Despite being the better part of half a decade old the Playstation 3 has yet to really tap into the awesome power that the machine actually has. Sadly with most gamers out there expecting an announcement of the Playstation 4 at some point this year, despite it being continuously denied by Sony, maybe we will never really see the full graphical potential that the Playstation 3 has to offer. With the next generation just around the corner the announcement will be made sooner than later and when you consider what a graphical powerhouse the Playstation 3 is then the future really is quite exciting.
When the Playstation 3 was first announced Sony made some very bold claims in regards to there tech, mainly there amazing cell microprocessor. Unfortunately many multi platform developers out there have never really taken the time to get to grips with the Playstation 3’s hardware. A couple of examples that show this are first of all the 2010 Platinum Games crazy game Bayonetta on the Xbox 360 this game looked amazing had a good solid frame rate and just had an all round triple A title feel to it. However in not taking the time to really use the muscle of the Playstation 3’s RSX graphics processing unit, Playstation 3 owners were treated to a game that looked vastly inferior to its Xbox 360 counterpart. We are not just talking about a few little things here and there either the whole game FMV cut scenes included look downright ugly when in comparison. Jaggy textures a sluggish frame rate that at some points can practically bring the game to a stand still.
Another good example of developers failing to use the superior graphics capabilities of the Playstation 3 is Rockstar Games western masterpiece Red Dead Redemption. Despite being more than capable at running the game in the same resolution as the Xbox 360 the Playstation 3 version looks vastly inferior. For starters its runs a lower resolution and through smoke and mirrors somehow manages to put out at 720p. On its own merit this is fine but the Xbox 360 one looks so much better its unreal, not only does it have a higher resolution, to make things look even sweeter it uses 2x multi sample anti aliasing. Just all round the Playstation 3 version looks like it was just quickly ported from the Xbox 360 and thrown out there, if they had taken the time to get to grips with the hardware then it would no doubt have at least looked as good as the Xbox 360 version or perhaps even better.
Now those examples may have sounded a little harsh but in comparison when it is used in the right way then the Playstation 3’s graphical processing unit is an absolute beast. It is no surprise that games that are developed exclusively for the Playstation 3 look the best. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted trilogy is a great example of what the Playstation 3 can do. All gamers must admit that when we first saw the demo footage from Uncharted Drakes Fortune we were blown away. With its sequel Among Thieves and 2011’s Drakes Deception, Naught Dog have pushed the Playstation 3 in terms of graphics perhaps more than any other developer out there. Anti Aliasing in the Uncharted games is in a word amazing there are very few rough edges in this game and even when it is moving at 100mph things still look just as sharp. You would find it hard to find a high end PC that has as smooth textures as Uncharted 3.
It would be the easy way out to mention Heavy Rain when looking at how the Playstation 3’s graphics can be unparalleled. But one game that really beyond a shadow of a doubt shows just how powerful the Playstation 3 can be is God of War 3. God of War 3 shows what consoles are capable of in a age when many PC gamers look down there noses at what a console can do even they would be hard pushed not to be blow away y God of War 3. Its not just the character graphics either the whole world looks amazing. There is not one little pixel out of place everything is tight and highly detailed. Perhaps most impressive of all is that despite the fact that this whole world looks so impressive it never slows down or tears and the frame rate keeps up with all the hack and slash action. I find the God of War series a very interesting part of the Playstations life as you could argue that the Playstation 2 release of God of War 2 at the end of the consoles life truly showed the graphical capabilities of that machine, could the heavily rumored God of War 4 be about to do the same thing at the end of the Playstation 3’s life?
If we believe everything we read then things are shaping up for a 2014 release of the Playstation 4. With the Wii U due out in 2012 and Microsoft at work on the successor to the Xbox 360, there is no doubt that Sony will not want to be late to the party like they were with the Playstation 3. When you consider that very few games really tapped into the potential that the Playstation 3 had to offer it’s quite exciting to think of the graphical powerhouse that Playstation 4 will no doubt be. When the Playstation 2 was first announced there was a claim that games would be able to have Disney Pixar like graphics, turns out that was a large exaggeration. However with what we have seen in this generation is it really unthinkable that we could play games that look like a Pixar movie. Photo realism is a term that has been used since the first Playstation was released could this be where we are heading with the Playstation 4? We can just hope that this time there will be more developers who are willing to roll up there sleeves and put the work in to make it happen.
Will the PS4 have photorealism? -- March 9th, 2013
Even though we all expected photorealism with the PlayStation 4, it seems that this won't be the case. Now that the system is unveiled and we have seen videos of PS4 games in action, what we've seen falls far short of our initial conceptions of the device.
Don't be mistaken: the PS4 is still a definite step up from the PS3 in terms of graphics. However, earlier reports turned out to be true and rather than focus on increasing the graphics tenfold over the PS3, Sony opted to focus more on the social aspects on the device.
One aspect to keep in mind is that even though the PS4 may not be a huge step over the PS3 at the current time, in a few years once developers have learned the ins and outs of the system we could witness some amazing games, perhaps even on the verge of photorealism like we initially predicted.