Destiny Visual Analysis: PS4 vs. Xbox One, PS3 vs Xbox 360

Not the good, not the bad, just the middle ground.

Posted By | On 19th, Sep. 2014 Under Article, Graphics Analysis


Bungie had been out of the limelight for a long while and it was an almost surprise when they’d gone mum. Almost, because they had come out with Halo, which had made them the best out there, but at the sametime had seen expectations soar to new heights. With Destiny, Bungie had planned to bask in the erstwhile glory of the Halo era. While Destiny hasn’t managed to bring about the same buzz and fervour amongst the crowds, it has nevertheless stirred them.

What’s noteworthy is Bungie’s efforts to scrub out the console performance differences, which Destiny seems to have done perfectly. With considerable tweaks and upgrades since the beta version of the game, the Xbox One version and the PS4 version of the game are finally at par with each other. 

Destiny PS4 vs Xbox One

PS4 on the right. Xbox One on the left.

"The Xbox One and the PS4 both churn out a steady 30fps experience in FullHD. What struck a chord of joy for the Microsoft console users was the implementation of the 1080p rendering since the impact it has had on the game’s environment has been considerably impactful; compared to the beta the environments look richer and slicker, objects and set pieces appear more solid with defined boundaries and neat details."

There had been much frustration over the Xbox One version of Destiny running at 900p in comparison to the PS4’s 1080p rendering, but Bungie had promised that they’ll close down on such disparities and they have stood true to their words. The Xbox One and the PS4 can be seen level pegging when it comes to Destiny’s performance. The game almost looks identical on both the platforms. Although scrutinizing the game’s two versions on the current gen consoles side by side could make it easy to point out differences.

The Xbox One and the PS4 both churn out a steady 30fps experience in FullHD. What struck a chord of joy for the Microsoft console users was the implementation of the 1080p rendering since the impact it has had on the game’s environment has been considerably impactful; compared to the beta the environments look richer and slicker, objects and set pieces appear more solid with defined boundaries and neat details. While the higher resolution output has improved the game’s ambience, this increase is as good as negligible for those playing on small screens; the difference is noticeable on TVs of sizes in excess of 46”.

Destiny uses FXAA for dealing with jagged ends and it does a decent job of getting things right. Both the consoles render textures in high resolutions and thus are not in a dire need of high end AA effects, post processing or otherwise to take care of jaggies. The down side of FXAA is that in areas of extensive depth of field, objects are susceptible to jagged edges, and when FXAA does its job in such situations, said objects end up with smudged appearances, although mostly attributed to object boundaries. But it is something that you wouldn’t notice outrightly and doesn’t impact the game in any way.

 Destiny PS4 vs Xbox One

"The only place where there seems to be a little discrepancy between the two consoles is with regard to the AA and texture filtering. Somehow, the anti-aliasing on the Xbox One version seems not as good as the PS4’s. It’s not a humongous difference that would spell chaos for the user, but parity achieved in every field, it was a bit odd to behold that."

Set pieces seem to be identically placed in both the versions too. The game has cloth physics but it’s not ubiquitous. While you may see flags furling and flapping, you’ll find some characters’ clothes to be not reactive to various game elements. Even though you don a helmet for almost the entirety of the game, it feels a little lacking to not have appropriate hair physics in a game of such calibre.

Both the consoles have an excellent 2D skybox with ample detailing and crepuscular rays to complement the beauty of it. The non interactive 3D skybox gives a notion of the proportions of the world that you will be traversing and there seem no fault that either. Texture pop in wasn’t an issue on either consoles. 

The only place where there seems to be a little discrepancy between the two consoles is with regard to the AA and texture filtering. Somehow, the anti-aliasing on the Xbox One version seems not as good as the PS4’s. It’s not a humongous difference that would spell chaos for the user, but parity achieved in every field, it was a bit odd to behold that. Again, such a difference would only be noticeable by enthusiasts who wish to etch out the differences and similarities with utmost dexterity. I will also like to add that due to better texture filtering, the colors also look sharper on the PS4 version. 

Destiny PS4 vs Xbox One

"The Xbox 360 version of the game has better shadow mapping and renders them at a seemingly higher resolution in addition to catering to the jagged ends with a better AA implementation."

The older generation of the consoles largely seem to share the same ground when it comes to performance, but maybe Bungie’s experience with the Microsoft console has paid off in having them better their game.

While Destiny  manages to look almost identical on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, some differences are quite visible. The Xbox 360 version of the game has better shadow mapping and renders them at a seemingly higher resolution in addition to catering to the jagged ends with a better AA implementation. Shadows appear neater and more defined on the Xbox 360 than they do on the Sony counterpart.

The overall textures too seem to look better on the MS console but the difference is there, no matter the triviality of it. The skybox on the old generation cuts back on the detail, but looks just as good. Needless to say, other aspects are dialled down a lot.

Destiny PS4 vs Xbox One

"Bungie needs to be commended for Destiny on a lot of fronts, but the most important here is the efforts that they have tried put in to bring parity in the two consoles. They have been quite successful with it too with a few differences."

Particle effects take a toll on the GPU, and the open world environment of Destiny has oodles of alpha processing that it keeps throwing at the GPU. To retain alpha processing while maintaining frame rate consistency, Bungie did excessive use of anti-aliasing to put dust motes and particle effects in place.

In effect, the GPUs of both the consoles render particle effects on a fundamental level and have them get smudged excessively. While this method does lack detail, in the overall outlook, it works well enough for the game. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 run the game in sub HD resolutions but don’t experience any frame rate drops that would ruin the gameplay.

Bungie needs to be commended for Destiny on a lot of fronts, but the most important here is the efforts that they have tried put in to bring parity in the two consoles. They have been quite successful with it too with a few differences. On the other hand, the game has been beautifully executed albeit with a few nitpicky complaints we have that won’t ever go. The PlayStation 4 has a slight lead when it comes to graphical prowess, but there are differences in the content available to the PlayStation and the Xbox users. Disregarding that, Destiny is a game that almost stands equally firm on both the new gen consoles.


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  • justerthought

    I have doubts about the accuracy of the comparison techniques used by this website. The grabs that Digital Foundry did showed none of the differences displayed here and looks like the method to grab video off the XB1 is not accessing the full colour space and using a limited gamut.

    The results shown here have the PS4 looking clear and vibrant with saturated colours, especially in the highlight areas, while the XB1 looks murky and bland as if there is smog in the air. That error has implications to all the conclusions they made. The fact that the XB1 version is being viewed with less contrast reduces the visibility of jaggies and helps smooth the AA implementation. AA blurs the joint by using pixel colours that are an average.

    In reality the AA is exactly the same on both consoles going by Digital Foundry, but because the PS4 is being viewed with more contrast and vibrancy, this makes the jaggies stand out more due to the join between a dark colour meeting a light colour. If the two colours are similar brightness, the jaggies are harder to see. The extreme effect is 100% contrast where black meet white and you see jaggies at the maximum.

    Claiming that the XB1 has better AA and that shadows look less jaggy is laughable when you haven’t got the colour space correct in your original video grab. This website needs to improve their technical expertise before spouting opinions relating to technical issues.

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    • ShoNuff

      I agree Destiny on my xbox doesn’t have that grey sheen that is present in these screen grabs. I think they have the RGB color output setup incorrectly.

    • GK15

      You guys are both correct. Destiny doesn’t look like it has a dark cloud of smoke covering it on my screen. And even if it did, a quick change of settings would fix that.

      This comparison pic is quite different

  • ima flyGuy

    It looks better on ps4 and the x1 beta 900p version looks better than the x1 final release 1080p version witch proves they dummed down graphics textures and effects to hit 1080p. Digital foundry on you tube has comparisons up in hd go look for yourself.

    • Jay

      Wow, you have an unhealthy obsession with attacking the Xbox 1. Enough with the fanboy BS. What are you, like 12 years old? Every single one of your comments are attacking microsoft……Get a life.

    • ima flyGuy

      Did you check the source? How is stating a fact attacking microsoft ? It looks better on x1 beta than x1 final release it’s a fact your a fanboy if you can’t take facts, and most of my comments are replies to fanboys like you that constantly attack playstation this another fact.

    • Jay

      I have an xbox one and a play station 4 and i like them both. You’re the fanboy.

    • ima flyGuy

      I had a 360 before ps4 I’m not loyal to any company I just go for best value for money and at the time ps4 was a better system for a cheaper price it was a no brainer not fanboyism.

    • Dirge

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-destiny-xbox-one-performance-analysis The final version is better than the beta. Don’t believe me, look for yourself (you won’t).

    • ima flyGuy

      Go watch x1 beta vs x1 final release on digital foundry you tube. It’s clearly got better graphics textures, lighting, shadow effects and smoke fire etc…. In the beta 900p version they clearly nerfed the graphics to get it to 1080p.

    • demfax

      Not true.

    • Dirge

      Let me make this absolutely clear then since you didn’t read the article. Digital Foundry’s exact words on this matter:

      ”…in terms of in-game assets, nothing appears to have been pared back for Destiny’s campaign or straight multiplayer modes. A charge through the initial Steppes areas, for example, shows draw distances and pop-in are like-for-like between the retail and beta builds on Xbox One, and even PS4. Even on the distant cliffs, shadow maps, geometry and enemy placements remain as they were. Bump-mapped rock textures also go untouched, but as a result of the resolution boost, now appear more defined even from a long range.

      Effects-work and lighting also remain fixed in quality across the world…”

      There are comparison pictures here that confirm this http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-destiny-xbox-one-performance-analysis.

      I also checked a YT video with the beta vs the final. The beta suffers from black crush which is an image quality issue that the final version does not suffer from. This might just be because of the video format but in any case, this only shows additional problems with the beta version. Black crush can be caused by high contrast which results in strongers colors, but all it does is erase image detail. You can do the exact thing by tuning your television. This delusion is what caused so many people to think games on the ps3 looked ”washed out” and worse when in fact the xbox 360 version was riddled with black crush. Again, this is no better than putting an instagram filter on your TV.

    • ima flyGuy

      Don’t listen to other people’s opinions in an article probably approved and edited by a third party, and still pictures are no comparison. Watch actual footage of both versions and it is absolutely undeniable proof that the beta 900p version is on par with ps4 but the final release 1080p version is nothing like ps4. And is graphically inferior to the beta version, this proves there was sacrifices to hit 1080p, theres articles that support this also, Trust your own eyes not someone else’s.

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    These comparisons are silly and not scientific. Because you claim the hardware is worse on X1, you feel validated bysaying the graphics are worse on X1. The problem is your premise is inaccurate. A 5 is not fater than a 3. The “G” does not stand for “Gaming.” These are common misconceptions. Also while PS4 RAM is shared between processors, X1 RAM is dedcated for graphics only. I suppose if a game developer wanted they could also take advantage of the shared RAM which would upscalethe graphics further, but for now most are only using dedicated memory. So in truth, X1 has expandable resources (skies the limit) while PS4 has peeked. So you can play the numbers game all you want, but in the end, PS4 can be kicked to the curb. I believe most of these ads are paid for by Sony’s crazy high advetising budget. Since Sony is going bankrupt, the next generation from Sony will be the PlayStation (Not going to happen).


 

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