Even this many years after the launch of Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles, debate continues to rage over which is the superior machine. While the PlayStation 3's technical components may be more advanced than the Xbox 360's, some hold that hardware isn't all that counts.
Given the record-setting launch that it's enjoyed, PS3 owners are not going to be happy to hear that Call of Duty: Black Ops seems to perform better on the Xbox 360.
Tech blog Digital Foundry has analyzed framerates, screen tearing, and 3d performance and found that Black Ops is a "good-looking release on both formats." Sony fans won't be happy to hear their findings when it comes to visual fidelity:
"While neither version is locked at 60FPS, there is what we've called in the past a 'perceptual 60FPS', where despite the frame-drops you still feel as though you're getting the advantages of the fastest possible frame-rate,
"There's a fine line in this perceptual divide, but when there can be as much as a 20FPS difference between the two versions, it's safe to say that it's the Xbox 360 version that more consistently delivers the feel of 60FPS gameplay."
While the screen-tearing found on the PS3 is "pretty much unnoticeable," the Xbox 360 doesn't suffer from any. The up-conversion to 3D available on the PS3 also leads to a drop in performance and framerates:
"We've logged the PS3 game running as low as 20FPS [in 3D] - and that's just in the very first street battle in the initial Cuba level."
Some people might say that the analysts are nit-picking, distinguishing one platform over another based on differences that much of the gaming public might not even notice. But Digital Foundry points out the visual standard is one of the things that Call of Duty has become known for:
"In many ways, the core experience of playing a COD title is defined by that 60FPS target frame-rate and the advantages that brings. Neither version of the game sustains it, but the Xbox 360 game comes closest and thus it just feels like the more playable, satisfying game. Factor in the higher resolution and what feels like a bit more polish, and it's clearly the pick of the two HD console releases."
We've already seen how heated the debate can become when one console's version of a game is perceived as inferior. Some developers have even admitted that their games were built to optimize performance on the Xbox 360 over PS3 , which can't make PS3 owners feel appreciated.
There seem to be at least one million Xbox users who can feel a bit more satisfied with purchasing their console's version of the game, but it remains unclear if this trend will continue as the series moves forward - or should we say, upward.
So here's the chance for PS3 owners to express their anger that once again, the 'superior' hardware at work in Sony's console are not being utilized to their potential by a top-level game developer, Treyarch.
You can have a look at Call of Duty: Black Ops by picking up a copy on either PC, Xbox 360, or PS3 and judge for yourself.
Source: Digital Foundry (via CVG)