Lunchtime Discussion: Comparisons

So yesterday we had the Digital Foundry comparison of Call of Duty: Black Ops. I’ll happily admit that I love Digitial Foundry, I think their comparisons are an amazing insight into the various technical differences between the 360 and the PS3 and every article gives you an insight into the technical side of gaming which rarely gets an in depth analysis; generally any comment on technical performance is based on subjective  perception rather than the actual technical breakdown that Digital Foundry performs.

That’s why I find it so odd that Digital Foundry seems to fairly regularly get accused of flame-baiting. Now if this were anyone other than Digital Foundry I’d be inclined to agree, just looking at images side by side and commenting on which you think looks better is, for the most part, little more than creating controversy for controversies sake. These kind of comparisons really don’t teach you much beyond “some guy has an opinion you may or may not agree with.”

Digital Foundry is basically the complete opposite of this style of comparison. By providing a detailed technical break down of resolution, frame-rate, screen  tearing etc… they’re able to give you a meaningful conclusion on which version of the game performs better. What it really means is that the information you’re presented with has actual meaning, has a context and a valid source that makes the article actually worth reading and elevates it above simple flame-bait.

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That’s my take on this, and is all I really have to say for the moment. How do you feel about comparisons? Do you trust Digital Foundry? Do you ignore all comparisons? Do you find them interesting or useful in anyway?

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27 Comments

  1. Here’s a strange one – I used to have a 360 and replaced with a PS3. I then played a game I was in the middle of on the 360 before it broke and continued on the PS3. I thought it was amzingly better on the PS3 and was suprised when I went to one of these sites and found the 360 version was superior in every way. I think the game was Fallout 3 – and I accept I was completely wrong in my assessment, but it was a completely un biased, uneducated opinion.
    I guess I don’t take these comparisons too seriously then.

  2. Personally I play games for the gameplay rather than the graphics, in fact I still play a lot of really old games just because they’re still great (like Deus Ex on pc). I own both consoles but I tend to buy everything on ps3 where possible mainly because most of my friends have ps3s. The 360 was bought just for exclusives and very rarely gets used if I’m honest.

    • Id rather play against my friends than have slightly better graphics. Unfortunately the sad lonely idiots that post on these comparison sites think that you are crazy if you prefer better gameplay to the odd shiney texture.

  3. The problem with these comparrisons is that you prob wouldn’t notice any differences if they werent pointed out. What’s worse is that the fanboys over exaggerate everything and make it sound like the game is unplayable rather than being slightly different. I’ve been on sites like lens of truth where some people are so passionate about making the 360 sound the best that they slag off and abuse others. One person called Friedchicken follows me everywhere and slags me off and calls me fanboy just because I like versions to be equal with no superior version.

    I was very annoyed that Sixthaxis did an article about the 360 version of black ops being better. I thought you were better than that.

    If you hadn’t been told about the black ops differences I doubt you would notice them.

  4. The only thing I compare is stats, effects and pricing but yeah… games on the same system meh

  5. People want the best for their money. Multi-plat titles tend to be better on the Xbox so it smarts regardless of the individual differences on any given title. Thankfully, maturity and a sense of perspective helps us get passed such shortcomings.

  6. Comparison sites like Digital Foundry are merely cashing in on this generation’s surge in desperate zealots hungry for any slight piece of “evidence” their games console is “better” to ram down the throats of those who won;t think and act exactly like them. Can’t fault DF, as it’s a pretty rich vein of site hits to be tapping, and they’re clearly doing well off of it, but a quick glance at any of their comments threads shows exactly the sort of mentality they’re attracting and feeding into. It’s flame bait, yeah, but when that gets you what you need, why not play into that.

    Personally, I don’t give a shit if the Xbox version of a game has a framerate that runs 5 percent smoother most of the time or if backgrounds are less jagged if you pause and zoom in 500 percent in certain areas or whatever. In cases where there are massive differences in game quality, as in the cases of Bayonetta on PS3 running like crap or Final Fantasy XIII on 360 looking like it’s running on an SDTV, yes, it’s good for people to be made aware of what they’re getting of course, but cases like these are extreme rarities, yet to listen to certain people, you’d think they represented a majority of cases. They do not.

    Poring over every slight difference in games that you wouldn’t even see unless you were running them side by side may be good for giving erections to those with an agenda to push though, which I guess is good enough for some.

  7. As I only own a PS3 I find these things interesting from a technical standpoint but it’s not gonna get me down if the Xbox version has some minor advantages.
    That said, it is useful if a bad port means the PS3 version is considerably broken.

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