Digital Foundry: 360 FFXIII is “a lot worse than it should have been”

Friday, 5th March 2010 00:53 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter has properly stuck right into Final Fantasy XIII for Xbox 360, saying the PS3 version is the flavour of the day.

In the latest Eurogamer face-off, the results went like this:

“The rumours are true. Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 isn’t anywhere near as impressive as it is on PlayStation 3. The real kicker is that it’s a lot worse than it should have been.

“Square Enix’s latest epic – 4.5 years in the making – follows on the basic principles established by all of its PlayStation predecessors in combining an excellent 3D engine along with vast amounts of pre-rendered CG. This presented two very difficult issues for the developers tasked with porting an already mature PS3 work-in-progress over to the Xbox 360.

The article further adds at the end:

“So, occasionally fine, sometimes grim: a statement that effectively sums up how much of Final Fantasy XIII looks on Xbox 360 when compared to the PlayStation 3 game, meaning that if you own both consoles, there really is only one choice when it comes to the purchasing decision.”

Ouch. Loads more on it through the link.

Final Fantasy XIII is out on Tuesday in a US/EU sim-ship for PS3 and 360. Reviews are starting to flood in: get them here.



  1. Razor

    S-E may as well just keep future FF games on PS3.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Bleak Harvest

    Youch. It’ll still outsell it, though.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DJ Deathstar

    Prob doesn’t helping porting a game already far into development

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Michael O’Connor

    The fact that these barely-different comparison are even *done* is just sad – it’s little more than fanboy pandering.

    The game looks so astounding that the difference in resolution is completely insignificant to the overall experience.

    “S-E may as well just keep future FF games on PS3.”

    People will enjoy the game on whatever console they own. It gives the consumer more choice, and considering that neither console dominates the market any more than the other, it is a completely rational thing to do to release this on both formats.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Alakratt

    Amazing, when DF say that a PS3 port is horrible, everybody says they’re right and that the PS3 is shit bla bla bla. But, when the heavens open up, and God comes down from the sky, and DF say otherwise…it doesn’t matter, comparisons are useless, bla bla….You gotta love the xbots…

    TEA come here quick, I might need back up!!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Retroid

    Bollocks to “not noticing”. I’m pretty damned certain I’d notice the difference between 1024×576 upscaled to 720 (and then upscaled again to 1080p) and 1280×720 upscaled to 1080p on my 43″ screen.

    Not to mention the rubbish re-encoding they’ve apparently done on the video.

    I’d prefer to know which version of a game to get. It’s that simple.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Michael O’Connor

    @ Alaktratt

    I’ve *always* considered these tests pointless, regardless of format.

    Go back to the days of the PS1 versus the Dreamcast, or PS2 versus Xbox, of better yet, go back the Commodore vs. Amstrad vs. Spectrum. At least with those consoles there were actual glaring differences between the formats, instead of the naval-fluff pickings these tests are based off of.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Retroid

    At least Spectrum & C64 owners could unite in their derision of CPC owners.


    #8 5 years ago
  9. Razor

    Alakratt, it’s more about people now suddenly acknowledging reasons why the 360 version is inferior, which have never counted for a poor PS3 conversion.

    Now, all of a sudden, the fact FFXIII was led on the PS3 is acknowledged as a factor, when I’ve seen countless comparisons whereby the fact a game was led on the 360 means nothing as to why games look inferior on the PS3.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Michael O’Connor

    “At least Spectrum & C64 owners could unite in their derision of CPC owners.”

    Pfffff, whatever! The Spectrum versions were always shite compared to the CPC versions!

    (My first computer was an Amstrad CPC 464.)

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Alakratt

    Yeah, back then the differences were more obvious. Can’t say anything about the Commodore days…ummm lol.

    But, if fanboys or even people that have both consoles but favor one, celebrate when comparisons happen, then I’m entitled to this one too. Thank God this happened to MS, really, no, better yet, to SE. A bad 360 port, but not just from any game, from a FF title. This is so good!! That money wasted….All I can say is thank you greed for making MS look worse!! (yeah I know, nothing’s happened yet) But when those sales numbers start rolling in…I wonder what MS has to say about this…about their “superior” console?

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Michael O’Connor

    A practically identical looking game is “a terrible port”?

    Okay then.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Michael O’Connor

    Uuuuh… dude, I can get the pre-ordered changed for whatever version I choose at a moment’s notice. I *choose* the 360 version by choice despite the “inferior” graphics.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Michael O’Connor

    Oh no… I won’t be able to watch the 1080p video of the PS3 version on my 720p HD-TV! How ever will I survive?! *feigns distress*

    And… oh god… I’m gonna have to get off the chair every 15 hours to change the disc! That’s well beyond my physical capabilities, being a gamer and all!

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Goliath

    The game was ported in 4 months, what did any of you expect? What I hope gets across is that the problems with the XBox 360 version isn’t because of storage space or hardware, it’s simply a lazy developer. It’s funny but when PS3 ports are inferior, it’s the first cry of elitist PS3 fanboys. In this case, where that clearly applies, all focus seems to be on the hardware.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. yacaman

    PS3 1. Microsoft outdates.
    Next out is Uncharted 3 for the XBOX. 5 discs and 20gb download.

    Keep paying to play online. Idiots!!!!!
    One Ring to screw them all!!!! The Ring DEATH! OF DEATH!!! OF DEATH!!!!

    Hi Im a XBOX and Im a PS3.
    This year Xbox gets its first Antivirus.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. theevilaires

    Im here Alakratt :D am I too late

    hey O’Connor you still getting this on 360 like you did with tekken6, LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh and fuck Digital Foundry, I hate those cunts.

    No 360 game looks better than Uncharted2, There I just got rid of the need for that lame site forever.

    BTW you are totally right in post 5 Alakratt, Anyone see that bum Mike Bowden :D ….oh Mikey come out come out wherever you are.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Goliath

    @ RGW1982

    It’s not. Clearly the game could have been efficiently ported utilizing 3 disks without compromising the games structure. The issues with the port is that it was rushed and poorly done.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Blerk

    Shoddy work, Squenix. Tut tut.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. NiceFellow

    Well, the difference is noticable although not huge either, apart from the cut-scenes, which is a pretty big gap.

    Won’t affect the gameplay though. Clearly the decision to port took place to far into the development for PS3 and they didn’t give themselves enough time (or weren’t willing to spend that much more) to put in extra effort for 360 specific code.

    However, pretty much all developers agree it’s easier to port from PS3 to 360 than 360 to PS3, so I have to assume that if they’d gone with 4 disks vs 3, and not compressed so much, the game would look a lot better.

    The fact is the 360 has the horsepower to look better, but here is struggling with game assets (textures, etc) that are weaker from the get go and less optmized code.

    I guess the irony is this is exactly what happened with the PS3 early on, and indeed than it was the console’s fault, not the developers for not optimizing the code, etc. so I guess 360 owners shouldn’t be surprised at a little ‘shoe on the other foot’ crowing when 360 get’s the sub-optimal code for once.

    It’ll sell okay on 360 but without Japan, where it’s exclusive to PS3, the PS3 version will easily sell more so the final analysis is going to be this wasn’t tbe best of transitions to multi-platform.

    MS won’t care anyway. This was about preventing more people outside Japan picking up PS3′s and giving them the option of getting this on 360, and weaker port or not MS will probably have accomplished that.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Newbie101


    #21 5 years ago
  22. Blerk

    Indeed, Nice – as with Bayonetta, most people won’t even realise that one’s better than the other. It’s only us lot who even give a shit.

    If I’d actually been planning to pick it up it would definitely have put me off, though – a half-arsed port deserves to be bought at no more than a half-RRP price.

    As it is, my excitement level for the title is practically non-existent anyway. I think me n’ FF are finally over. Sniff.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. mington

    Comparison shots to your hearts content

    the 360 screenshots make me want to throw up :P

    #23 5 years ago
  24. dirigiblebill

    Can’t say the resolution clash bothers me particularly, but given the option I’d pick the PS3 version.

    I read DF articles more to hear about how the games actually function than whose graphical testes are rounder and firmer – thankfully, they cater to both kinds of reader. Also worth remembering that Richard doesn’t just publish face-offs – there are some cracking interviews and features on there which go more or less unsung.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Retroid

    I love how, apparently, *all* the comparison test websites are biased towards 360 and against PS3. At least, they must be, because they all generally agree and it CAN’T be the fanboys having issues with the facts, can it…!

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Blerk

    Some of the comments on the DF article are genius. The PS3 is the clear winner for a change, but they’re still unhappy because they don’t like his “tone”.

    It’s winning, but it’s not winning enough, dammit! :-D

    #26 5 years ago
  27. The Hindle

    All the Xbots are in uproar on Eg lol refuse to believe that a Ps3 game looks way better then the 360 version. :)

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Bulk Slash

    I cancelled my 360 pre-order the other week and went for the PS3 version when I heard about the lower resolution of the 360 version (I had pre-ordered it for the 360 back before I even had a PS3)! Looking at DF’s HD videos in motion it’s surprisingly hard to see any difference between the two. It’s only in the stills that the differences are more easily apparent.

    Still, this is pretty shoddy work from Square. The Last Remnant was a mess too. They really need to put more effort into their 360 work.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. Eregol

    To be honest, if I didn’t know what I was looking for, I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.
    Especially if I’m not a number cruncher of any sort.
    Granted, the 360 version has a better frame rate, but with a less defined picture, that’s hardly going to be a surprise.
    The cut-scenes obviously have a difference, being blurry in quieter times and blocky in high energy moments. It’s kind of like watching upscaled SD.

    Either way, 360 owners aren’t missing out on much. They still get a great looking game.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. itsucks

    @Bulk Slash: How is this port solid?

    Just shows how strong is the hardware running a copy-paste port made just to tackle the descrepancies of one hardware. They could use better Video compressions codec, instead they went for the esier and faster routte… they even had unused space for video.
    The traparencies used in the hair of Ps3 look like shit, yet they have a port that runs better and could use other thecnique than the same displayed in a lower resolutrion making it more apparent.
    It just screams a shoddy port where the minimum runs good enough and they even had any work to minimize the visual hip-cups the lower resolution brings.
    It performs better, but that doesn’t mean much when it doesn’t look as crisp.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. daytripper

    the DF article headlines as “FMV” comparison, has anyone got any confirmation about the in-game stuff? i’m more interested in the in-game review rather than cut-scenes.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. itsucks

    @daytripper: Well you should, seems like all the Demo cutscenes, even the ones that tries to pass as in-game are pre-recorded shit.

    Rule of thumb, if you can’t control it, then probably its just a freaking video you could be watching in a media player.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. daytripper

    @ 36 its ok just checked out the eurogamer article

    i honestly cant see that great a difference between the two in game, the PS3 version looks more clinical to me but thats about it, the cutscenes however are sublime on PS3.

    far too much is being made of this, Bayonetta was right slamed as it should of been equal on both systems but all this over FMV? the fanboy war gets worse.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. JonFE

    At least Spectrum & C64 owners could unite in their derision of CPC owners.


    Those sad, pathetic little creatures couldn’t stand CPC superiority! 6218 FTW :lol:

    #34 5 years ago
  35. onyxbox

    I find it concerning that this comparison is presented more as a damage limitation for 360 than a face off.

    Smells of bias (the nod is given *reluctantly* to the PS3).

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Filofax

    Who the hell listens to cunts like Digital Foundry anyway, if a games that bad why don’t they get off their useless fucking arses and make a better one.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. OlderGamer

    I agree with Mr. O’Conner to be honest.

    To me it seems that SE knows the 360 version will out sell the PS3 version in the states. So they have to port it for that reason alone(and keep in mind they started making two copies back when PS3 was tanking). However, it seems to me that if the PS3 version outshined the XB360, it wouldn’t bother the JP centric SE.

    Look at other big name multiplat devs/pubs. They want both version as dead even as they can get. Be it Beyonetta to Fifa/Madden to BFBC2 or CoDMW2. Too have one version less then the other reflects poorly on the dev/pub NOT on the systems themself.

    I am sure that SE believes otherwise.

    And really, given the result of games, there is no need for one version to be out of sorts.

    And my guess is that it isn’t dramiticly different.

    But there is a legion of fans(many of them consider themself Core FF fans) that will eat this up and make a mountian out of a mole hill.

    Couldn’t honestly tell you one way or another what version is better. And because I don’t care to play this game on either system, it really doesn’t matter.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. itsucks

    @39: Sure as hell I wont listen to lens of Bias opinions:

    Games like Bioshock 2 is All around better on 360, yet some of the players use some minor advantage to decide it will play on PS3 because of that. Not because of other reason, because of that.

    Sells not of bias, smells like shit site to me.

    #38 5 years ago

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