The Advertising Standards Authority has given Square Enix a firm slap on the wrist and blocked the broadcasting of an Xbox 360 Final Fantasy XIII advert. The ASA responded after a viewer complained back in March that the Xbox 360 advert was using footage taken from the PS3 version. They claimed that the PS3 produced higher quality images compared to that of its rival.
A spokesman for the ASA said “the ASA noted that the viewer, who saw the ad in HD, was concerned that the images from the PS3 version of the game were sharper than those on the XBOX 360.” Bother versions were sent to the ASA where they were able to run them side by side.
“We tested the two games, on screens with an identical set up, and ran them alongside one another. We noted that there was a discernible difference in the picture quality of the two – the PS3 image in video sequences appeared sharper and colours were more vivid than those of the XBOX 360.”
“We considered that, because the ad promoted the game on the XBOX 360 platform, it should have featured footage derived from that console. Because it did not, and because we considered that the use of PS3 footage in the ad exaggerated the quality of the footage available on the XBOX 360, albeit marginally, we concluded the ad was misleading.”
Sqaure Enix have said that the advert did not use in game footage but instead used FMV and that there are ‘hardware differences’ meaning the PS3 version could be compressed on to one disc and the 360 version on to 3 discs. They also claim there is ‘no substantive difference’ except in HD and most viewers would not notice the ‘slight difference’. They ‘did not believe any average viewer, or indeed avid gamer, would perceive any difference in the output unless reviewing the materially forensically’.
I’m not sure I could tell the difference to be honest but I’m sure some of you would disagree. One thing that is clear is that this is slightly embarrassing for both Square Enix and Microsoft.