A few days ago we reported that 2K Community Manager, Elizabeth Tobey, had responded to complaints voiced by gamers on their forum regarding the visual quality of the company’s PS3 Bioshock demo. Specifically, there were concerns that the textures in the PS3 version were not on par with that of the 360 version.
Last night, Elizabeth issued an update to her initial post, following up with readers and giving them some additional insight into what was being done to resolve the issues.
Her full statement, complete with in-game screens presented to help better illustrate the final state of the game, is available after the jump.
A message from the team about the visuals in BioShock PS3
Last Friday some of you expressed some concerns and asked me some questions about the BioShock demo, and how BioShock would look on the PS3. I promised that the team was looking into all the issues brought up on Friday, and now I am reporting back with the latest news. Everything below is directly from the team – they took the comparison screenshots for me and we talked at length about all of these issues, and those conversations are exactly what I am reporting to you now.
Many of you wondered about BioShock’s graphical performance on the PS3, and whether it was comparable to the 360 version. The team wanted BioShock to be the same experience on the PS3 as on the 360. Of course, the PS3 is a very different machine to code a game on, and so the team used a combination of optimization and filtering to maximize the overall visual experience of the game. These optimizations improved frame rate and added the slight “blur filter” that some of you have pointed out in comparison screenshots. This solution offered the best performance benefit with minimum visual cost or change from the 360 version.
When making the decision on how to balance game performance and visual quality, the team did a lot of research, which included looking at implementation strategies and gamer reactions for other games that had brought a title to the PS3. One of the major goals for the team in creating the PS3 version of BioShock was to match the visual experience of the 360.
Below are a few comparison screenshots of BioShock on both the 360 and PS3, taken by the team. I have included the Big Daddy texture that concerned so many of you on Friday. However, the Big Daddy texture is not a good measure for the entire PS3 experience, and so I have a handful of other comparison shots of the 360 and PS3 version of BioShock.
Another issue people asked about was the appearance of “white bars” when using certain settings on certain TV configurations. This is a legitimate bug, and we are currently working to fix this issue and plan on distributing that fix along with the Additional Content game update. For the short-term, some have recommended changing the TV’s overscan setting as a workaround.
Also, some of you asked about the resolution of BioShock PS3. The team decided to include 1080 support for the game specifically for the benefit of some older-model HDTVs that don’t correctly respond to 720 and force the user to play on 480 instead. Our 1080 implementation is a scaled version of what you see in 720p, so therefore, the discerning gamer may notice the visuals are a bit less sharp when compared to the 720 mode. We did investigate rendering to true 1080 mode, but were not able to support it given the game’s memory demands.
We believe the BioShock PS3 demo fairly represents the performance and user experience of the full BioShock PS3 game, and is an accurate representation of the final product. We will continue reading and looking into any new comments that come up on this forum. I hope this post and the following screenshots help clarify some of the questions asked last week. Again, thank you for your diligence and devotion to the game.
The images shown above also came with the following note:
Note: These images were taken from the final game. There is a slight discrepancy in some shots because for the 360 version the images were taken before the patch was applied, which means they are using the original widescreen format, but the PS3 version ships with the 360 patch’s widescreen change.
Another user on the forum then asked for clarification regarding the “blur” overlay that many have noticed on the PS3 version, to which Tobey responded:
i’m sorry if i didn’t explain this well enough in the original post, but it’s not just a blur “filter” applied to the graphics. based on how this game works with the PS3 hardware, and our desire to make the best graphics without sacrificing gameplay or framerate, these graphics are what resulted. when compared to the 360, you will notice it looks slightly “blurred” but this is not a simple blur “filter” that we overlayed on the graphics. it is just a result of how we developed the game on this new and unique piece of hardware, trying to keep framerate, gameplay, and graphics optimal and true to the game’s vision.
Personally, I think the game looks great, and as a PS3 owner myself, I would have no problem picking up the title when it hits stores. That said, it’s refreshing to see 2K taking the time to respond to the concerns of their community with such a high level of detail.
Afterthought: What say you? Was this a non issue in your opinion, or where you grateful for the response?