Star Wars Battlefront Xbox One vs. PS4 vs. PC – Does The Lower Resolution On Consoles Matter?

Are DICE’s new standards for visuals significant enough to offset lower resolutions?

Posted By | On 17th, Nov. 2015 Under Article, Graphics Analysis

Star Wars: Battlefront is upon us and if you’ve taken part in the beta, you know the score. There’s no full HD resolution on either console – the PS4 is at 900p resolution while the Xbox One is at 720p resolution. Paltry, especially in this age of Halo 5: Guardians managing a dynamic 1080p resolution with a 60 FPS frame rate, right? Here’s where things may get a little divisive with DICE’s latest multiplayer shooter: Are you interested in CG level post processing with excellent performance or do you need a higher pixel count for that razor-sharp image quality? Does a game’s visual fidelity and the sheer amount of detail on offer matter more? If you’re somewhere in the middle, then Star Wars: Battlefront may seem like the next big step in video game graphics.

We’ve discussed Frostbite before and its evolution in recent years. The biggest leap was with Frostbite 2 and its support for 64 bit CPUs, an awesome destruction system with Destruction 3.0 and Geomerics’ Enlighten technology for indirect lighting or radiosity in quasi-real time. Other features include subsurface scattering, bokeh depth of field and support for screen space ambient occlusion. Frostbite 3 didn’t introduce a gigantic leap, at least at first, but it brought new weather systems, photogrammetry and physically based rendering to the table.

Over the years, we’ve criticized the use of Frostbite 3 in cross-generational games like Battlefield 4 and Battlefield: Hardline. With the recent Need for Speed, Frostbite 3’s success in post-processing became much more apparent. With Star Wars: Battlefront, DICE has used photogrammetry combined with physically based rendering to recreate the environments from Star Wars that we know and love. Frostbite 3’s destruction capabilities may be slightly different than one is used to in Battlefield but as a whole, this is the most significant leap forward for the engine yet.

Head to head comparison between PS4, Xbox One and PC versions of Star Wars Battlefront.

As we noted way back in April 2015 with the initial reveal, the colour palette and vivid recreation of levels like Endor are amazing. The beta provided us with a look at the scale of various levels and whether you were observing rock formations or just marveling at the sunset, it was an authentic Star Wars experience through and through. As mentioned above, photogrammetry plays a big part in this. By capturing assets from the actual films, including costumes and props, and then feeding them into a system which reconstructs and renders them into digital 3D, DICE has found an excellent solution for realistically depicting the Star Wars universe without losing any of the signature fidelity in the process. As senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir stated before, “I think that when you see the visuals of the game as a whole, and you compare in your mind with games that have been running on previous generations of consoles, you can just see the leap in capabilities of the hardware – as well as what the engine can really do, given that increased power.”

When observing Star Wars: Battlefront, it’s important to really understand why DICE didn’t go for a full HD resolution on consoles. The benefits in this trade-off are manifold including a full physically based rendering pipeline (which affects the way designers work with art assets, levels, materials and objects along with the overall programming) and enhanced realism with photogrammetry. It also allows DICE to focus more on post-processing effects, heavier per object motion blur, adaptive tessellation and parallax occlusion for detailed terrain, volumetric lighting voxels and heavy utilization of depth of field and focal length bokeh. The animations are phenomenal all around and it’s scary how true they are to the source material (the same could be said of the sound effects). As a whole, when you look at the huge leap in visual quality and the excellent performance across both versions, not having a full HD resolution suddenly doesn’t seem all that bad.

As stated above, the PS4 is at 900p resolution and the Xbox One is at 720p resolution. The 60 FPS frame rate is pretty much solid throughout – in offline mode, you’ll notice a nearly locked frame rate with very minute drops. The performance does tend to see a few drops in Walker Assault mode due to the sheer number of alpha effects present, but it’s otherwise excellent.

Interestingly, the Xbox One has slightly better performance. While both versions have V-Sync with no screen tearing, we did notice the PS4 version performing better in multiplayer overall. As it stands, Walker Assault is what tends to tax the frame rate. When in split-screen, you’ll notice the 30 FPS frame rate dropping into the upper 20s when there’s lot of action happening. Then again, split-screen on both consoles is running at 1920×1080 resolution, offering each player a 1920×540 view of the game.

Though it can claim slightly better performance at times, the Xbox One’s lower operating resolution has its own issues. Draw distance is the same for both consoles but the Xbox One’s resolution means blurry, softer image quality. Thankfully, DICE utilized some excellent post processing anti-aliasing to deliver less noise, which helps immensely on the Xbox One. Both console versions have graphics settings matching the PC version’s High settings with core assets like texture quality being similar. On consoles, we noticed some pop-ins for some levels.

Missing shadows and screen space reflections were also noticed and in some cases, the screen space reflection would appear to form from the centre rather than being distorted. It was weird to say the least. There’s also the fact that bullets fly over water without any colour reflections on the body’s surface. Though the issues with missing shadows, screen space reflections and lack of bullet reflections on water were observed more on consoles, they were noticed on PC as well.

Star Wars: Battlefront uses adaptive tessellation on ground surfaces and it looks great. Ambient occlusion is also implemented well. Texture filtering is similar across all three platforms but texture details tend to be resolved quicker on PC (with the clarity on Xbox One suffering most). We also noticed similar lens flare effects with texture geometry and shadow quality between both console versions being similar. That being said, the shadow quality on consoles tends to suffer at times when compared to the PC version, which has softer and sharper edges on shadows. The PC version also boasts better volumetric effects like smoke, water, etc.

PC graphical settings include support for up to 3840×2160 resolution, the ability to customize motion blur amount and FOV, and the usual options for texture quality, texture filtering, lighting quality, shadow quality, effect quality, post process quality and mesh quality. You can also customize options for terrain quality, terrain groundcover, anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion. Star Wars: Battlefront is GPU-bound and using an Intel Core i7-5960X with 16 GB of RAM, we tested it at 1080p resolution, 2K resolution and 4K resolution across a variety of cards.

1080p resolution:

  • GeForce GTX 980 Ti – 105 FPS
  • GeForce Titan X – 104 FPS
  • Radeon R9 390x – 86 FPS
  • Radeon R9 290x – 82 FPS

2K Resolution:

  • GeForce GTX 980 Ti – 77 FPS
  • GeForce Titan X – 74 FPS
  • Radeon R9 390x – 66 FPS
  • Radeon R9 290x – 64 FPS

4K Resolution:

  • GeForce GTX 980 Ti – 41 FPS
  • GeForce Titan X – 39 FPS
  • Radeon R9 390x – 36 FPS
  • Radeon R9 290x – 32 FPS


Star Wars: Battlefront on consoles isn’t a very tough proposition – despite the slightly inferior FPS performance at times, the PS4 version beats the Xbox One thanks to a higher pixel count. When you look at the bigger picture, it’s obvious that Battlefront heralds a significant benchmark for visuals regardless of the platform you experience it on with the sheer amount of post processing effects bringing it the closest to CG quality graphics we’ve seen yet. The PC version is recommended for those with strong configurations but the PS4 and Xbox One versions also deserve a look if you can excuse their respective shortcomings.

Note: Analysis carried out by Bill Smith.

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  • Pazz

    hahahaha sorry but the problem is not the graphics but the contents.
    More than half of the game is sold as DLC

  • Sindin78

    Sad the game is poor…tired of it before my 10 hour EA access had expired. Still waiting on a multiplat worth my time.

    • One The One

      Same here. Now, going back to Halo 5.

    • Sindin78

      Me too. Halo 5 is the best fps available. Cant wait for BTB

    • Mark

      I have to agree. I played about 3 hours of Star Wars on Access, and it’s probably the best lookin game we have yet. However it just isn’t fun to me. There’s just no satisfaction to be had when I hit an enemy. Ughhh. Anyway I’m goin back to Tomb Raider. I threw the difficulty on Survival, and dam I feel like I’m earning every kill, and every resource. It’s defenitely GOTY for me, outside of Halo and Witcher 3. Oh yeah Blops 3 is decent too.

  • nova

    As usual with Gamingbolt, just claims and no data… just an amateurish job…

    Better performances on XB1 ?

    Continue to discredit yourself…

    • Terminator

      “As stated above, the PS4 is at 900p resolution and the Xbox One is at 720p resolution. The 60 FPS frame rate is pretty much solid throughout – in offline mode, you’ll notice a nearly locked frame rate with very minute drops. The performance does tend to see a few drops in Walker Assault mode due to the sheer number of alpha effects present, but it’s otherwise excellent.

      Interestingly, the Xbox One has slightly better performance. While both versions have V-Sync with no screen tearing, we did notice the PS4 version performing better in multiplayer overall. As it stands, Walker Assault is what tends to tax the frame rate.”

      As you can see, if you read and not just the bits, they are talking about the offline portion of the game while acknowledging that the PS4 has a better performance in multiplayer just as digital foundry stated.

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    I saw choppy crap on PS4 in that review… Something that is NOT acceptable. Why the Xbox is said to be inferior is beyond my understanding of their stupidity. Xbox is the only console worthwhile. Sony will eventually be bankrupt, once the glow is off of their GDDR5 which is enhanced DDR3 and not enhanced by speeding it up. Off loading system operations from the GDDR5 does give it some boost, but ES RAM will take the cake in the long run. Do note that you can snap an app with the Xbox One and star wars running. That’s why you need dynamic resolution. Other wise you aim for the bottom of the barrel. If it doesn’t have dynamic resolution, the game is not performing at its peak on Xbox One. And the devs should be placed in the corner with a dunce cap.

    • HyDrO

      I´ll take 8gb of full duplex GDDR5 with 18 GPU compute units over 8gb half duplex DDR3 + 32mb ESRAM and 12 compute units any day. If it wasn’t for ESRAM, your Xbone would have 1153 shaders (like the PS4) instead of 768. This is why they aren’t stupid, it‘s you 🙁

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      Lol. Please go back to school. Copying and pasting “facts” from the internet is beneath me, like your mom was last night. Sony doubled the lanes on the highway, but you got Ferraris stuck behind Mack trucks. Microsoft put a fast lane in for graphics. Ferraris can gun it.

    • HyDrO

      You should feel dumb for even posting that.

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      You’re an idiot.

    • HyDrO

      Btw everyone in the PC world knows DDR3 is for budget GPUs, GDDR5 is for performance. It’s nothing new except to consoles. Stop being a MS rim licker.

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      And you know it’s attached to graphics cards. And the g stands for graphics. Sony uses it for everything. They didn’t get the memo. Gddr5 is ddr3. Look it up.

    • HyDrO

      I already knew that. My gosh are you stupid. Xbox 360 used GDDR3. GDDR5 is based on DDR3, it’s not DDR3 or they would call it DDR3. Stop coming up with random facts to reinforce yourself. Everyone already knows what the “G” stands for.

    • Dotcum22

      Lol another salty x1 fanboy stating obvious salty tears about his precious console. Be happy with your 720p starwars and dynamic resolution without being salty about the ps4. It’s pretty lame and weak

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      Lol. How old are you?

    • HyDrO

      He’s defintely older than you

    • Charles – The Great and Powerf

      Salty? I should say so. That was my point.

    • Dotcum22


  • The Age of the Console is at an end, let go of it. They do not serve the purpose they did, they lost all the performance they used to have.
    The Age of PC gaming is already under way.
    True, DRM & DLC, how corporations can fleece you of more of your money.

  • hvd hvd

    dies is the only dev that can it 900p on xbvox one or 1080p on tell me is it the consoles or the dev?i think we know the answer them.

  • Riggerto

    “in this age of Halo 5: Guardians managing a dynamic 1080p resolution with a 60 FPS frame rate”

    ?? It’s great tech but 810p ain’t that much higher than 720p (which is were Halo resolution can sit a lot of the time).

    Don’t encourage them. Or they’ll keep releasing games at last gen resolution!

    • HyDrO

      Even if it runs at 810p they advertise at 1080p dynamic which worked. Every MS fanboy thinks Halo 5 is 1080p/60fps. Only time an MS fan cares about graphics is when they get a game that will run 1080p on that box otherwise they swear it’s never about graphics.

    • DNA

      At least we’re getting next generation games and not all remastered rubbish Sony are bundling with their next gen consoles. Thing is I’m sick of monthly Indies and dumb remasters from Sony so I bought an XBox One to get some real AA games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5 and Forza 6.

      All you guys are getting is PS3 games like God of War 3 and Unchartered PS 3 stuff in your bundles for next generation consoles? Why don’t you complain to Sony. We complain to Microsoft when we don’t think we are getting looked after.

      As long as Sony fanboys are willing to rest on their ‘my console is better than yours’ mentality Sony keep dishing out trash remastered stuff. Get a life and address reality that Sony’s not giving you guys great AAA titles for your next gen just useless Indies.

      I waited 6 months and only Bloodbourne. They should be giving you guys many more exclusives.

  • HisDivineOrder

    This article is not written very well. Literally, quoted:

    “Interestingly, the Xbox One has slightly better performance. While both versions have V-Sync with no screen tearing, we did notice the PS4 version performing better in multiplayer overall.”

    Battlefront is a multiplayer game. Thus, how can one console have slightly better performance while not “performing better in multiplayer overall” ?

    • XbotMK1

      Gamingbolt is trying desperately to damage control for Xbox One. That is why it is written that way. This contradicts Digital Foundry’s conclusion that the PS4 version performs better.

      You should never take Gamingbolt’s benchmarks honestly.

    • Terminator

      “in offline mode, you’ll notice a nearly locked frame rate with very minute drops”
      I think they are saying that the offline portion (which Battlefront has) has better performance (fps) on Xbox One but when it comes to online PS4 comes out on top, don’t know how that works but I think that’s what they are trying to say.

    • Hermione Granger

      also how can they measure their online connection?.. when it comes to online games that is p2p, a game can drop in framerate because of lag.. so to say the ps4 was better, can just be luck because they got connected to other players that dont lag out the gameplay. i guess they never thought about that when they are dealing with always online online games…

    • DNA

      Bottom line is the game looks and runs awesome on both consoles. They can’t really prove much of a difference that couldn’t be put down to Internet lag or other issues. I find the graphics and gameplay on Xbox one blows me away. And I’m sure they also do the same for PS4. I own both consoles.

  • XbotMK1

    It’s funny how these Microsoft fanboy shills like Pazz, One the One, and Mark are trying to downplay Star Wars Battlefront over content when they are the same fanboys who praised Titanfall and a $60 Forza weather DLC.

    The reason why these Microsoft shills are downplaying Star Wars Battlefront is because they desperately want you to buy Halo 5 after it’s fall from previous Halos. This is how desperate the Xbox defense force has become. They change their opinions whenever it’s convenient to suit their hidden fanboy agenda.


    • Sindin78

      Ummmm halo 5 sold crap tons and broke records with its launch. You wanting it to not sell well doesn’t make it fact…in fact it makes you look like a deranged fool.

    • HyDrO

      They combined software sales with hardware sales so who knows how much it really sold. I’m sure it sold well but everytime MS plays with the numbers I get skeptical .

    • Michael Norris

      MS isn’t happy with those sells still.

    • Sindin78

      Oh yes they are. Best selling Halo launch of all time.

  • Michael Norris

    Ugh please what a crappy written article….just buy the Pc version if you have a good rig unless you have friends that want to play it on Ps4/Xone.Pc>Ps4>Xone

  • Michael St Jacques

    So how great does it look w/ 1440p or 4k gaming monitors (Gsync/Fsync) @ 60fps+ versus the consoles?

    I gained nothing from this article other than the game is dumbed down for consoles.

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