended up looking (far, in some cases) worse on Microsoft's machine than on its direct rival.
Battlefield 4 - Click here for the next-generation review
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, reported to be running at a native 900p 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. Technical comparisons claim that the Xbox One version is rendering natively at 720p before upscaling to 1920x1080 (a suspicion I also share) 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 consoles, few Xbox One players will likely complain about the visual experience on offer here.
But to those that do care, 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.