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The GTAIV Comparison Head-to-Head Thread Episode V: An Epic Tale of ManBoobs and Woe

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chubigans

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So, the mods have asked to keep all the console comparisons/warz/bickering/flaming in one official thread. I'm doing this so no one else will have to, and I'll be going back to bask in the glory of the official thread where graphical nitpicking is laughed upon. :D

KEEP ALL COMPARISONS IN THIS THREAD. NOT THE OFFICIAL THREAD. NOT REVIEW THREADS. THIS THREAD!!!!!!

Let us begin!






-Rockstar has made it pretty clear that the PS3 was a tough system to develop for, including getting used to the "complex architecture." Rockstar also mentioned problems with the 360 version (no HDD, DVD compression) though that interview was many months ago, and has not been brought up ever since. The PS3 architecture has been brought up as recently as a week ago in an IGN interview.

-It was widely assumed that the delay from Fall 07 was due to the PS3 version lagging behind. Rockstar never did officially deny this, but also pointed out the problems with multiplayer at that stage.

-The 360 was the lead platform, with the PS3 version two weeks behind. RS was committed to "making sure both versions are excellent."

-There's more on Sam Houser's discussion with the PS3 version and the delays in this 1up article. (thanks Doc Evils for the link!)

-The 360 is running 720p MSAAx2. (thanks dot50cal!)

-The PS3 has a one-time install (seven and a half minutes, says IGN), though I'm not sure of the size just yet. The 360 was rumored to have an optional install, but so far this has been shot down as false by some of the articles below.

-Like most multiplatform games, PS3 can upscale all the way to 720p, 1080i and 1080p but the native resolution is 630p. (thanks Dot50cal and danwarb).




IGN (10 out of 10 for both versions)


Past GTA titles have had mild-to-serious framerate issues and technical glitches, because the games were trying to do far more than the PlayStation 2 could handle. While GTA IV is pushing the PS3 and 360 to the limit, it also runs amazingly well. Sure, there are framerate hitches here and there and (particularly on 360) there is some texture pop-in, but it actually runs better than I expected. That a game with great AI, an awesome physics engine and a detailed open world runs so well and with such short load times is a technical marvel. For that, I can forgive framerate issues and some noticeable aliasing.

The art team gets major kudos for creating a living world. There is great texture work in the environments, a nice field-of-vision blur of buildings in the distance, some excellently modeled cars, ball-jarring explosions, phenomenal water effects and one interesting-looking Eastern Euro for a lead character. Sure, it's not a game that runs perfectly all the time, but the technical elements almost never get in the way of the gameplay.

For those wanting to know which version looks better, the edge goes to the PS3. The textures and framerate are comparable, but the PS3 has far less pop-in. The 360 has richer colors, but the PS3 has better anti-aliasing making it look a little cleaner. Because GTA IV can preload onto the PS3 hard drive, the in-game loads are faster. Don't worry Xbox owners, the load times are rarely more than 30 seconds and don't occur very often. The slight visual edge goes to PS3, but the 360 is no slouch. Either version will do you proud.

EGM (Print):

Grand Theft Auto IV - A+, A+, A
Good: World, relationships, story
Bad: Some missions canned, control takes getting used to
PS3 or 360 version: 360 for DLC, PS3 version looks slightly more vibrant and sharp

1up.com (A+)

None of these little flaws take away from Liberty City's breathtaking vistas, incredibly varied scenery, and lived-in look (the PS3 version has the slightest visual edge, plus motion-control support -- but then it's missing Achievements and the eventual downloadable episodes exclusive to the 360 game). The city just feels alive.

GamesRadar

While the PS3 and 360 versions of the game are functionally identical, the PS3's visuals sport noticeably smoother edges, along with a warmer color palette that makes everything look slightly more realistic. If you're looking to compare Accomplishments with your Achievement-hoarding friends, though, forget it - GTA IV ignores these half-assed consolation prizes altogether. PS3 owners also have to put up with a nearly eight-minute installation the first time they start the game, which puts the normally slower Blu-ray load times on par with the Xbox 360 version. (That is, unless it's running on a 360 with no hard drive, which we're told will face much longer loads.)

GameTrailers.com (9.8)

While GT usually puts up head-to-head videos, the official video review is only for the 360 version. They have yet to play the PS3 version.

They do mention a few techical hitches here and there (with framerate), but since they can't compare it to the PS3 version, there's no way of knowing if that's for both versions in this case.


Game Reactor (Sweden)

While I don't understand the language, here's what Forsete says it translates to (and if anyone can confirm this, that'd be awesome):

Forsete said:
Swedish Gamereactor mentioned in their 10/10 review that they were pretty surprised regarding the difference between the PS3 and 360-versions. The PS3-version features better colours, contrast, load times and what looks to be better resolution textures. The game also looks sharper and has a more stable fps.

Gamespy UK

Although it's got a few problems that pop up from time to time, Grand Theft Auto IV is still an absolutely gorgeous game. Like the previous games in the series, it suffers from some texture pop-in and draw distance issues, although these should in no way affect your enjoyment of the game. It's easy to just consider those technical flaws the price you've got to pay for admission to the most impressive game world ever created. There's so much going on that you'll only really notice the flaws if you look for them, and if you're doing that there's a good chance you're missing out on something spectacular. The overall art design and visual aesthetics are extremely pleasing to the eye, and they aren't hurt by the technical issues.

For those who have to decide between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, we should mention that these flaws are slightly less noticeable in the PS3 game. There are a few other minor differences as well, the biggest being the PS3 game's Sixaxis controls. You can use the controller's tilt feature to perform wheelies on motorbikes or control your helicopter, but it just ends up feeling forced. You're much better off just turning them off and sticking with the default control scheme. The Xbox 360 version, on the other hand, has Achievements and features a more intuitive controller (though that may just be this reviewer's personal opinion). Both versions are excellent, so you really can't go wrong.




IGN Insider Video (for subscribers only)
AgentOtaku has a nice summation:

AgentOtaku said:
IGN Insider points:

- really are visually identical as far as effects go...like motion blur
- Driving sensitivity "feels" better on PS3 analog ...(I personally like hearing this as I know what he's talking about. I'm a big fan of the SIXAXIS's analogs)
- Depression of L2 trigger takes a bit more getting used to than 360 LT for free-aim....(but then again, you can turn this off entirely, which I plan to do)
- Once again, PS3 version seems to have an edge in both AA, pop-in, and overall loadtimes
- motion control for Cars, Bike, Helo, darts, bowling, car jump "aftertouch" ....seems best implementation is for Helo and worst is for Bike
- Supposedly there is a weatlh of TV contrast/brightness/tweaker settings built into the game
- Basically buy the version your friends are playing if your gonna be playing alotta MP

Kotaku
Hit the link for the full scoop. Here's some choice quotes:

The Grand Theft Auto series has never been synonymous with a rock solid frame rate, something it generally seems to get a pass for. While GTA IV is smoother in general than it's predecessors, it can expectedly suffer during chaos. The Xbox 360 version seemed capable of achieving a smoother frame rate, peaking higher in certain circumstances, such as in confined spaces or during light traffic, but both versions seemed to regularly run at a similar clip.
...
The PS3 version, with its required HDD install, loads missions a couple seconds faster and decreases pop-in. The Xbox 360 version can suffer from some very noticeable texture loading, as things like trees, vehicles and building signs will regularly pop-in as one tools about town. It can be distracting, especially during high speed chases, and the PS3 version isn't entirely immune from it, but it's not a game killing problem.
...
I noticed that the paint filter applied to cover some of the game's imperfections appeared a tiny bit muddier on the PS3 version, with night time scenes seeing more streakiness. Some of these minor complaints may be the result of our particular television settings and require the finest of fine tooth combs to assess.

EB Games/Gamestop Clerks

Clerk #1 said:
360 all the way man. It's gonna have huge DLC, maybe three times the size of Sand Andreas, and you're not gonna get anything like that on the Triple. Plus you can trade in that copy of Kameo for 20% more credit. You're gonna want the special edition too because it has like ten more hourse of additional content.

Clerk #2 said:
Dude, get it for the PS3. You know how big Blu-Ray is? It's like ten times the size of a small Xbox DVD. They put so much more content on there, it's insane...like fifty extra hours worth. It didn't fit on the 360, so they're releasing it later this year as "new chapters" for something like fifty bucks a pop! Hahah! Hey, don't forget to bring in your trades. Dude, you're gonna want to subscribe to Game Informer too. Total badass mag that'll have your full tips on GTAIV. So awesome.



CowboyAstronaut has spent a lot of time playing both versions of GTA, and has a really well thought out post here. Definitely worth the read.

Yea I got to play and beat a pre-release (non-final) build of the ps3 version couple days ago so I agree that the ps3 version is awesome, but after seeing both final builds of GTA4 side by side I know now beyond a shadow of a doubt that a lot of sites are playing pretty heavily to the console wars. Both versions are damn near identical. Both versions look amazing and both versions run amazingly well.



-There was a rumor that the 360 DLC would be the size of Vice City or San Andreas. It actually stemmed from a misunderstanding at a Microsoft Blogger Breakfast reported from this blog (big thanks to Death Dealer for the link).

-Rockstar has not officially said what the 360 DLC would bring, only that it's coming in Autumn. Sam Houser did give a glimpse of what might be coming:

"I think the mission packs with the episodes are going to be pretty deep, offering another full-on adventure in this world. I think we will be in a position to market them not a million miles away from the way the boxed game is marketed."

It seems that the DLC will bring more story and missions to GTA.

-The latest issue of PSM hints at DLC for the PS3 version, though it's not known if this relates to Home content or actual gameplay content. Even so, Rockstar has not officially confirmed anything.

PSM said:
In addition, though post-release downloadable content has been promised on that other platform, expect similar offerings on the PS3 down the road, "we want this game to last for years," Jeronimo added, "I'm sure we'll do another [GTA game] some time in the future, but this one is built to last."

(thanks to Chrange for clearing that up).

-As far as multiplayer DLC goes, it'll likely be supported for both systems. Here's what 1up thinks:

These missions [in multiplayer] are straightforward and enjoyable, and we expect to see more available as downloadable content for both systems in the future.

-A quick word on custom soundtracks. Rockstar has opted not to include custom soundtrack support in either version, as it would mess with the "tone" of the game. So the 360 Guide is the only way of getting tracks, and unfortunately it plays over the whole game (thanks to Geek for the confirmation):

Geek said:
Yeah, custom soundtracks continue to play when you take phone calls or watch cut scenes. Sorry!

The PS3 will not be getting any kind of universal soundtrack support in future firmwares, as Microsoft owns the patent for it. (thanks navanman for the link...another here.) Sony themselves have stated that the means to support custom music is there if the devs want to implement it (as we've seen in SSHD and others). So, no custom tracks for the PS3 ever.



This is a hard decision for multiplatform owners...made harder by the fact that this is one of, if not the, biggest multiplatform release of next-gen so far. I'm not going to get into hardware specifics here, since that'd be kind of ridiculous (such as using 360 hardware reliability against GTA).

First off is rumble. Normally this wouldn't be too big a deal, but Rockstar has implemented it in some really fun ways (your controller vibrates when the phone rings, and the strip club...we'll, you'll see). Do you own a Dualshock 3 for the PS3? If not, perhaps that should be taken into consideration (whether that means spending $120 on launch day for both GTA and DS3 or just picking up the 360 version for $60).

Next is Sixaxis. Mostly it's a novelty for controlling vehicles, as I don't think anyone would choose the PS3 version just for these features (they're a fun diversion, nothing more), but there is one option that's too cool not to mention: flick reloading. I made a thread when Army of Two used this feature. At first, it seems pointless. But for some reason, it just feels natural...to the point where I attempt flick reloading by accident when I'm playing any other shooter. I love it.

And of course, graphics. Every single major site prefers the look and performance of the PS3 version, but let's stand back for a sec. Yes, there are more visual flaws on the 360 version. But nearly every site is quick to point out that they don't interfere with the gameplay, and it's still a visual splendor to experience. As a PS3 owner I know what it is to get the short end of the stick in graphic performance, sometimes major (like the Orange Box), sometimes extremely minor (such as Call of Duty 4), and neither title's graphical shortcomings hindered my enjoyment of the game. In single player that wouldn't really matter all that much anyways...except you'll be spending dozens of hours in Liberty City's solo mode. It's a personal decision for sure.

The trade off for better performance is the downloadable content, which we know nothing about except two episodes being exclusive to the X360. Does this mean after the two eps, we could see DLC on the PS3? Yes, but that wouldn't be for another year and a half at the earliest. Perhaps the PS3 will get it's own DLC? Maybe, surely, hopefully, but NOTHING has been confirmed by Rockstar in regards to PS3 DLC. On the other side, DLC has absolutely been confirmed for 360, and Rockstar is excited to deliver the content as early as August. Considering how great the story is according to reviews, that's just plain awesome news.

And there you go. What many multiplatform owners are considering is buying the PS3 version now, and picking up the 360 version in the fall once the DLC starts crackin'. Another option is to rent the 360 version and see if it really bothers you enough to hamper the experience. And of course, if you love Achievements and Live, then the choice is pretty clear, no?

For most, it will be PS3 now, 360 in the fall for DLC episodes...a win/win for multiplatform owners.

WARNING: Xbox 360s that are not equipped with HDDs (no matter what size) seem to suffer from more technical flaws, including longer load times. Those few with 360 Arcade units should try to get a HDD for the best GTA experience. Review units in the articles above are typically done on Pro machines unless otherwise noted.
 

EviLore

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Right right, keep it here as much as possible.
 

bishoptl

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Hmm...keep it all in one cesspool, or be forced to do clean up all over various threads once the game comes out?

One cesspool it is. Carry on.

edit: EVILORE GET OUT OF MY HEAD
 

dskillzhtown

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How sad is it that something like this is even necessary?

But if the official thread gets mucked up by people doing system wars instead of in here, do they get a "vacation"?
 

Aladuf

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Good, I won't come into this thread again because this PS3/360 comparison shit is old but I'm glad we have this so it'll stay out of the Official Thread (hopefully).
 

urk

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Well, the vertical livery on the PS3 boxart is clearly more elegant then the garish horizontal, neon green abomination Microsoft has chosen, even though the Spider-Man font still irks. Playstation 3 wins points for design.

Background image is a toss up. Microsoft made a wise choice showcasing the title's main character, while Sony has gone with a more classical, hooker sucking a lollipop approach. Even up here.
 

Treo360

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bishoptl said:
Hmm...keep it all in one cesspool, or be forced to do clean up all over various threads once the game comes out?

One cesspool it is. Carry on.

edit: EVILORE GET OUT OF MY HEAD


Thread starters too, right?
 

MercuryLS

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JB1981 said:
I'm trying to dig deep inside my heart to discover which brand I'm more loyal to before making my choice.

If I don't get to do some drive-by's with you on Live I'll be sad :(
 

vumpler

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chubigans said:


Obviously get it for the system you prefer to play on. The graphical differences will be negligible enough to allow for it.
Thanks, now delete this fucking topic. Like we need more GTA4 topics, fuck. Use the main one. I'm getting the game but my god, stop with this already.
 

Guled

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I cant believe that people would tear them selfs apart from one of the greatest games ever, to compare the number of pixels on the screen :lol Whatever floats your boats :lol Plus, its no contest, the pc version will be better by a huge mile. Just get the version of the system you have, if you have both systems, get the one most of your
real life
friends are getting. And then get the pc version when it comes out
 

Tieno

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Just have TTP and dark10x work it out and post what they have to say in the OP. Nothing else is really worth that much.
 

Man God

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All comparisons are useless as we all know that the PC version is the best. Straight backed and eyestrained instead of comfy couch.
 

cjtiger300

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Good, now we can keep this out of the other threads. As far as the topic goes, the PS3 is the consciouses winner from most of the early publications. Its not gimped by any means (PS3 owners know all about shitty gimped up ports) so I think the 360 version will be just fine.

As far as the DLC goes, I think it will end up Multi platform eventually anyways. By the time it comes out, I will be extremely busy with Resistance 2, Motorstorm, LBP and all of the other great first party stuff to care all that much anyways. I can wait for the DLC.

I can see GTA IV as a game I keep coming back to though, so I hope it does eventually come to the PS3, or we get our own new DLC!
 

bigmakstudios

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I'm just wondering why there isn't an optional HDD install for the 360 version. How would core owners be neglected if they were capable of playing the game just as how every 360 owner will be playing the game since Rockstar didn't add an HDD install option? Why force everyone to have an inferior product for the sake of placating those without HDDs? I doubt 360 owners who don't own an HDD would even be aware that they're missing out on a slightly improved draw distance and a more stable frame rate anyway...
I mean... would MS not accept an optional HDD install if it would level the PS3 and 360 version in terms of performance? Really?
 

EviLore

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Nightz said:
PS3 wins.
Based on the SE covers.

I wasn't planning on getting the SE...but...yeah, great box art has that effect on me. Pile of stupid shit version incoming.
 
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why can't 360 fans and PS3 fans just get along?

arch-enemies need to join forces to combat the all encompassing Wii-Empire. :D
 

FrankT

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Choice is made and paid for. There is no thread that can change this for me and probably very few outside of the very, very hardcore that there choice isn't solid at this point either.

Let the games begin.


"PS3 should be getting its own DLC as well" comes from a dev

What developer, what source.
 

Treo360

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TheJollyCorner said:
why can't 360 fans and PS3 fans just get along?

arch-enemies need to join forces to combat the all encompassing Wii-Empire. :D


Republican Space Rangers
 
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chubigans said:
This thread is to simply "clean" all the other threads. Look how bad the IGN review thread turned out.

Yeah, as if you had nothing to do with stoking the fires in that thread, huh?
 

h3ro

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There will be bannings... there will be gifs... and oh will there be tears... bitter tears...

*suscribes to thread :D

Good idea chubigans, keep all the texchurr warz out of the Official Thread and review threads...
 

Mmmkay

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Agent Icebeezy said:
One question. Reviewers had to review the game on site or at their own offices. Listening to everyone talk about reviews, it sounds as if they were at Rockstar.
From the 1UP Show thread:

binaryburrito said:
The reviews were done several weeks ago; and after the three reviewers were done, Rockstar took the games and went home. I'll be grabbing my copy late Monday night/Tuesday morning!
 

chubigans

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pete_townshend said:
Yeah, as if you had nothing to do with stoking the fires in that thread, huh?

Never said I didn't! :lol

But that was more in regards to the PS3 finally getting a good port, and less to do with console warz. I'm not going to bring that anywhere else but here.
 
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