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Unreal Engine 4 Demo Running On PS4, But How Does It Stack Up Against A PC?

GTX 680 version looks better to us...

The ‘Elemental’ demo has been used a few times to show the power of Unreal Engine 4, but the video below shows the same slice of tech running on a PS4, or at least the current state of the PlayStation 4 development kits.

It looks good, right? Well, below that is the same demo running real time on a PC equipped with a GTX 680 graphics card. Whilst it’s true that the PS4 hardware (and sofware) isn’t final yet, it’s clear the PC version is a step or two ahead.

First glance suggests there’re less fancy particle effects, some shadows are missing and the frame rate isn’t nearly as smooth. Early days, perhaps, but we’d have hoped that even at this stage the PS4 would look the superior version.

The PS4 video is from GDC (with the PC one from last June) and if nothing else shows that next-gen games are (potentially) going to look beautiful.

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38 Comments
  1. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    A £420 graphics card that would then go into a PC that might retail for close to a thousand pound.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:45.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Exactly. Anybody who seriously thought the PS4 could stand a chance against that is delirious.

      Comment posted on 31/03/2013 at 13:30.
  2. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    looks good, also it makes me long for an Overlord or Dungeon Keeper sequel.

    except with nothing like the exit to the spider temple from overlord 2.
    most annoying part of any game i think i’ve ever played.

    anyway, i don’t suppose we’ll see games that look like that, these things are always running without any gameplay, no ai or other task running.
    actual gameplay never matches these tech demos does it?

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:48.
  3. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    It’s hard to compare them when you can watch both of them side-by-side (unless you’re lucky enough to have a dual set up), but the PC demo does look far better, especially with the little details, for example the detail on the armour at 0.38 in the PS4 video and 0.33 in the PC one, the curves are a hell of a lot smoother and the textures look a tad better too, not to mention the dynamic lighting.

    Hopefully Digital Foundry will do a more in depth face-off after their article from yesterday.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:49.
    • Nate
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      The lava flow looks considerably different as well, much more natural particle movement on the PC version.

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 16:04.
      • gazzagb
        Master of speling mitakse
        Since: Feb 2009

        Yeah, I’d like to see how they compare with water, it’s always very hard to render fluid motions so it will be interesting to see how good the next gen will be.

        Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 16:23.
    • SilverCider
      Member
      Since: Jan 2011

      The lighting is the biggest change as the PC version as a dynamic global illumination model whereas the console version has been toned down to a static (though still impressive) model.

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 17:13.
  4. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    The PC demo does look a bit better but you will probably be able to buy a PS4 for the price of just the GTX 680.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:49.
  5. teflon
    Community Team
    Since: May 2009

    This generation isn’t going to top the power of the top end GPUs from even a year ago, unfortunately, but that was never realistically going to happen anyway. The same kind of thing was already visible when the PS3 and 360 came out, where neither was really powerful enough to better PC visuals or hit 1080p, and then they were truly superceded by Nvidia’s GeForce 8800GTX.

    But whereas this is the real pointy end of performance, 99% of the PC market can’t even hope to touch the level of performance that the PS4 or Xbox 3 will have at launch, and it will be a few years before cheap PCs will match them. This kind of graphical prowess will be reserved for the GeForce Titan cards and SLI configurations which cost over £1000, and need a PSU 4 times the power of a console.

    That the PS4 is going to target a more affordable bracket, has parts that one might consider mid-high end, and can still hit this level of fidelity even before round after round of intense optimisation, is impressive enough.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:51.
    • cam the man
      Member
      Since: May 2009

      It’s not all about the graphics anyway, if the games are as good as the demos shown at the launch meeting I’ll be happy. use some of the extra power to improve the AI etc.

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 15:56.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      With you on this, Tef. You know my PC pretty well and you know what sort of screen grabs are being taken, in-game, in the Screenshots thread in the forum. Now, looking at the Killzone 4 demo, I’m convinced there’s no godly way my PC is going to manage that so things bode very well for the PS4 already. Sure, I, personally, might not see a huge leap when I buy a PS4 but I can still be grown up enough to look at any given game (on my PC or a PS4) and say “Christ, that looks gorgeous”.

      Anyway, this is all a moot point. There are so many other things to consider when we want believability in a game. God knows that Nvidia tech demo with the talking head chappie was hugely impressive until he started talking. It was awful in comparison. Devs still need to look at other ways for immersion as graphical fidelity is just one part of the whole picture.

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 18:41.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        The other thing is, millions of us can’t afford a grand for a dogs bollocks PC, so a £400 console that has a similar performance at launch and sits in the living room streaming movies, music and all the rest is pretty special. I now want a PS4, must…. resist….

        Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 20:28.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Yeah. The PS4 is not meant to beat a Titan on pure GPU performance. It’s a one size fits all affordable package that still produces great graphics and That’s exactly what I want it to do.

        Comment posted on 31/03/2013 at 13:34.
    • psychobudgie
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Agree. Anyone who thinks that they will be able to build a PC to match the performance of a PS4 for anything near the price of the console is deluded.

      I built what can best be described as a low to mid range gaming rig/linux boxen at xmas and for a FX4100 with 8gb Ram and a 650 GTX which came to a stonking £400 once I’d factored in a PSU and HD and it runs Bioshock Infinite at 50fps average on medium settings at 1080p. So anyone who thinks they are going to be able to build a PC comparable to the PS4 on price and performance is nuts.

      Comment posted on 31/03/2013 at 15:33.
  6. The Von Braun
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Personally don’t feel there is much, if any point trying to compare a PC to a console in terms of Next-Gen, anymore than there was at start of this generation.

    Your talking 2 very different areas really.Consoles been using PC graphics cards since the Dreamcast days and whilst they are optimised for gaming, they are designed to go in a box that retails for around £300 where as a PC GPU alone can cost you a lot more.Console looking at life span of 3-4 years if not more, most PC gamers i know upgrade their system every 12 months or so.

    If your after cutting edge and are willing toi invest the time+money then the PC is the route to follow, if you want a more fixed, stable platform, console is your best bet.Price for PS4 still unknown and that extra Ram is bound to push price up, by time it see’s a UK release, be new generation of PC graphics cards i’m sure, so again, comparisons will be pointless.

    And here’s a thing:a PC gamer was showing myself and a mate Battlefield 4 the other night, we watched the vid, murmuring how nice the particle effects looked, the explosions, the detail on characters faces, the destruction, admired the sheer processing power required to pull all this off, but all 3 of us said, it’s just the same old, cliched set pieces, same generic stuff, where’s the imagination these days?.

    Then we started looking at the effects being pulled off, i ripped into the lens flare stuff (thought that went out with the 3DO/PSone, lol), unless your viewing from a camera, you would’nt get this from your eyeballs, so the illusion of seeing through your characters eyes was shattered there and then, PC chap then went on about the rays of sunlight being too bright (looked like they were being fired from the death star was his choice of words).

    Basically, it looked exactly like what we’d expect from cutting edge PC hardware, but again the wow factor we had from going from say 2D to 3D or stepping out into Oblivion on this gen, just were’nt there.

    Last time we got all moist about particle effects was on Tempest 2000 on the atari Jaguar.Minters visuals trying to eat yer face off, had far more ‘impact’ than the realism aimed for here.

    Better looking games just not getting juices flowing like they used to, as we expect it, i want to be awestruck by next gen game engines.Not just :hmmn, that looks nice dear.

    :-)

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 16:23.
    • Loxstokk
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      I think you’re missing the point on the visual effects. Yes – you wouldn’t get lens flare when looking through the naked eye, but it is a creative choice by the games’ creators to make things more aesthetically pleasing; in a lot of ways trying to ape cinema. This doesn’t make it wrong.

      If you lived by the ‘that isnt realistic’ rule then you’d never enjoy games/films/music again.

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 21:18.
  7. blarty
    Member
    Since: Apr 2011

    Presumably the GTX680 version is also running PhysX – you’d want a radeon 7950 card or above version to do a more concrete comparison, particularly on particle effects. The biggest thing that you’ll find in terms of optimisation for UE4 on PS4 is the impact of the unified 8GB DDR5 memory model which eliminates a number of gates that the PC currently has to go through.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 17:07.
  8. anyjungleinguy
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    “Early days, perhaps, but we’d have hoped that even at this stage the PS4 would look the superior version.”

    Er, how could you expect that?

    Of course the 680 will look better, regardless of how much ‘optimisation’ goes into it.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 17:40.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Because the PS4 isn’t out yet and it’s already bettered by a year old PC. At least in the context of this demo.

      ?

      Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 18:05.
      • anyjungleinguy
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        Shouldn’t that be obvious though?

        The 680 might be a year old, but it’s still far ahead of whatever GPU is going to be in the PS4.

        I mean, what did the official Sony spec sheet say, 1.84 TFLOPS for the PS4 GPU? A 680 is around 3 TFLOPS and while I know that isn’t a sole performance indicator it at least points out the lead in raw power – of course it’s going to look better?

        Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 18:21.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Such a strange comparison. That’s like comparing my Saab 9-3 with a Ford Ka. I’m still going to run it ragged in every department except… um… newness!

        Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 18:42.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        Dude, you have a Saab? My respect for you just went up another notch.

        Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 20:29.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        It’s not often that a car analogy really fits but this is definitely one of those rare situations. Great point.

        Comment posted on 31/03/2013 at 13:39.
  9. MadJunkBoy
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    looks really good!
    going to be interesting to see what the final product looks like =D

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 17:54.
  10. zb100
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Excited for both.
    Game on.

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 18:13.

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