Digital Foundry has been playing the Star Wars: Battlefront beta and has posted an analysis comparing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions.
According to the report, on Xbox One the game is fixed at 720p “which means its running at 64%” of the overall pixel count on PS4 which displays at 900p, same as DICE’s Battlefield 4.
“From an image quality perspective, the compromises are just as you’d expect; we see more aliased edges, and a higher level of shimmering on fine distant detail – particularly on Tatooine’s flag-lines,” states the report. “Added to that, there’s a softening to the picture as a whole – a result of a more drastic upscale, combined with a similar grade of post-process anti-aliasing to PS4.
“However, if you can look past Xbox One’s lower resolution, the actual content of the game is identical to PS4, and a decent match for PC’s high graphics settings.”
This means that texture and shadow quality are “the same between both consoles,” and the same can be said of tessellated geometry on the maps.
Draw distances for both consoles experience similar levels of pop-in across the map and Xbox One’s “resolution is a factor in this respect, particularly with map visibility across range.”
As for beta performance, Xbox One targets 60fps just like PS4, and sticks to it most of the way. The bad news: Xbox One drops to 50fps on balance compared to PS4, especially as the Walker Assault mission reaches its climax.
“As with DICE’s earlier titles on the console, 720p has an impact when picking out enemies across broad expanses of terrain – the Hoth map being the biggest example in this case, “said Digital Foundry. “The rebel base interior area holds up well enough during shoot-outs, and it’s fair to say DICE’s anti-aliasing does a surprisingly thorough job of cleaning up a base 720p image.”
That being said, the core pixel count doesn’t resolve details as it isn’t high enough across the map as a whole. Plus, the anti-aliasing’s “attempts to clean the image” causes a noticeable blur to distance as a side-effect.
“This especially dulls the spectacle of this mission’s final third, bringing us to a long spread of trenches – and from an AT-AT’s top-down perspective, Xbox One’s resolution starts to obscure the great art design DICE puts into this scene.”
Rounding things out, Digital Foundry states the beta is working best on PS4 at the moment with cleaner images and a better frame-rate at 60fps as the Xbox One beta regularly drops below 50fps when there is a lot happening on-screen.
In conclusion, the strong suggestion “right now is that the PS4 version is the one to gun for on launch.”
Digital Foundry has since updated the report with a short analysis of Split Screen (video below). It seems the frame-rate during survival mode drops to 30fps “with pretty decent results.” However, fluidity is compromised due to some frame-pacing issues, which Digital Foundry noticed when testing Need for Speed: Rivals – which was fixed in a patch.
“Fingers crossed DICE can do the same here, states the report. “One thing we can confirm after further testing is that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions do run the split-screen component at full 1080p, with DICE effectively trading frame-rate for resolution – so a 1920×540 resolution per player window is confirmed.”
EA kicked off the Star Wars: Battlefront open beta on October 8 and you have until October 12 to play around in it. If you need any tips, we have you covered.
The game releases on November 17 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.